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Human action   /hjˈumən ˈækʃən/   Listen
Human action

Something that people do or cause to happen.  Synonyms: act, deed, human activity.

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"Human action" Quotes from Famous Books

... shown that the two great principles underlying representation are organization and leadership. Now, after all, there is nothing very profound in this conclusion. Is there a single department of concerted human action in which these same principles are not apparent? What would be thought of an army without discipline and without generals; or of a musical production in which every performer played his own tune? Even in the region of sport, can a cricket or a football team dispense ...
— Proportional Representation Applied To Party Government • T. R. Ashworth and H. P. C. Ashworth

... produced, this pattern of kindly readers will accept it at its worth, without tearing its web apart, with the idle purpose of discovering how the threads have been knit together; for the sagacity by which he is distinguished will long ago have taught him that any narrative of human action and adventure whether we call it history or romance—is certain to be a fragile handiwork, more easily rent than mended. The actual experience of even the most ordinary life is full of events that never explain themselves, either as regards ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... this lady." But, alas! "Helena's intellectual deficiencies could not be concealed. She was proficient in the elements of no science. The doctrine of lines and surfaces was as disproportionate with her intellects as with those of the mock-bird. She had not reasoned on the principles of human action, nor examined the structure of society.... She could not commune in their native dialect with the sages of Rome and Athens.... The constitution of nature, the attributes of its Author, the arrangement of the parts of the external universe, ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... of this world are wise in their generation; and both the politician and the priest are justified by results. The living voice has an influence over human action altogether independent of the intellectual worth of that which it utters. Many years ago, I was a guest at a great City dinner. A famous orator, endowed with a voice of rare flexibility and power; a born actor, ranging with ease through every part, from refined comedy to tragic unction, ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... To the elementary part of our nature, to our passions, that which is great and passionate is eternally interesting; and interesting solely in proportion to its greatness and to its passion. A great human action of a thousand years ago is more interesting to it than a smaller human action of to-day, even though upon the representation of this last the most consummate skill may have been expended, and though it has the advantage ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... and permanent through all the ages. The changes of opinion and action, in the sense of morality, are due wholly to the difference of knowledge at successive periods. Just as the intellect is capable of determining the bearing and consequences of human action, and of fixing the intention with reference to such consequences, will the moral character of such action be pronounced, more or less correctly, according to the degree of enlightenment of the ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... with its subtle lights and shades, its poetry, its impressive contrasts, Shakespeare, as I said, conveys to us a strong sense of the tyranny of nature and [180] circumstance over human action. The most powerful expressions of this side of experience might be found here. The bloodless, impassible temperament does but wait for its opportunity, for the almost accidental coherence of time with place, and place with wishing, to annul its long and patient discipline, and ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... husband is a man of broad humor—one who calls a spade a spade, with no circumlocution about an agricultural implement. The wife of such a man is generally one of the ultra-refined kind, according to the odd law of compensation which regulates so much of human action, and thinks herself obliged to stand as the enduring censor of her husband's speech. As this is an example most frequently to be found in middle life, and where there are children belonging to the establishment, the word of warning is generally "papa!"—said with reproach or resentment, ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... principle of human action and obligation recognized in both Testaments, that when the requirements of human authority conflict with those of the Father of spirits we must obey God rather than man. The rights of conscience and ...
— Luther and the Reformation: - The Life-Springs of Our Liberties • Joseph A. Seiss

... training at home, which had rendered hostility to the nobility second nature to it. Had the Stuarts been the supporters of liberal ideas in England, their conduct would have given the lie to every known principle of human action. As their distrust of aristocracy rendered them despotically disposed, because the Scotch aristocracy had been the most lawless of mankind, so did they become attached to the Church of England because of the tyranny they had ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... heart—fewer I mean to say of those cold restraints, those gilded chains of society, which, like the ornaments that ladies wear upon their necks and arms, seem like fetters; but, I fear me, restrain but little human action, curb not passion, and are to the strong will but as the green rushes round the limbs of the Hebrew giant. Decorum came into England with the house of Hanover; but I am speaking of a period before that, when ladies ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... Lear. Under date of August the second, 1798, from Mount Vernon, he describes to him those fresh duties as hindrances to putting his private affairs in that order so necessary before he embarked in new scenes; it being his desire, before quitting the scene of human action, to leave his concerns in such a condition as to give as little trouble as possible to those who would have the management of them afterwards. Under this view of his situation he had written to the Secretary of War to be informed whether he was at liberty to appoint his secretary, ...
— Washington in Domestic Life • Richard Rush

... a character so widely expanding beyond the customary sphere of human action irresistibly arrests the attention of the heart that glows into admiration at striking examples of virtue, and of the head that feels interest in tracing the motives which influence the conduct ...
— A Walk through Leicester - being a Guide to Strangers • Susanna Watts

... reflected. He seemed to be struggling with self-interest; Chesnel thought that he had gained a hold on his enemy through the great motive of human action. At that supreme moment Mme. ...
— The Collection of Antiquities • Honore de Balzac

... can be called a new idea disturbed his outline sketch of the universe. He lived afterwards only to fill it in, showing with ever greater detail the relations of man to man in history, and emphasizing with greater grimness the war of good and evil in human action. There is evidence, it is true, that the formulae from which he more or less consciously set forth, ultimately proved too narrow for him, and we find him beating himself in vain against their limitations; still, on the whole, ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... based on an almost passionate sympathy with actual human nature. This is the fount of his inspiration, the central theme of his song. The literary genius of Greece showed little aptitude for landscape, and seldom treated inanimate nature except as a background for human action and emotion, or it may be in the guise of mythological allegory. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that Theocritus, so tenderly concerned with the homely aspects of human life, was not likewise sensitive to the beauties ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... we must study man: it is not for us to imagine what man might have done, or ought to have done, but to observe what he did." Of the origin and growth of a myth, for example, Raynal had no rational idea. When he found a myth, what he did was to reduce it to the terms of human action, and then coolly to describe it as historical. The ancient Peruvian legend that laws and arts had been brought to their land by two divine children of the Sun, Manco-Capac and his sister-wife Manca-Oello, is ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature, by showing men in all varieties of circumstances and situations, and furnishing us with materials from which we may form our observations and become acquainted with the regular springs of human action and behaviour. These records of wars, intrigues, factions, and revolutions, are so many collections of experiments, by which the politician or moral philosopher fixes the principles of his science, in the same manner as the physician or natural philosopher ...
— An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding • David Hume et al

Words linked to "Human action" :   stoppage, action, activity, leaving, equalization, forfeit, assessment, motivation, legitimation, uncovering, mitzvah, effectuation, disposition, judgment, group action, causing, disinterment, running away, hindrance, getting, obstetrical delivery, permissive waste, proclamation, egression, wear, nonaccomplishment, touching, nonachievement, stop, production, waste, actuation, sacrifice, implementation, promulgation, find, hire, forfeiture, derivation, discovery, leveling, abidance, disposal, touch, equalisation, inactivity, communicating, judgement, causation, distribution, recovery, speech act, communication, propulsion, acquiring, hinderance, digging up, rejection, residence, egress, departure, emergence, motivating, going away, residency, event, stay, wearing, interference, retrieval, going, delivery, mitsvah, leaning, assumption, exhumation

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