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Perfectibility   Listen

The capability of becoming perfect.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Perfectibility" Quotes from Famous Books

... attaching or appearing to attach too much efficacy to legal and institutional reforms, the error or its appearance was scarcely separable from an analytic reconstruction of a sufficient democratic ideal. Democracy must stand or fall on a platform of possible human perfectibility. If human nature cannot be improved by institutions, democracy is at best a more than usually safe form of political organization; and the only interesting inquiry about its future would be: How long will it continue to work? But if it is to ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... we are told embodies the best of all government. The trouble is that despotism is seldom, if ever, wise. It is its nature to be inconsiderate, being essentially selfish, grasping and tyrannous. As a rule therefore revolution—usually of force—has been required to change or reform it. Perfectibility was not designed for mortal man. That indeed furnishes the strongest argument in favor of the immortality of the soul, life on earth but the ante-chamber of eternal life. It would be a cruel Deity that condemned man to the brief and vexed span of human existence with nothing ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... himself expresses it, the fearful fallacies of his past system were made beautifully apparent; he felt as if existence could be maintained by the infinitesimal process, so benevolently advocated and regularly prepared, that one step more was all that was necessary to arrive at dietary perfectibility. That step he took, it being simply, instead of next to nothing, to live on nothing at all; and now, such was his opinion of the condiments supplied, he declares it to be by far the pleasantest ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... Surrey; is famous as the author of an "Essay on the Principle of Population," of which the first edition appeared in 1798, and the final, greatly enlarged, in 1803; the publication provoked much hostile criticism, as it propounded a doctrine which was disastrous to the accepted theory of perfectibility, and which aimed at showing how the progress of the race was held in check by the limited supply of the means of subsistence, a doctrine that admittedly anticipated that struggle for life on a larger scale which the Darwinian hypothesis ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... vague—a vision—a sentiment?" he said, talking in the same eager way. "Then that is my fault. I cannot explain it all to you in a few words. But do not run away with the notion that it is mere words—a St. Simonian dream of perfectibility, or anything like that. It is practical; it exists; it is within reach of you. It is a definite and immense organization; it may be young as yet, but it has courage and splendid aims; and now, with a great work before it, it is eager for aid. You yourself, when you see a child run over, or a ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... on Health and Beauty. Its value. Adam and Eve probably very beautiful. Primitive beauty of our race to be yet restored. Sin the cause of present ugliness. Never too late to reform. Opinion of Dr. Rush. An important principle. The doctrine of human perfectibility disavowed. Various causes of ugliness. Obedience to law, natural and moral, the true source of beauty. Indecency and immorality ...
— The Young Woman's Guide • William A. Alcott

Words linked to "Perfectibility" :   capability, perfectible, capableness, potentiality, imperfectibility

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