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principle
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Atlas Shrugged
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principle
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
Show Multiple Meanings (Less common than this sense)
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  • Remembering that you and I have disagreed so often in the past, I thought you would be gratified to see me acting in accordance with your principles.
  • No principle ever filled anybody’s milk bottle.
  • No principles have ever had any effect on society.
  • It was based on the principle of selflessness.
  • It has always been the belief of this column that certain kinds of horses should be kept bridled and locked, on general social principles.
  • It’s his basic principle that we must discover.
  • We can’t go by rigid principles, we’ve got to be flexible, we’ve got to adjust to the reality of the day and act on the expediency of the moment.
  • Go and try to pour a ton of steel without rigid principles, on the expediency of the moment.
  • His equipment is still there, though in a dreadful condition; some of his processes are known, but somehow there is no full record of the complete operation or the basic principle involved.
  • But what I wonder about, Mr. Rearden, is why you live by one code of principles when you deal with nature and by another when you deal with men?
  • The law, by which you are trying me, holds that there are no principles, that I have no rights and that you may do with me whatever you please.
  • The other kind of half is the man whom people call practical, the man who despises principles, abstractions, art, philosophy and his own mind.
  • See whether you can flout all moral principles and get away with it!
  • There are no absolute principles which-
  • But there aren’t any principles.
  • Morals or no morals, principles or no principles, just don’t sign it-because it isn’t right!
  • Morals or no morals, principles or no principles, just don’t sign it-because it isn’t right!
  • Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.
  • He then proceeded to discourse upon the foolishness of consistency in a world where nothing was absolute except the principle of compromise.
  • principle are such a nuisance," said Dr. Ferris, smiling, "and such a waste of time for all concerned.
  • If you want to see an abstract principle, such as moral action, in material form-there it is.
  • Oh, I know that you think you’re fighting for some sort of principle —but actually it’s only a matter of your incredible conceit.
  • I think you should remember that it’s not for you to make a stand on any sort of principle.
  • Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle-the principle of the public good.
  • Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle-the principle of the public good.
  • Do you know the kind of principle that represents?
  • So I acted on the principle that need comes first.
  • Don’t sign it, on principle.
  • "Dr. Akston quit on the principle of sound banking," said Midas Mulligan.
  • I quit on the principle of love.
  • It seemed to her that some destroyer was moving soundlessly through the country and the lights were dying at his touch-someone, she thought bitterly, who had reversed the principle of the Twentieth Century motor and was now turning kinetic energy into static.
  • Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money.
  • This silenced the president of the Atlantic Southern; he dared not admit that he cared for his railroad more than for the people of Germany; he dared not argue against the principle of sacrifice.
  • A prisoner brought to trial can defend himself only if there is an objective principle of justice recognized by his judges, a principle upholding his rights, which they may not violate and which he can invoke.
  • A prisoner brought to trial can defend himself only if there is an objective principle of justice recognized by his judges, a principle upholding his rights, which they may not violate and which he can invoke.
  • The eldest judge leaned forward across the table and his voice became suavely derisive: "You speak as if you were fighting for some sort of principle, Mr. Rearden, but what you’re actually fighting for is only your property, isn’t it?"
  • But whether this had been Boyle’s motive or whether it had been the principle of sacrifice, no one could tell and it made no difference: if Boyle had been a saint of the creed of selflessness, he would have had to do precisely what he had done.
  • Principles have no influence on public affairs.
  • "It’s too late for any scruples or any principles," said Ferris.
  • While I was busy conquering matter, I had surrendered to them the realm of the mind, of thought, of principle, of law, of values, of morality.
  • That’s a peculiarly crude way of stating a moral principle.
  • But that’s what your moral principle amounts to, doesn’t it?
  • Your standard of virtue is not an object, not an act, not a principle, but an intention.
  • One could prove nothing to a tribunal that had no stated policy, no defined procedure, no rules of evidence, no binding principles-a tribunal, such as the Unification Board, that pronounced men guilty or innocent as it saw fit, with no standard of guilt or innocence.
  • Although the gift program has gone through quite smoothly, there are still a few stubborn individualists left, who have failed to sign-small fry, really, whose patents are of no crucial value, but we cannot let them remain unbound, as a matter of principle, you understand.
