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 :: 1864-1929, American Sociologist

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''I'' is a militant social tendency, working to hold and enlarge its place in the general current of tendencies. So far as it can it waxes, as all life does. To think of it as apart from society is a palpable absurdity of which no one could be guilty who really saw it as a fact of life.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Egotism]

 

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A person of mature years and ripe development, who is expecting nothing from literature but the corroboration and renewal of past ideas, may find satisfaction in a lucidity so complete as to occasion no imaginative excitement, but young and ambitious students are not content with it. They seek the excitement because they are capable of the growth that it accompanies.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Books and Reading]

 

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A strange and somewhat impassive physiognomy is often, perhaps, an advantage to an orator, or leader of any sort, because it helps to fix the eye and fascinate the mind.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Faces]

 

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A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Talent]

 

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Between richer and poorer classes in a free country a mutually respecting antagonism is much healthier than pity on the one hand and dependence on the other, as is, perhaps, the next best thing to fraternal feeling.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Class]

 

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By recognizing a favorable opinion of yourself, and taking pleasure in it, you in a measure give yourself and your peace of mind into the keeping of another, of whose attitude you can never be certain. You have a new source of doubt and apprehension.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Praise]

 

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Each man must have his ''I''; it is more necessary to him than bread; and if he does not find scope for it within the existing institutions he will be likely to make trouble.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Individuality]

 

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Every general increase of freedom is accompanied by some degeneracy, attributable to the same causes as the freedom.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Freedom]

 

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If we divine a discrepancy between a man's words and his character, the whole impression of him becomes broken and painful; he revolts the imagination by his lack of unity, and even the good in him is hardly accepted.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Hypocrisy]

 

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In most cases a favorite writer is more with us in his book than he ever could have been in the flesh; since, being a writer, he is one who has studied and perfected this particular mode of personal incarnation, very likely to the detriment of any other. I should like as a matter of curiosity to see and hear for a moment the men whose works I admire; but I should hardly expect to find further intercourse particularly profitable.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Writers and Writing]

 

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Institutions -- government, churches, industries, and the like -- have properly no other function than to contribute to human freedom; and in so far as they fail, on the whole, to perform this function, they are wrong and need reconstruction.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Institutions]

 

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It is surely a matter of common observation that a man who knows no one thing intimately has no views worth hearing on things in general. The farmer philosophizes in terms of crops, soils, markets, and implements, the mechanic generalizes his experiences of wood and iron, the seaman reaches similar conclusions by his own special road; and if the scholar keeps pace with these it must be by an equally virile productivity.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Experts]

 

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No matter what a man does, he is not fully sane or human unless there is a spirit of freedom in him, a soul unconfined by purpose and larger than the practicable world.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Freedom]

 

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One of the great reasons for the popularity of strikes is that they give the suppressed self a sense of power. For once the human tool knows itself a man, able to stand up and speak a word or strike a blow.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Strikes]

 

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One who shows signs of mental aberration is, inevitably, perhaps, but cruelly, shut off from familiar, thoughtless intercourse, partly excommunicated; his isolation is unwittingly proclaimed to him on every countenance by curiosity, indifference, aversion, or pity, and in so far as he is human enough to need free and equal communication and feel the lack of it, he suffers pain and loss of a kind and degree which others can only faintly imagine, and for the most part ignore.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Madness]

 

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Simplicity is a pleasant thing in children, or at any age, but it is not necessarily admirable, nor is affectation altogether a thing of evil. To be normal, to be at home in the world, with a prospect of power, usefulness, or success, the person must have that imaginative insight into other minds that underlies tact and savoir-faire, morality and beneficence. This insight involves sophistication, some understanding and sharing of the clandestine impulses of human nature. A simplicity that is merely the lack of this insight indicates a sort of defect.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Simplicity]

 

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So far as discipline is concerned, freedom means not its absence but the use of higher and more rational forms as contrasted with those that are lower or less rational.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Discipline]

 

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The bashful are always aggressive at heart.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Shyness]

 

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The chief misery of the decline of the faculties, and a main cause of the irritability that often goes with it, is evidently the isolation, the lack of customary appreciation and influence, which only the rarest tact and thoughtfulness on the part of others can alleviate.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Disability]

 

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The general fact is that the most effective way of utilizing human energy is through an organized rivalry, which by specialization and social control is, at the same time, organized co-operation.
~ Charles Horton Cooley - [Competition]

 

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