Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Boxing legend "Iron" Mike Tyson was one of the worlds most feared boxers when he was at his peak (1987-1990).

2008 Image from

Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson, also known as Malik Abdul Aziz, (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American boxer. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion and remains the youngest man ever to win a world heavyweight title at just 19 years old. Throughout his career, Tyson became well-known for his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring.
Nicknamed "Kid Dynamite", "Iron Mike," and "The Baddest Man on the Planet," Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 13 in the first round. He unified the belts in the splintered heavyweight division in the late 1980s. Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for over two years, before losing to 42-to-1 underdog Buster Douglas in 1990.
Tyson has been quoted saying, “I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally.” Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime neighborhoods. He was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. He was constantly molested by older children in his neighborhood. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times. He ended up at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York. It was at the school that Tyson's emerging boxing ability was discovered by Deshawn Stewart, a juvenile detention center counselor and former boxer. Stewart considered Tyson to be an outstanding fighter and trained him for a few months before introducing him to Cus D'Amato.

Cus D'Amato

Tyson competed at the 1982 Junior Olympic Games, where he won Gold. He fought Henry Tillman twice as an amateur losing both bouts by close decision. Tillman went on to win heavyweight Gold at the Los Angeles Olympics.
'That was when Mike really showed his strength of character. The Olympics would have been something really special.'
-Cus D'Amato
Coming off a narrow points defeat to Henry Tillman in the Olympic Trials, Mike Tyson and his entire sponsoring team were stunned when Tillman managed a second victory over the seemingly invincible man-child. Tillman went on to win the Gold Medal in the Olympic games. Tyson went on to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history, and incidentally to annihilate Henry Tillman in less than one round in their third and final ring meeting. This time as professionals.

The Day The Dream Died...
July 6, 1984

Beginning of the End
Mike Tyson v. Henry Tillman
16 June 1990

Tyson made his professional debut on March 6, 1985, in Albany, New York. He defeated Hector Mercedes with a first round knockout. Fighting frequently in his first two years as a professional, Tyson won 26 of his first 28 fights by knockout--16 in the first round. The quality of his opponents gradually increased to journeyman fighters and borderline contenders, and his win streak attracted media attention, leading to his being billed as the next great heavyweight champion. D'Amato died in November 1985, relatively early into Tyson's professional career; some speculate that his death was the genesis of many of the troubles Tyson was to experience later as his life and career progressed.
On November 22, 1986, Tyson was given his first title fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. Tyson won the title by second round TKO, and at the age of 20 years and 4 months became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Historic fight
Nov 22, 1086

At 2:35 seconds of round number two Michael Tyson had literally sent Trevor Berbick reeling and with him the entire boxing world, as he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Mike Tyson Circa. 1986
Original Autographed Modern Photograph

Mike Tyson Circa 1986 Image
Modern Photograph
Signed by Mike Tyson

Boxing: Mike Tyson vs Trevor Berbick
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Because of Tyson's strength, many fighters were said to be too intimidated to hit him and this was backed up by his outstanding hand speed, accuracy, coordination, power, and timing. Tyson was also noted for his defensive abilities. Holding his hands high in the Peek-a-Boo style taught by his mentor Cus D'Amato, he slipped and weaved out of the way of the opponent's punches while closing the distance to deliver his own punches. One of Tyson's trademark combinations was to throw a right hook to his opponent's body, then follow it up with a right uppercut to his opponent's chin.

Mike Tyson Training Highlight
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Expectations for Tyson were extremely high, and he embarked on an ambitious campaign to fight all the top heavyweights in the world. Tyson defended his title against James 'Bonecrusher' Smith on March 7, 1987, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He won by unanimous decision and added Smith's World Boxing Association (WBA) title to his existing belt.

Mike Tyson
Vintage Original Autographed Cover
March 1987 Issue

Mike Tyson Vs Bonecrusher Smith Part II
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Tyson mania' in the media was becoming rampant. He beat Pinklon Thomas in May 1987 with a knockout in the sixth round.

