Social Science … led us to the fallacy that, since all men have their being in culture and as a result of culture, they owe a debt to that culture which even a lifetime of altruism could not repay.
cited in Essays on Individuality (Philadelphia: 1958), p. 110
The ethical regime [of the Jews] was quite definitely Ptolemaic, revolving around the small group of Jews, not the larger Gentile group and, accordingly, they learned to remain unimpressed by Gentile temporal power. Being unimpressed did not mean being unafraid material power might beat or starve one to death; it did mean refusing to surrender moral hegemony to the majority merely because it had power.David Riesman
Those who are excluded from meaningful work are, by an large, excluded from meaningful play.David Riesman
The premonition of death may for many be a stimulus to novelty of experience: the imminence of death serves to sweep away the inessential preoccupations for those who do not flee from the thought of death into triviality.David Riesman
A spurious democracy has influenced both our research methods (I am sometimes tempted to define “validity” as part of the context of an experiment demanding so little in the way of esoteric gift that any number can play at it, provided they have taken a certain number of courses) and our research subjects (it would be deemed snobbish to investigate only the best people).David Riesman