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Top 40 James P. Carse Quotes (2023 Update)

James P. Carse Quote: “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”
James P. Carse Quote: “To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Only that which can change can continue: this is the principle by which infinite players live.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Strength is paradoxical. I am not strong because I can force others to do what I wish as a result of my play with them, but because I can allow them to do what they wish in the course of my play with them.”
James P. Carse Quote: “It is, therefore, this fluidity that presents us with an unavoidable challenge: how to contain the serious within the truly playful; that is, how to keep all our finite games in infinite play.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Gardening is not outcome-oriented. A successful harvest is not the end of a gardener’s existence, but only a phase of it. As any gardener knows, the vitality of a garden does not end with a harvest. It simply takes another form. Gardens do not “die” in the winter but quietly prepare for another season.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Infinite speakers do not give voice to another, but receive it from another. Infinite speakers do not therefore appeal to a world as audience, do not speak before a world, but present themselves as an audience by way of talking with others. Finite speech informs another about the world-for the sake of being heard. Infinite speech forms a world about the other-for the sake of listening.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Storytellers do not convert their listeners; they do not move them into the territory of a superior truth. Ignoring the issue of truth and falsehood altogether, they offer only vision. Storytelling is therefore not combative; it does not succeed or fail. A story cannot be obeyed. Instead of placing one body of knowledge against another, storytellers invite us to return from knowledge to thinking, from a bounded way of looking to an horizonal way of seeing.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Nature is the realm of the unspeakable. It has no voice of its own, and nothing to say. We experience the unspeakability of nature as its utter indifference to human culture.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Surprise in infinite play is the triumph of the future over the past. Since infinite players do not regard the past as having an outcome, they have no way of knowing what has been begun there. With each surprise, the past reveals a new beginning in itself. Inasmuch as the future is always surprising, the past is always changing.”
James P. Carse Quote: “To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for possibility whatever the cost to oneself.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Our first response to hearing a story is the desire to tell it ourselves-the greater the story the greater the desire. We will go to considerable time and inconvenience to arrange a situation for its retelling. It is as though the story is itself seeking the occasion for its recurrence, making use of us as its agents. We do not go out searching for stories for ourselves; it is rather the stories that have found us for themselves.”
James P. Carse Quote: “It is not a matter of exposing one’s unchanging identity, the true self that has always been, but a way of exposing one’s ceaseless growth, the dynamic self that has yet to be.”
James P. Carse Quote: “The strategy of infinite players is horizontal. They do not go to meet putative enemies with power and violence, but with poiesis and vision. They invite them to become a people in passage. Infinite players do not rise to meet arms with arms; instead, they make use of laughter, vision, and surprise to engage the state and put its boundaries back into play.”
James P. Carse Quote: “If as a people infinite players cannot go to war against a people, they can act against war itself within whatever state they happen to reside. In one way their opposition to war resembles that of finite players: Each is opposed to the existence of a state. But their reasons and the strategies for attempting to eliminate states are radically different. Finite players go to war against states because they endanger boundaries; infinite players oppose states because they engender boundaries.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Just as the warmakers of Europe regularly melted down the bells to recast them into cannon, the metaphysicians have found the meaning of their myths and announced those meanings without their narrative resonance.”
James P. Carse Quote: “A culture can be no stronger than its strongest myths.”
James P. Carse Quote: “The fact that the technology of slaughter at vast distances has become extremely sophisticated does not culturally advance its highly trained operators over club-swinging primitives; it makes complete the blindness that was but rudimentary in the primitive. It is the supreme triumph of resentment over vision. We are the unseeing killing the unseen.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Although it may be evident enough in theory that whoever plays a finite game plays freely, it is often the case that finite players will be unaware of this absolute freedom and will come to think that whatever they do they must do.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Plato suggested that some of the poets be driven out of the Republic because they had the power to weaken the guardians. Poets can make it impossible to have a war-unless they tell stories that agree with the “general line” established by the state. Poets who have no metaphysics, and therefore no political line, make war impossible because they have the irresistible ability to show the guardians that what seems necessary is only possible.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Because it is address, attending always on the response of the addressed, infinite speech has the form of listening. Infinite speech does not end in the obedient silence of the hearer, but continues by way of the attentive silence of the speaker. It is not a silence into which speech has died, but a silence from which speech is born.”
