"Among those who are satisfactory in this respect it is desirable to have represented as great a diversity of intellectual tradition, social milieu and personal character as possible."
"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."Talcott Parsons on Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized."Talcott Parsons on Albert Einstein
"Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized."Talcott Parsons on Albert Einstein
"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."Talcott Parsons on Malcolm X
"If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem."Talcott Parsons on Abraham Lincoln
"The functions of the family in a highly differentiated society are not to be interpreted as functions directly on behalf of the society, but on behalf of personality."
"But the scientific importance of a change in knowledge of fact consists precisely in j its having consequences for a system of theory."
"From all this it follows what the general character of the problem of the development of a body of scientific knowledge is, in so far as it depends on elements internal to science itself."
"It is probably safe to say that all the changes of factual knowledge which have led to the relativity theory, resulting in a very great theoretical development, are completely trivial from any point of view except their relevance to the structure of a theoretical system."
"It is that of increasing knowledge of empirical fact, intimately combined with changing interpretations of this body of fact - hence changing general statements about it - and, not least, a changing a structure of the theoretical system."