On Human Civilization


“Human civilization is a cumulative process, and any part of it is more easily and more quickly destroyed than rebuilt. No single generation can hope to build or rebuild it from the bottom, and hence we should gratefully accept and appreciate the building materials which past periods no less creative than ours have left us. It is an inheritance each generation is called upon to hand on to its successor. It cannot help neglecting and destroying part of this heritage, but it should always try to preserve what is worth preserving and to add something that is better in the place of what has been destroyed” (Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and Its Sources, pg. 210).


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