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principle
used in Atlas Shrugged

63 uses
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Definition
a basic rule or belief
The exact meaning of principle can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "our guiding principles" — basic moral beliefs that guide decisions and behavior
  • "electromagnetic principles" — rules describing how the world works
  • "She lacks principles." — lacks moral guidelines
  • "We agree in principle." — about important basic beliefs
  • 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.
    1.6 Part 1 Chapter 6 — The Non-Commercial (47% in)
  • No principles have ever had any effect on society.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (49% in)
  • It has always been the belief of this column that certain kinds of horses should be kept bridled and locked, on general social principles.
    1.8 Part 1 Chapter 8 — The John Galt Line (33% in)
  • "What I can't stand," said Mayor Bascom, "is people who talk about principles.
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (7% in)
  • No principle ever filled anybody's milk bottle.
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (7% in)
  • It was based on the principle of selflessness.
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (72% in)
  • 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.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (11% in)
  • It's his basic principle that we must discover.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (53% in)
  • 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.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (61% in)
  • Go and try to pour a ton of steel without rigid principles, on the expediency of the moment.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (61% in)
  • 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.
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (3% in)
  • 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.
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (72% in)
  • 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.
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (72% in)
  • He then proceeded to discourse upon the foolishness of consistency in a world where nothing was absolute except the principle of compromise.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (25% in)
  • 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.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (28% in)
  • Issues of. principle are such a nuisance," said Dr. Ferris, smiling, "and such a waste of time for all concerned.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (29% in)
  • 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...
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (29% in)
  • 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...
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (29% in)
  • If you want to see an abstract principle, such as moral action, in material form-there it is.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (74% in)
  • 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?
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (75% in)
  • 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.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (6% in)
  • I think you should remember that it's not for you to make a stand on any sort of principle.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (7% in)
  • 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.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (47% in)
  • 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.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (47% in)
  • 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.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (47% in)
  • Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle-the principle of the public good.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (47% in)
  • Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle-the principle of the public good.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (47% in)
  • 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?"
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (53% in)
  • Do you know the kind of principle that represents?
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (53% in)
  • The other kind of half is the man whom people call practical, the man who despises principles, abstractions, art, philosophy and his own mind.
    2.4 Part 2 Chapter 4 — The Sanction of the Victim (88% in)
  • So I acted on the principle that need comes first.
    2.5 Part 2 Chapter 5 — Account Overdrawn (10% in)
  • 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.
    2.5 Part 2 Chapter 5 — Account Overdrawn (10% in)
  • 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.
    2.5 Part 2 Chapter 5 — Account Overdrawn (10% in)
  • See whether you can flout all moral principles and get away with it!
    2.5 Part 2 Chapter 5 — Account Overdrawn (99% in)
  • There are no absolute principles which-
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (27% in)
  • 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!
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (28% in)
  • Don't sign it, on principle.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (69% in)
  • But there aren't any principles.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (69% in)
  • Morals or no morals, principles or no principles, just don't sign it-because it isn't right!
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (69% in)
  • Morals or no morals, principles or no principles, just don't sign it-because it isn't right!
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (69% in)
  • 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.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (73% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (27% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (73% in)
  • -no principles-why should you be bound by the law of cause and-effect?
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (99% in)
  • Akston quit on the principle of sound banking," said Midas Mulligan.
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (81% in)
  • I quit on the principle of love.
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (81% in)
  • Principles have no influence on public affairs.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (31% in)
  • 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.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (52% in)
  • What principle?
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (52% in)
  • 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.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (89% in)
  • That's a peculiarly crude way of stating a moral principle.
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (37% in)
  • But that's what your moral principle amounts to, doesn't it?
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (37% in)
  • 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-"
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (38% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (41% in)
  • Your standard of virtue is not an object, not an act, not a principle, but an intention.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (43% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (44% in)
  • ...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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (55% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (77% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (79% in)
  • "It's too late for any scruples or any principles," said Ferris.
    3.9 Part 3 Chapter 9 — The Generator (42% in)
  • 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.
    3.10 Part 3 Chapter 10 — In the Name of the Best Among Us (94% in)
  • 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.
    3.10 Part 3 Chapter 10 — In the Name of the Best Among Us (95% in)
  • 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.
    3.10 Part 3 Chapter 10 — In the Name of the Best Among Us (95% in)

There are no more uses of "principle" in Atlas Shrugged.

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