Carl Becker

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Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.
Victor Hugo
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Carl Becker (September 7, 1873, near Waterloo, Iowa, U.S. - April 10, 1945, Ithaca, N.Y.) was an American historian of early American intellectual history and on the Enlightenment.

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  • "One of the first duties of man is not to be duped."
  • "No one can deny that much of our modern advertising is essentially dishonest; and it can be maintained that to lie freely and all the time for private profit is not to abuse the right of free speech, whether it is a violation of the law or not. But again the practical question is, how much lying for private profit is to be permitted by law?"
  • “A professor, as the German saying has it, is a man who thinks otherwise. Now an able and otherwise-thinking president [or Dean of Faculty], surrounded by able and otherwise-thinking professors, each resolutely thinking otherwise in his own manner, each astounded to find that the others, excellent fellows as he knows them in the main to be, so often refuse in matters of the highest import to be informed by knowledge or guided by reason [you’ve seen this happen]æthis is indeed always an arresting spectacle and may indeed sometimes seem to be a futile performance. Yet it is not futile unless great universities are futile.”

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