A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.
The only geniuses produced by the chaos of society are those who do something about it. Chaos breeds geniuses. It offers a man something to be a genius about.
I did not direct my life. I didn't design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is.
Give me a child and I'll shape him into anything.
A fourth-grade reader may be a sixth-grade mathematician. The grade is an administrative device which does violence to the nature of the developmental process.
No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn't die out, it's wiped out.
The simplest and most satisfactory view is that thought is simply behavior - verbal or nonverbal, covert or overt. It is not some mysterious process responsible for behavior but the very behavior itself in all the complexity of its controlling relations.
Some of us learn control, more or less by accident. The rest of us go all our lives not even understanding how it is possible, and blaming our failure on being born the wrong way.
An important fact about verbal behavior is that speaker and listener may reside within the same skin.
Science, not religion, has taught me my most useful values, among them intellectual honesty. It is better to go without answers than to accept those that merely resolve puzzlement.
The human species took a crucial step forward when its vocal musculature came under operant control in the production of speech sounds. Indeed, it is possible that all the distinctive achievements of the species can be traced to that one genetic change.
The problem of far greater importance remains to be solved. Rather than build a world in which we shall all live well, we must stop building one in which it will be impossible to live at all.
Death does not trouble me. I have no fear of supernatural punishments, of course, nor could I enjoy an eternal life in which there would be nothing left for me to do, the task of living having been accomplished.
The alphabet was a great invention, which enabled men to store and to learn with little effort what others had learned the hard way-that is, to learn from books rather than from direct, possibly painful, contact with the real world.
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