GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD QUOTES

American philosopher, educator and psychologist (1842-1921)

Education is so much of an organic unity that, if any of the stages or elements of it be defective, the deficiency is felt throughout all the subsequent growth of the organism.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Essays on the Higher Education

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In somewhat the same way as reasonable belief is to be distinguished from superstition, so is reasonable hope ("hope that maketh not ashamed") to be distinguished from that which is vain and illusory. It is also true that in somewhat the same way as the strength of the belief furnishes a very effective evidence for the reasonableness of the belief to the man who holds it, so does the assurance of hoping give much additional testimony to the reasonableness of the hope for the mind that entertains it. In both cases, a certain value, which is something more than purely "subjective," cannot easily be denied to this support of truth in a form that is primarily emotional. It is more reasonable to believe what one can honestly believe with a strong feeling of confidence in its "objective" truthfulness. It is more reasonable to hope what one can honestly hope with a large measure of firm assurance. Nor is this measure of emotional evidence to be esteemed as of value to those only who store it in their own bosoms. Beliefs and hopes that are kept ever warm and vital in the bosom of humanity, by being near to its heart and source of vital life-currents, are lawfully as well as actually most well nourished and most vigorous.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, What May I Hope?

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It is enough now to affirm that the modern physical sciences are very far indeed from being capable of exhibiting themselves systematically as stripped of all metaphysics. On the contrary, the most stupendous metaphysical assumptions and implications are woven into their structure throughout. Instead of being mere formulas for stating uniform sequences among phenomena, they are descriptions and explanations of experiences which appeal at every step to invisible and mysterious entities, to hidden and abstruse forces, to transactions that are assumed to take place among beings whose existence and modes of behavior can never become, in any sense of the words, immediate data of sensuous knowledge.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Philosophy of Mind: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Psychology

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The enthusiastic advocate of what is new in educational ideas--as to subjects, methods, curricula, organization, etc.--regards it as highly unfortunate that institutions are not so plastic, so easy to change, as are ideas. The man who is wise in practical affairs, and profound in his reflections upon the truths of history, knows that, on the contrary, this abiding and relatively stable character of the institutional expression of ideas is the fortunate thing about educational, as about other forms of progress. Most fortunate of all are those institutions which change just fast and far enough to conserve the priceless lessons of the past, while unfolding constantly to receive the suggestions of the better time coming.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, preface, Essays on the Higher Education

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To accept with unquestioning faith, or to refuse to reconsider any particular view held by the Church in the past, is as unreasonable as it is unsafe. The faith of the Church is a progressive affair.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, What is the Bible?: An Inquiry Into the Origin and Nature of the Old and New Testaments in the Light of Modern Biblical Study

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Education is one of those subjects which, from their very nature, do not admit of a very close approach to demonstrative argument. Neither from history, nor from our knowledge of nature and of the human soul, nor from the study of the details of experience in the past, can we construct a science--strictly speaking--of education. Pedagogics will probably never hold a place among the exact sciences. We may, however, form comprehensive and defensible opinions on this subject; and these opinions will be the more entitled to respect and acceptance, as the mind holding them is itself genial and truly liberal, and is also acquainted with the truths of history, of nature, and especially of the human soul.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Essays on the Higher Education

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Psychology assumes that "things" are and "minds" are; and that, within certain limits determined by the so-called "nature" of both, they act causally upon each other.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Philosophy of Mind: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Psychology

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It is far more difficult to tell precisely what is the meaning of every word and sentence of the canonical Scriptures than to distinguish, in a way quite sufficient to secure the purity of our Christian faith and practice, between these Scriptures and the Word of God which they contain. And it is an actual fact that those Christian persons who regard the Bible as identical throughout with the infallible Word of God, and who study it with that impression, as a rule make far more mistakes in the articles of faith they derive from it, and in the kind of conduct they support by it, than do those persons who do not hesitate to use their Christian freedom in distinguishing between the Bible and the Word of God.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, What is the Bible?: An Inquiry Into the Origin and Nature of the Old and New Testaments in the Light of Modern Biblical Study

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It is instructive, although somewhat disheartening, for the ardent advocate of a purely scientific psychology to contrast the practice and theories of his colleagues with those of the students of the principal physical sciences.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Philosophy of Mind: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Psychology

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A high place of honor, although doubtless one to be obtained only after enduring the pangs of a prolonged crucifixion, awaits that philosophical biologist, or that philosopher sufficiently acquainted with scientific biology, who subjects the modern doctrine of evolution to a thoroughly critical analysis, with a view to detect and to estimate its metaphysical assumptions.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Philosophy of Mind: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Psychology

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There are few things more astonishing than the rapidity and apparent ease with which periods of conservative thinking and practice are sometimes followed by great and even radical changes. Opinions which have long been regarded as having the necessary quality of rational principles are at such times contested and discarded; practices that have come to be associated with sacred ideas of duty and of religion are deemed unreasonable and are abandoned. Indeed, in this generation and land of ours, such great and radical changes have become so frequent as almost to fail of exciting the astonishment they really merit.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Essays on the Higher Education

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Without the ontological assumption which goes with it, what is called science, is nothing but the dreamer's well-ordered dream.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Philosophy of Mind: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Psychology

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