These quotations come from a wide variety of sources, primarily previous collections I have authored orcoauthored, most particularly,
Selected Quotations for the Ideological Skeptic
(Editorial Research Service, 1992).
Be Reasonable: Selected Quotations for Inquiring Minds
, by Laird Wilcox and John George (Prometheus, 1994),and
The Degeneration of Belief
, by Laird Wilcox (Editorial Research Service, 1999). Other sources include my ownnotes, quotations sent to me by friends, internet searching, and the reading of a very large number of books.It’s important to bear in mind that quotations are, almost by definition, statements removed from their originalcontext, i.e., brief statements taken from an often vastly larger work. Even in cases where the quotation is brief, tothe point and matter-of-fact, the larger work may frame it in a particular way that might get lost or muted whenconsidered apart from it. In addition, people are often inconsistent. A person may say one thing in a particularwork and then say something quite the opposite in another, or sometimes even the same work.Another factor to consider is state of mind. I have heard writers say, “I knew what I was thinking when I wrotethat,” implying that it was somehow different from what the statement appears to mean now when read by others,perhaps of a different persuasion. People are often inconsistent in their beliefs and double standards often appearin their writings. For example, a person may defend freedom of expression and write glowing statements in itsbehalf, and then advocate denying that same freedom when it is claimed by a hated person or group. Politiciansare particularly prone to this distressing behavior.Having said all of this, nevertheless the vast majority of quotations in this volume do, in fact, mean what theyappear to say in plain language. However, it’s important to realize that there may be cases in which the author orothers may dispute this. My advice is this: if you are going to use a quote from this volume in an important way,i.e., in an academic thesis or dissertation or in work for publication, it may be to your advantage to go to theoriginal source and determine its suitability and/or accuracy for yourself.Fair Use Notice: This compilation contains copyrighted quotations the use of which has not always beenspecifically authorized by the copyright holder. I am making these quotations available in an effort to advanceunderstanding of political, social, philosophical, legal and scientific issues. I believe this constitutes a “fair use”of any such copyrighted quotations as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance withTitle 17 U.S.C. Section 107 the quotations in this compilation are distributed without profit to those who haveexpressed a prior interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes. For furtherinformation please go to the web site maintained by the Cornell University School of Law: law/cornell.edu/uscode/17/107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this compilation for purposes of your own that gobeyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder.Laird Wilcox