On Reason and the Open Society

  • "I was, and I still am, an individualist in the sense that I realised that what mattered was that justice should prevail between individuals, and that concepts such as Mankind -- let alone Class -- are abstractions, perhaps important in some theoretical context, but sometimes exceedingly dangerous." (13)
  • "I have become convinced, moreover, that every simple formula is misleading." (13)
  • "This clearly shows us what is most relevant to the openness of a society: freedom of speech and the existence of an influential opposition." (14)
  • "I do not, of course, believe that an attitude of reasonableness is easy to adopt, or that all human beings are consistently rational: they are only rarely so. Nor do I believe in the 'force' of reason or the 'power' of reason. Rather, I believe that we have a choice between reason and force. I further believe that reason is the sole alternative to the use of violence; and I regard as criminal the use of force or violence where it could be avoided." (17)