Friday, July 18, 2008

Quote: Quine on the Ancient Egyptians

I was looking through an old intellectual notebook of mine and I came across a cool quote I wrote down from W. V. O. Quine's autobiography, The Time of My Life:
The [Ancient] Egyptians… were gifted artists, brilliant engineers, indefatigable workers, and insane. Dazzling wealth, much of the economy of the world’s richest country, was buried forever, once in each reign, in a hidden and forgotten hole in the Theban desert or squandered on the fastidious megalithic masonry of a useless pyramin. It must be significant, somehow, that civilization at its first great height was so irrational (1985: 326-327).


  1. Mike, only you would refer to it as an 'intellectual notebook' rather than simply a 'notebook'. Classic.

  2. A great quotation - which I'd forgotten in this centennial year of his birth ( Interestingly his wife (my mother) was also an accomplished Egyptologist! (