Frasi di Lewis Mumford

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Lewis Mumford

Data di nascita: 19. Ottobre 1895
Data di morte: 26. Gennaio 1990
Altri nomi: Льюїс Мамфорд

Lewis Mumford è stato un urbanista e sociologo statunitense.

Frasi Lewis Mumford

„I tradizionalisti sono pessimisti riguardo al futuro e ottimisti riguardo al passato.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Origine: Citato in Laurence J. Peter, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time, 1979, p. 112.

„Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival“

—  Lewis Mumford, libro The City in History

Origine: The City in History (1961), Ch. 18
Contesto: Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival: people who find themselves unable to register an effective political protest against extermination do so by a biological act.

„Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Introduction
The Culture of Cities (1938)
Contesto: The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.

„If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Values for Survival (1946)
Contesto: If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent. And values do not come ready-made: they are achieved by a resolute attempt to square the facts of one's own experience with the historic patterns formed in the past by those who devoted their whole lives to achieving and expressing values. If we are to express the love in our own hearts, we must also understand what love meant to Socrates and Saint Francis, to Dante and Shakespeare, to Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, to the explorer Shackleton and to the intrepid physicians who deliberately exposed themselves to yellow fever. These historic manifestations of love are not recorded in the day's newspaper or the current radio program: they are hidden to people who possess only fashionable minds.

„Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal."“

—  Lewis Mumford, libro The City in History

Myth of Megalopolis <!-- p. 545 -->
The City in History (1961)
Contesto: Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal." Even more unfortunately, the industries that are favored by such expansion must, to maintain their output, be devoted to goods that are readily consumable either by their nature, or because they are so shoddily fabricated that they must soon be replaced. By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.

„When the organism dies, the brain dies, too, with all its lifetime accumulations. But the mind reproduces itself by transmitting its symbols to other intermediaries, human and mechanical, than the particular brain that first assembled them.“

—  Lewis Mumford

"The Mindfulness of Man", p. 424
Interpretations and Forecasts 1922-1972 (1973)
Contesto: The relation between psyche and soma, mind and brain, are peculiarly intimate; but, as in marriage, the partners are not inseparable: indeed their divorce was one of the conditions for the mind's independent history and its cumulative achievements.
But the human mind possesses a special advantage over the brain: for once it has created impressive symbols and has stored significant memories, it can transfer its characteristic activities to materials like to stone and paper that outlast the original brain's brief life-span. When the organism dies, the brain dies, too, with all its lifetime accumulations. But the mind reproduces itself by transmitting its symbols to other intermediaries, human and mechanical, than the particular brain that first assembled them.

„Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner.“

—  Lewis Mumford

The Conduct Of Life (1951)
Contesto: Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner. In life, we must begin to give a public performance before we have acquired even a novice's skill; and often our moments of seeming mastery are upset by new demands, for which we have acquired no preparatory facility. Life is a score that we play at sight, not merely before we have divined the intentions of the composer, but even before we have mastered our instruments; even worse, a large part of the score has been only roughly indicated, and we must improvise the music for our particular instrument, over long passages. On these terms, the whole operation seems one of endless difficulty and frustration; and indeed, were it not for the fact that some of the passages have been played so often by our predecessors that, when we come to them, we seem to recall some of the score and can anticipate the natural sequence of the notes, we might often give up in sheer despair. The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression.

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„Max Beer, in his History of British Socialism, points out that Bacon looked for the happiness of mankind chiefly in the application of science and industry. But by now it is plain that if this alone were sufficient, we could all live in heaven tomorrow.“

—  Lewis Mumford

The Story of Utopias, Chapter Twelve (1922).
Contesto: Max Beer, in his History of British Socialism, points out that Bacon looked for the happiness of mankind chiefly in the application of science and industry. But by now it is plain that if this alone were sufficient, we could all live in heaven tomorrow. Beer points out that More, on the other hand, looked to social reform and religious ethics to transform society; and it is equally plain that if the souls of men could be transformed without altering their material and institutional activities, Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Buddhism might have created an earthly paradise almost any time this last two thousand years. The truth is, as Beer sees, that these two conceptions are still at war with each other: idealism and science continue to function in separate compartments; and yet "the happiness of man on earth" depends upon their combination.

