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Arbitrariness   /ˈɑrbətrˌɛrinəs/   Listen

The trait of acting unpredictably and more from whim or caprice than from reason or judgment.  Synonyms: capriciousness, flightiness, whimsey, whimsicality, whimsy.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Arbitrariness" Quotes from Famous Books

... experience and therefore refuse to look for it there. If we were sure of our ground, we should be willing to acquiesce in the naturally different feelings and ways of others, as a man who is conscious of speaking his language with the accent of the capital confesses its arbitrariness with gayety, and is pleased and interested in the variations of it he observes in provincials; but the provincial is always zealous to show that he has reason and ancient authority to justify his oddities. So people who have no sensations, and do not know why ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... [you may confine the reflection to your brother, if it will pain you to extend it]; and this for the sake of preserving a temporary peace to herself; which was the less worth endeavouring to preserve, as it always produced a strength in the will of others, which subjected her to an arbitrariness that of course grew, and became established, upon her patience.—And now to give up the most deserving of her children (against her judgment) a sacrifice to the ambition and selfishness of the least deserving!—But I ...
— Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... bear upon this mass of impressions which is our "universe" the full rhythmic play of our complete identity this weirdness and arbitrariness disappear and we realize that we are, not this thought or this sensation or even this stream of thoughts and sensations, but the definite living "monad" which gives these things their only link of continuity and permanence. And it is better to accept experience, even ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... remarkable property, that they ought to exist, or at least that, if anything exists, it ought to conform to them. What exists, however, is deaf to this moral emphasis in the eternal; nature exists for no reason; and, indeed, why should she have subordinated her own arbitrariness to a good that is no less arbitrary? This good, however, is somehow good notwithstanding; so that there is an abysmal wrong in its not being obeyed. The world is, in principle, totally depraved; but as the good is not a power, there is no ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... Says the aforementioned Tennessee Report: "Even though the officers with their adherents (die alten Herrn Beamten mit ihrem Zugehoer) could perhaps themselves have thought so far [as to realize the arbitrariness of their procedure with reference to the 'Untimely Synod'], yet the desire to organize the General Synod and to bring about a union with all religious bodies, especially with the Presbyterians, was so strong as ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 1: Early History of American Lutheranism and The Tennessee Synod • Friedrich Bente

... and three livres the hour for the bailiff. The black brood of judicial leeches suck so much the more eagerly, because the more numerous, a still more scrawny prey, having paid for the privilege of sucking it.[1351] The arbitrariness, the corruption, the laxity of such a regime can be divined. "Impunity," says Renauldon, "is nowhere greater than in the seigniorial tribunals. . . . The foulest crimes obtain no consideration there," for the seignior dreads supplying the means for a criminal trial, while ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... completed. It can be exhausted by no theory, and only a divinatory criticism might dare to wish to characterize its ideal. It alone is infinite, even as it alone is free; and as its first law it recognizes that the arbitrariness of the poet brooks no superior law. The romantic style of poetry is the only one which is more than a style, and which is, as it were, poetry itself; for in a certain sense all poetry ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... efforts of individual teachers) as a result of divorce between learning and doing. The attempt to attach genuine moral effectiveness to the mere processes of learning, and to the habits which go along with learning, can result only in a training infected with formality, arbitrariness, and an undue emphasis upon failure to conform. That there is as much accomplished as there is shows the possibilities involved in methods of school activity which afford opportunity for reciprocity, cooperation, and ...
— Moral Principles in Education • John Dewey

Words linked to "Arbitrariness" :   flightiness, irresponsibility, irresponsibleness, arbitrary

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