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Re: Origin of "contempt prior to investigation"

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 14, 2005

In Reply to: Origin of "contempt prior to investigation" posted by Michael StG on March 13, 2005

: Greetings,

: I spent the last 18 months researching this famous quotation which is widely attributed to Herbert Spencer:

: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

: I found this phrases site several months ago, and hoped to come back someday with an answer.

: I have discovered its origin and have authored a rather lengthy paper which can be viewed at:


: :Michael

That's one very impressive case study of a quotation/misquotation/mutation. The part I like best was the characterization of Jeremy Bentham as "Paley without the brimstone" (or some such). See, I can misquote, too. Michael has also put a few bones on Mme. Blavatsky, whom I have never bothered to look up. Thanks, Michael. SS