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Kenneth Burke Quotes


A major American literary theorist and philosopher.
(1897 - 1993)

Creation implies authority in the sense of originator. The possibility of a 'Fall' is implied in a Covenant insofar as the idea of a Covenant implies the possibility of its being violated.
 

Dignity belongs to the conquered.
 

For no continuity of social act is possible without a corresponding social status and the many different kinds of act required in an industrial state, with its high degree of specialization, make for corresponding classification of status.
 

If decisions were a choice between alternatives, decisions would come easy. Decision is the selection and formulation of alternatives.
[Decisions]
 

Men seek for vocabularies that are reflections of reality. To this end, they must develop vocabularies that are selections of reality. And any selection of reality must, in certain circumstances, function as a deflection of reality.
 

Our purpose is simply to ask how theological principles can be shown to have usable secular analogues that throw light upon the nature of language.
 

We not only interpret the character of events... we may also interpret our interpretations.