James P. Carse Quote: “There is no possibility of conversation with a loudspeaker.”
James P. Carse Quote: “In the complex plotting of sexual encounter it is by no means uncommon for the partners to have played a double game in which each is winner and loser, and each is an emblem for the other’s seductive power.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Since machinery requires force from without, its use always requires a search for consumable power. When we think of nature as resource, it is as a resource for power. As we preoccupy ourselves with machinery, nature is increasingly thought of as a reservoir of needed substances. It is a quantity of materials that exist to be consumed, chiefly in our machines.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Since a flourishing society will vigorously exploit its natural resources, it will produce correspondingly great quantities of trash, and quickly its uninhabited lands will overflow with waste, threatening to make the society’s own habitation into a wasteland.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Nature does not change; it has no inside or outside. It is therefore not possible to travel through it. All travel is therefore change within the traveler, and it is for that reason that travelers are always somewhere else. To travel is to grow.”
James P. Carse Quote: “It is the impulse of a finite player to go against another nation in war, it is the design of an infinite player to oppose war within a nation.”
James P. Carse Quote: “True poets lead no one unawares. It is nothing other than awareness that poets-that is, creators of all sorts-seek. They do not display their art so as to make it appear real; they display the real in a way that reveals it to be art.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Gardeners slaughter no animals. They kill nothing. Fruits, seeds, vegetables, nuts, grains, grasses, roots, flowers, herbs, berries-all are collected when they have ripened, and when their collection is in the interest of the garden’s heightened and continued vitality. Harvesting respects a source, leaves it unexploited, suffers it to be as it is.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Oppressors themselves acknowledge that even the weakest of their subjects must agree to be oppressed.”
James P. Carse Quote: “The joyfulness of infinite play, its laughter, lies in learning to start something we cannot finish.”
James P. Carse Quote: “What Copernicus dispelled, however, were not myths but other explanations.”
James P. Carse Quote: “It is not the role of metaphor to draw our sight to what is there, but to draw our vision toward what is not there and, indeed, cannot be anywhere. Metaphor is horizonal, reminding us that it is one’s vision that is limited, and not what one is viewing.”
James P. Carse Quote: “The issue here is not whether self-veiling can be avoided, or even should be avoided. Indeed, no finite play is possible without it. The issue is whether we are ever willing to drop the veil and openly acknowledge, if only to ourselves, that we have freely chosen to face the world through a mask.”
James P. Carse Quote: “I can explain nothing to you unless I first draw your attention to patent inadequacies in your knowledge; discontinuities in the relations between objects, or the presence of anomalies you cannot account for by any of the laws known to you. You will remain deaf to my explanations until you suspect yourself of falsehood.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Victories occur in time, but the titles won in them are timeless. Titles neither age nor die.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Waste is unveiling, because it persists in showing itself as waste, and as our waste. If waste is the result of our indifference to nature, it is also the way we experience the indifference of nature. Waste is therefore a reminder that society is a species of culture. Looking about at the wasteland into which we have converted our habitation, we can plainly see that nature is not whatever we want it to be; but we can also plainly see that society is only what we want it to be.”
James P. Carse Quote: “To use the machine for control is to be controlled by the machine.”
James P. Carse Quote: “To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated. Education discovers an increasing richness in the past, because it sees what is unfinished there. Training regards the past as finished and the future as to be finished. Education leads toward a continuing self-discovery; training leads toward a final self-definition. Training repeats a completed past in the future. Education continues an unfinished past into the future.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Certain machines of extraordinary complexity have been built: spacecraft, for example, that sustain themselves for months in the void while performing complicated functions with great accuracy. But no machine has been made, nor can one be made, that has the source of its spontaneity within itself. A machine must be designed, constructed, and fueled.”
James P. Carse Quote: “A prediction is but an explanation in advance.”
James P. Carse Quote: “Infinite players die. Since the boundaries of death are always part of the play, the infinite player does not die at the end of play, but in the course of play.”
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