  • You know it, not in honest statement, but as a dark uneasiness within you, while you flounder between guiltily cheating and grudgingly practicing a principle too vicious to name.
  • What principle?
  • If there aren’t any principles any more-and I guess the doc is right, because there sure aren’t-if there aren’t any rules to this game and it’s only a question of who robs whom-then I’ve got more votes than the bunch of you, there are more workers than employers, and don’t you forget it, boys!
  • To the service of that which you regard as evil: to a principle you do not share, to a person you do not respect, to the achievement of a purpose opposed to your own-else your gift is not a sacrifice.
  • But if you had to stand trial on another, much more serious charge, where Project X and the State Science Institute were not involved, and where you could not raise any issue of principle or arouse any public sympathy-why, that would not inconvenience us at all, but it would cost you more than you would care to contemplate.
  • All of their gross revenue is turned over to the Railroad Pool Board in Washington, which acts as trustee for the industry as a whole, and divides the total income among the various railroads, according to a …. a more modern principle of distribution.
  • And all men use them, because they are true of being qua being…… For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis…… Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say.
  • And all men use them, because they are true of being qua being…… For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis…… Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say.
  • And all men use them, because they are true of being qua being…… For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis…… Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say.
  • And this has brought us to a world where the more a man produces, the closer he comes to the loss of all his rights, until, if his ability is great enough, he becomes a rightless creature delivered as prey to any claimant-while in order to be placed above rights, above principles, above morality, placed where anything is permitted to him, even plunder and murder, all a man has to do is to be in need.
  • A moral code impossible to practice, a code that demands imperfection or death, has taught you to dissolve all ideas in fog, to permit no firm definitions, to regard any concept as approximate and any rule of conduct as elastic, to hedge on any principle, to compromise on any value, to take the middle of any road.
  • 14, was a professor of philosophy who taught that there is no mind-how do you know that the tunnel is dangerous?—no reality-how can you prove that the tunnel exists?no logic-why do you claim that trains cannot move without motive power?-no principles-why should you be bound by the law of cause and-effect?-no rights-why shouldn’t you attach men to their jobs by force?-no morality-what’s moral about running a railroad?-no absolutes-what difference does it make to you whether you live or…
  • Now would you care to be a martyr for an issue of principle, only in circumstances where nobody will know that that’s what you are-nobody but you and me-where you won’t get a chance to breathe a word about the issue or the principle-where you won’t be a hero, the creator of a spectacular new metal, making a stand against enemies whose actions might appear somewhat shabby in the eyes of the public-where you won’t be a hero, but a common criminal, a greedy industrialist who’s cheated the…
  • Now would you care to be a martyr for an issue of principle, only in circumstances where nobody will know that that’s what you are-nobody but you and me-where you won’t get a chance to breathe a word about the issue or the principle-where you won’t be a hero, the creator of a spectacular new metal, making a stand against enemies whose actions might appear somewhat shabby in the eyes of the public-where you won’t be a hero, but a common criminal, a greedy industrialist who’s cheated the…
  • At the end of your road of successive betrayals, stripped of weapons, of certainty, of honor, you commit your final act of treason and sign your petition of intellectual bankruptcy: while the muscle-mystics of the People’s States proclaim that they’re the champions of reason and science, you agree and hasten to proclaim that faith is your cardinal principle, that reason is on the side of your destroyers, but yours is the side of faith.
  • "What I can’t stand," said Mayor Bascom, "is people who talk about principles.
  • …and to know the minute when a train will arrive after crossing the span of a continent, we are expected to continue running steel mills and to know the molecular structure of every drop of metal in the cables of your bridges and in the body of the airplanes that support you in mid-airwhile the tribes of your grotesque little mystics of muscle fight over the carcass of our world, gibbering in sounds of non-language that there are no principles, no absolutes, no knowledge, no mind.
  • You’re only a businessman, you’re not qualified to deal with questions of principle, you ought to leave it to the experts who have conceded for centuries-"

  • There are no more uses of "principle" in the book.


    Show samples from other sources
  • I accept as a basic principle that all people are precious and should be treated with equal dignity.
  • One guiding principle is that everyone should be treated fairly.

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Show Multiple Meanings (Less common than this sense)
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