Proust wanted autonomy and beauty; Nietzsche and Heidegger wanted autonomy and sublimity; Nabokov wanted beauty and self preservation; Orwell wanted to be of use to people who were suffering. They all succeeded. Each of them was brilliantly, equally, successful.
The principal backup for historiography is not philosophy but the arts, which serve to develop and modify a group’s self-image by, for example, apotheosizing its heroes, diabolizing its enemies, mounting dialogues among its members, and refocusing its attention.
It is not to find a way of altering one’s inner state, but rather to find better ways of helping us overcome the past in order to create a better future
Complaints about the social irresponsibility of the intellectuals typically concern the intellectual’s tendency to marginalize herself, to move out from one community by interior identification of herself with some other community-for example, another country or historical period, an invisible college, or some alienated subgroup within the larger community.
She/He is a network that is constantly reweaving itself in the usual Quinean manner-that is to say, not by reference to general criteria (e.g., “rules of meaning” or “moral principles”) but in the hit-or-miss way in which cells readjust themselves to meet the pressures of the environment.