Boxing Mike Tyson Vs Pinklon Thomas
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

On August 1 1987 he took the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker in a twelve round unanimous decision.

Mike Tyson vs Tony TNT Tucker
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

He became the first heavyweight to own all three major belts — WBA, WBC, and IBF — at the same time.

Tyson Coronation Ceremony
Vintage Original Proclamation from the Ceremony

Bad Intentions
The Mike Tyson Story
by Peter Heller
New American Library
A Division of Penguin Books
New York. 1989. 378 pp. . Illust.

Another fight in 1987 was in October that ended with a victory for Tyson by knockout in the seventh round, against 1984 Olympics Super Heavyweight Gold Medallist Tyrell Biggs.

Mike Tyson v Tyrell Biggs

By many accounts, Mike Tyson continued to harbor the bitter frustration of his 1984 Olympic trial defeat, even after his record breaking performance as a professional. With the making of the fight with Tyrell Biggs, the Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist at the 1984 games, and a bitter exchange of words in the media came Tyson's opportunity to exact some measure of retribution.
Tyrell Biggs under the able guidance of Angelo Dundee was a superior athlete and built much in the mold of Muhammad Ali. Taller, with a longer reach and stiff jab, Biggs had the tools to fend off the small always on rushing Tyson. For two minutes of round number one Tyrell Biggs did just that, but Tyson was not to be denied. By round three the bloodied and battered Biggs could have been a knockout victim at any moment. Instead Tyson was to say later, " He does not show any class as a professional boxer, so I made him pay for his actions with his health." Seven long rounds, and two knockdowns later the end came for Tyrell Biggs at 2:59 of round number seven. It was Tyson's first defense of the unifed title.
Tyson had three fights in 1988. He faced Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988, and defeated the legendary former champion by fourth round knockout. This was the only knockout loss Holmes suffered in 75 professional bouts.

Mike Tyson Vs Larry Holmes
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In March, Tyson then fought contender Tony Tubbs in Tokyo, Japan, fitting in an easy two-round victory amid promotional and marketing work. On June 27, 1988, Tyson faced Michael Spinks. Spinks, who had taken the heavyweight championship from Larry Holmes via a 15-round decision in 1985, had not lost his title in the ring but was not recognized as champion by the major boxing organizations. Holmes had previously given up all but the IBF title, and that was eventually stripped from Spinks after he elected to fight Gerry Cooney (winning by a 5th-round TKO) rather than IBF Number 1 Contender Tony Tucker, as the Cooney fight provided him a larger purse. However, Spinks did become the lineal champion by beating Holmes and many (including Ring magazine) considered him to have a legitimate claim to being the true heavyweight champion. Tyson knocked out Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. Spinks, previously unbeaten, would never fight professionally again.

Tyson vs. Spinks
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In late 1988, Tyson fired longtime trainer Kevin Rooney, the man many credit for honing Tyson's craft after the death of D'Amato. Without Rooney, Tyson's skills quickly deteriorated and he became more prone to looking for the one-punch knockout, rather than using the combinations that brought him to stardom. He also began to head-hunt, neglecting to attack the opponent's body first. In addition, he lost his defensive skills and began to barrel straight in toward the opponent, neglecting to jab and slip his way in. In 1989, Tyson had only two fights amid personal turmoil. He faced the popular British boxer Frank Bruno in February in a fight where Bruno managed to stun Tyson at the end of the 1st round, although Tyson went on to knock out Bruno in the fifth round. Tyson then knocked out Carl "The Truth" Williams in one round in July.
In 1989, Tyson was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Central State University in Ohio.
By 1990, Tyson seemed to have lost direction, and his personal life and training habits were in disarray. In a fight on February 11, 1990, he lost the undisputed championship to James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo. Tyson was a 1/42 favorite, but Douglas was at an emotional peak after losing his mother to a stroke 23 days prior to the fight, and fought the fight of his life. Tyson failed to find a way past Douglas's quick jab that had a 12-inch (30 cm) reach advantage over his own. Tyson did send Douglas to the floor in the eighth round, catching him with an uppercut, but Douglas recovered sufficiently to hand Tyson a heavy beating in the subsequent two rounds (after the fight, the Tyson camp would complain that the count was slow and that Douglas had taken longer than ten seconds to get to his feet). Just 35 seconds into the 10th round, Douglas unleashed a brutal combination of blows that sent Tyson to the canvas for the first time in his career. He was counted out by referee Octavio Meyran.

Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

The knockout victory by Douglas over Tyson, the previously undefeated "baddest man on the planet" and arguably the most feared boxer in professional boxing at that time, has been described as one of the most shocking upsets in modern sports history.
Tyson was arrested in July 1991 for the rape of Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, in an Indianapolis hotel room. Tyson was convicted on the charge on February 10, 1992.
Under Indiana law, a defendant convicted of a felony must begin serving his prison sentence immediately after the sentence is imposed. He was given a sentence of six years and was released in March 1995 after serving three years. During his incarceration, Tyson converted to Islam.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Loved By Few, Hated By Many, Respect By All...
Mike Tyson's return to the ring following his incarceration

With Mike Tyson's return to the ring following his incarceration, the King organization undertook a juxtapositon approach to the marketing of Mighty Mike.
As Tyson's entourage sported "Kick Ass" hats, and the Loved by Few...logos, the King organization promoted Team Tyson A Family Affaire, a line of men's clothing and the Mike Tyson Fan Club.
As someone once said of Jerry Lee Lewis, " If Jerry Lee had had a Colonel Parker he would have been bigger than Elvis." Then, after a moments thought the person went on, "Ah, but Jerry Lee wasn't managable" and Mike Tyson could not be packaged he was his own creation.
(From Mike Tyson Fan Club Flag)
After Mike Tyson lost a final court appeal to keep records of his recent psychiatric examinations private, the Nevada Athletic Commission released the reports on Tuesday, October 13. A team of doctors concluded that Tyson, who has petitioned Nevada boxing regulators to be relicensed, was fit to box again. Below you will find the September 30 report prepared by the independent group of specialists assigned to examine the former heavyweight champion.
(10 pages at
Upon release, Tyson turned his attentions to a ring-return and after just two fights, he was matched against Frank Bruno for the WBC title. Tyson had beaten Bruno in 1989 and seven years after the first fight, he had fewer problems, winning in three rounds.

Mike Tyson
Circa 1995

Mike Tyson v Frank Bruno II
16 March 1996

Eight months later, in what was supposed to be an easy night's work, the new champion was dethroned by Holyfield and as staggering as the result was, it was merely a prologue to what took place in the rematch. The second fight, in June 1997, saw Tyson disqualified for biting his opponent's ear twice - the loser was later fined and suspended for his actions.

Mike Tyson v Evander Holyfield
9 November 1996
MGM Grand
Modern Color Photograph on Kodak Paper 2000-7574

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield (1st fight)
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield (2nd fight)
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Since then, there has been further time in jail, more controversy and a split with King. Many hoped that Tyson would finally be able to silence his critics, but his display against Lennox Lewis showed otherwise. Sadly, with financial problems now surrounding him, there is every chance that Tyson will fight on. That would be sad for boxing and dangerous for him because one of the most fearsome fighters in history no longer packs a punch.
(Story from BBC SPORT at, Published: 2003/04/30 15:40:57 GMT, © BBC MMVIII)
Since then, the former world boxing champ has fought in several lackluster matches including an 8th round loss to Lennox Lewis in 2002. Tyson also suffered a knock-out in the fourth round by British boxer Danny Williams in 2004.