„Each religion is a brave guess at the authorship of Hamlet.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Origine: My Works and Days (1979), Ch. 2
Contesto: Each religion is a brave guess at the authorship of Hamlet. Yet, as far as the play goes does it make any difference whether Shakespeare or Bacon wrote it? Would it make any difference to the actors if their parts happened out of nothingness, if they found themselves acting on the stage because of some gross and unpardonable accident? Would it make any difference if the playwright gave them the lines or whether they composed them themselves, so long as the lines were properly spoken? Would it make any difference to the characters if A Midsummer Night's Dream was really a dream?

„The settlement of America had its origins in the unsettlement of Europe.“

—  Lewis Mumford

"The Origins of the American Mind" in The Golden Day (1926).
Contesto: The settlement of America had its origins in the unsettlement of Europe. America came into existence when the European was already so distant from the ancient ideas and ways of his birthplace that the whole span of the Atlantic did not widen the gulf.

„Nothing endures except life: the capacity for birth, growth, and renewal.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Introduction
The Culture of Cities (1938)
Contesto: Nothing is permanent: certainly not the frozen images of barbarous power with which fascism now confronts us. Those images may easily be smashed by an external shock, cracked as ignominiously as the fallen Dagon, the massive idol of the heathen; or they may be melted, eventually, by the internal warmth of normal men and women. Nothing endures except life: the capacity for birth, growth, and renewal. As life becomes insurgent once more in our civilization, conquering the reckless thrust of barbarism, the culture of cities will be both instrument and goal.

„If we are to prevent megatechnics from further controlling and deforming every aspect of human culture, we shall be able to do so only with the aid of a radically different model derived directly, not from machines, but from living organisms and organic complexes (ecosystems).“

—  Lewis Mumford, libro The Myth of the Machine

The Myth of the Machine (1967-1970), The Pentagon of Power (1970)
Contesto: If we are to prevent megatechnics from further controlling and deforming every aspect of human culture, we shall be able to do so only with the aid of a radically different model derived directly, not from machines, but from living organisms and organic complexes (ecosystems). What can be known about life only through the process of living — and so is part of even the humblest organisms — must be added to all the other aspects that can be observed, abstracted, measured. … Once an organic world picture is in the ascendant, the working aim of an economy of plenitude will be not to feed more human functions into the machine, but to develop further man's incalculable potentialities for self-actualization and self-transendence, taking back into himself deliberately many of the activities he has too supinely surrendered into the mechanical system. <!-- p. 395

„By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.“

—  Lewis Mumford, libro The City in History

Myth of Megalopolis <!-- p. 545 -->
The City in History (1961)
Contesto: Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal." Even more unfortunately, the industries that are favored by such expansion must, to maintain their output, be devoted to goods that are readily consumable either by their nature, or because they are so shoddily fabricated that they must soon be replaced. By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.

„Bloodshed kept pace with iron production“

—  Lewis Mumford, libro Technics and Civilization

Origine: Technics and Civilization (1934), Ch. 4, sct. 5
Contesto: Bloodshed kept pace with iron production: in essence, the entire paleotechnic period was ruled, from beginning to end, by the policy of blood and iron. The brutal contempt for life was equalled only by the the almost priestly ritual it developed for inflicting death. Its "peace" was indeed the peace that passeth understanding: what was it but latent warfare.

„In this situation the artist has a special task and duty: the task of reminding men of their humanity and the promise of their creativity.“

—  Lewis Mumford

In the Name of Sanity (1954)
Contesto: Today, all the normal mischances of living have been multiplied, a million-fold, by the potentialities for destruction, for an unthinking act of collective suicide, which man's very triumphs in science and invention have brought about. In this situation the artist has a special task and duty: the task of reminding men of their humanity and the promise of their creativity.

„The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap.“

—  Lewis Mumford

Introduction
The Culture of Cities (1938)
Contesto: The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.

„Here was my city, immense, overpowering, flooded with energy and light…“

—  Lewis Mumford

" Sketches from Life: The Autobiography of Lewis Mumford (1982), p. 130
Contesto: Here was my city, immense, overpowering, flooded with energy and light... The world, at that moment, opened before me, challenging me, beckoning me, demanding something of me that it would take more than a lifetime to give, but raising all my energies by its own vivid promise to a higher pitch.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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