Whatever the intellectual is too certain of, if he is healthily playful, he begins to find unsatisfactory. The meaning of his intellectual life lies not in the possession of truth but in the quest for new uncertainties.
Among all the disputes and uncertainties of the ethnographers about the races of Europe, one fact stands out clearly – namely, that we can distinguish a race of northerly distribution and origin, characterized physically by fair color of hair and skin and eyes, by tall stature and dolichocephaly (i.e. long shape of head), and mentally by great independence of character, individual initiative, and tenacity of will. Many names have been used to denote this type, ... . It is also called the Nordic type.william mcdougall
These are the moments when the powerful mind or the forceful character feels the ferment of the times, when his thoughts quicken, and when he can inject into the uncertainties of others the creative ideas which will strengthen them with purpose. At such a moment the man who can direct others, in thought or in action, can remake the world.jacob bronowski
At once it struck me what quality went to form a man of achievement, especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously I mean negative capability , that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.john keats
Take the so-called politics of fear the constant reference to risks, from hoodies on the street corner to international terrorism. Whatever the truth of these risks and the best ways of dealing with them, the politics of fear plays on an assumption that people cannot bear the uncertainties associated with them. Politics then becomes a question of who can better deliver an illusion of control.
If there were a generic one-word expression for 'one whose fear of the uncertainties of success moves him to surrender at the very moment of victory', it would be 'Republican'.