Tyson vs Lewis documentary
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

His last bout on June, 11 2005 vs Ireland's Kevin McBride was thought have finally ended Tyson's career when he was pushed to the canvas by the 6-foot-6, 250 pound McBride.
In 2006, Tyson announced his part in the mixed martial arts PRIDE series of exhibition fights at the Alladin Hotel in Las Vegas. While Tyson's 2006 return to the ring is being popularly described as a freak show, or Sideshow Mike, the former champ now refers to himself as simply a working "entertainer."
And in yet another reincarnation of the boxer's career, Tyson is also said to be embarking on a foray into Bollywood, where he is slated to appear in a music video promoting the film comedy "Fool n Final", subsequently leading to talks regarding Tyson starring in full-fledged Bollywood film roles.
In August, Tyson fought in the legal arena against charges of DUI and cocaine possession following his arrest by Scottsdale, Arizona police in 2006.
The following year, Tyson got the full Hollywood treatment at the Cannes Film Festival with the world premiere of Tyson, a documentary about the controversial boxer's life and career.
(copyright © 1999 - 2009)

Mike Tyson's Pictures
Several pictures of Mike Tyson

Tyson established an impressive list of accomplishments, mostly early in his career:
National Golden Gloves Champion Heavyweight 1984
Undisputed Heavyweight champion (held all three major championship belts; WBA, IBF, and WBC) — August 1, 1987 – February 11, 1990
WBC Heavyweight Champion — November 22, 1986 – February 11, 1990, March 16, 1996 – 1997 (Vacated)
WBA Heavyweight Champion — March 7, 1987 – February 11, 1990, September 7, 1996 – November 9, 1996
IBF Heavyweight Champion — August 1, 1987 – February 11, 1990
Youngest Heavyweight champion—20 years and 4 months
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year—1988
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality—1989
Ring magazine Prospect of the Year—1985
Amateur record: 24-3
Pro record: 49-3-0-1 (43 KOs)

Muhammad Ali VS Iron Mike Tyson?:

©2008 Mike Tyson - The best for Videos, News,
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Mike Tyson vs Muhammad Ali (Battle of the Greats)
Made by Matt Locke
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Tyson V Trevor Berbick 1986
Tyson V Mitch Green 1986
Tyson V James "bonecrusher" Smith 1987
Tyson V Tony "TNT" Tucker 1987
Tyson V Mike Spinks 1988
Tyson V Larry Holmes 1988
Tyson V Frank Bruno I 1989
Tyson V James Douglas 1990
Tyson V Donovan Ruddock 1 and 2 1991
Tyson V Buster Mathis 1995
Tyson V Peter McNeely 1995
Tyson V Evander Holyfield 1996
Tyson V Bruce Seldon 1996
Tyson V Frank Bruno 2 1996
Tyson V Evander Holyfield 2 1997
Tyson V Orlin Norris 1999
Tyson V Francois Botha 1999
Tyson V Andrew Golota2000
Tyson V Lou Savarese 2000
Tyson V Jules Francis 2000
Tyson V Brian Nielsen 2001
Tyson V Lennox Lewis2002
Tyson V Cliff Etienne2003

Copyright © 2008 In Case You Didn’t Know

Mike Tyson Tribute Page

The true tragedy of Michael Tyson's professional life does not lie in squandered potential, nor criminal behavior, but rather in the sad fact that he, perhaps the greatest of all heavyweight fist fighters, was just simply born too late.
In a society that scrutinizes it leaders into mediocrity, that expects it's war's to be without casualties, it's violence to all be correographed by Hollywood, there is no place for a true fist fighter. As modern society glorified Dempsey and mourned Ketchel , they villified, condemned and crucified the one last true keeper of the flame. In truth , Michael Tyson spent more years exiled from the ring than Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali combined. His remarkable talent sacrificied on the pyre of public opinion.
-Michael Gerard Tyson, on 'The Last American Fist Fighter' by Harry Shaffer.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Muhammad Ali, bust portrait
World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg.
Source: Library of Congress Prints
& Photographs Division
New York World-Telegram
& the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection
Date 1967
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muhammad Ali
Fight Pose
Vintage Original Photograph

