You can’t operate a company by fear, because the way to eliminate fear is to avoid criticism. And the way to avoid criticism is to do nothing.
There is only one justification for universities, as distinguished from trade schools. They must be centers of criticism.
There is no virtue in being uncritical nor is it a habit to which the young are given. But criticism is only the burying beetle that gets rid of what is dead, and, since the world lives by creative and constructive forces, and not by negation and destruction, it is better to grow up in the company of prophets than of critics.
A university’s essential character is that of being a center of free inquiry and criticism-a thing not to be sacrificed for anything else.
Theology, not morality, is the first business on the church’s agenda of reform, and the church, not society, is the first target of divine criticism.
A state that suppresses all freedom of speech, and which by imposing the most terrible punishments, treats each and every attempt at criticism, however morally justified, and every suggestion for improvement as plotting to high treason, is a state that breaks an unwritten law.
Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.
Criticism alone can sever the root of materialism, fatalism, atheism, free-thinking, fanaticism, and superstition, which can be injurious universally; as well as of idealism and skepticism, which are dangerous chiefly to the Schools, and hardly allow of being handed on to the public.
Everything is bilateral in the domain of thought. Ideas are binary. Janus is the myth of criticism and the symbol of genius. Only God is triangular!
If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism if our government is to function it must have dissent.
Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity than they really are.
A lively, disinterested, persistent looking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism or doubt.
Great critics do not explicate a text; they describe it and then report on what they have described, if the description itself is not the criticism.