Principium Volume II, Book 10, Quote 961, 963, and 965

961. (11-15-2010) Our inquiry is not after that which is perfect, well knowing that no such thing is found among men; but we seek that human Constitution which is attended with the least, or the most pardonable inconveniences.

- Algernon Sidney, 1623-1683


963. (11-15-2010) If old truths are to retain their hold on men's minds, they must be restated in the language and concepts of successive generations. What one time are their most effective expressions gradually become so worn with use that they cease to carry a definite meaning. The underlying ideas may be as valid as ever, but the words, even when they refer to problems that are still with us, no longer convey the same conviction; the arguments do not move in a context familiar to us; and they rarely give us direct answers to the questions we are asking.

- Friedrich A Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty, 1978


(This is the problem of truth, though it may be there for the learning and taking, each generation must be enticed to take it up and make it their own. But, oh, how short sighted is man, for he often thinks he must discover a new truth. However, he usually ends up repeating an old wrong, just as forgotten as the old truth because man does not easily retain generational continuity of wisdom. And maybe that is to ensure that each person, society, generation, has their own test, displaying their own willingness to discover and use truth or to cast it aside.)ATJ


965. (11-15-2010) Though this was from an original concern with problems of economic policy that I started, I have been slowly led to the ambitious and perhaps presumptuous task of approaching them (questions of social policy)ATJ through a comprehensive restatement of the basic principles of a philosophy of freedom….If we are to regain a coherent conception of our aims (the structure of a free society)ATJ, similar attempts (that of learning outside your specialty)ATJ should probably be made more often. One thing, in fact, which the work on this book has taught me is that our freedom is threatened in many fields because of the fact that we are much too ready to leave the decisions to the expert or to accept too uncritically his opinion about a problem of which he knows intimately only one little aspect.

- Friedrich A. Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty, 1978

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