Arthur Koestler Quotations

Arthur Koestler

Behaviorism has substituted for the erstwhile anthropomorphic view of the rat a ratomorphic view of man.

Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware.

If conquerors be regarded as the engine-drivers of History, then the conquerors of thought are perhaps the pointsmen who, less conspicuous to the traveler's eye, determine the direction of the journey.

If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusions that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction.

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surelymeant us to stick it out.

Liking a writer and then meeting the writer is like liking pâté de fois gras and then meeting the goose.

Nobody before the Pythagoreans had thought that mathematical relations held the secret of the universe. Twenty-five centuries later, Europe is still blessed and cursed with their heritage. To non-European civilizations, the idea that numbers are the key to both wisdom and power, seems never to have occurred.

Space-ships and time machines are no escape from the human condition. Let Othello subject Desdemona to a lie-detector test; his jealousy will still blind him to the evidence. Let Oedipus triumph over gravity; he won't triumph over his fate.

The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use.

The principle mark of a genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

Thou shalt not carry moderation unto excess.

Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man's deadliest weapon is language. He is as susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is to infectious diseases. And where there is an epidemic, the group mind takes over.