Shaun Boothe - U.A.B of MUHAMMAD ALI

Ali was known for his fighting style, which he described as "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". Throughout his career Ali made a name for himself with great handspeed, as well as swift feet and taunting tactics. While Ali was renowned for his fast, sharp out-fighting style, he also had a great chin, and displayed great courage and an ability to take a punch throughout his career.
Clay was first directed toward boxing by the white Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who encountered the then twelve-year-old Cassius Clay fuming over the fact that his bicycle had been stolen. However, without Martin knowing, Clay also began training with Fred Stoner, an African-American trainer working at the local community center. In this way, Clay could make $4 a week on Tomorrow's Champions, a local, weekly TV show that Martin hosted, while benefiting from the coaching of the more experienced Stoner, who continued working with Clay throughout his amateur career.
Clay's last amateur loss was to Kent Green of Chicago, who could say he was the last person to defeat the champion until Ali lost to Joe Frazier in 1971 as a pro. Under Stoner's guidance, Cassius Clay went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Clay's record was 100 wins, with five losses, when he ended his amateur career.
Ali states (in his 1975 autobiography) that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after being refused service at a 'whites-only' restaurant, and fighting with a white gang. Whether this is true is still debated, although he was given a replacement medal during the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he lit the torch to start the games.
After his Olympic triumph, Clay returned to Louisville to begin his professional career. There, on October 29, 1960, he won his first professional fight, a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker, who was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia.

"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Standing tall, at 6-ft, 3-in (1.91 m), Clay had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on foot speed and quickness to avoid punches and carried his hands low. From 1960 to 1963, the young fighter amassed a record of 19-0, with 15 knockouts. He defeated boxers such as Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, Lamar Clark (who had won his previous 40 bouts by knockout), Doug Jones and Henry Cooper.

Muhammed Ali vs. Henry Cooper
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Clay built a reputation by correctly predicting the round in which he would "finish" several opponents, and by boasting before his triumphs. Clay admitted he adopted the latter practice from "Gorgeous" George Wagner, a popular professional wrestling champion in the Los Angeles area who drew thousands of fans. Often referred to as "the man you loved to hate," George could incite the crowd with a few heated remarks, and Ali followed suit.
Among Clay's victims were Sonny Banks (who knocked him down during the bout), Alejandro Lavorante, and the aged Archie Moore (a boxing legend who had fought over 200 previous fights, and who had been Clay's trainer prior to Angelo Dundee). Clay had considered continuing using Moore as a trainer following the bout, but Moore had insisted that the cocky "Louisville Lip" perform training camp chores such as sweeping and dishwashing. He also considered having his idol, Sugar Ray Robinson, as a manager, but instead hired Dundee.
At the time of the first fight in 1964, Liston was the world heavyweight champion, having beaten Floyd Patterson by a first round knockout in September 1962. With an impressive knockout record to that point, Liston was a fighter whom many other heavyweights were reluctant to meet in the ring. For example, Henry Cooper said that if Cassius Clay [Ali's name at the time] won, he was interested in a title fight, but if Liston won, he was not going to get in the ring with him. Cooper's manager Jim Wicks said, "We don't even want to meet Liston walking down the same street."[1] Liston was an ex-con with ties to organized crime whose ominous, glowering demeanor was so central to his image that Esquire Magazine caused a controversy by posing him in a Santa Claus hat for its December 1963 cover.
Cassius Clay, on the other hand, was a glib, fast-talking 22-year-old challenger who enjoyed the spotlight. He had won the light-heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics and had great hand and foot speed — not to mention a limitless supply of braggadocio and confidence.
Nevertheless, Clay had been knocked down by journeyman Sonny Banks in 1962 and by the hard-hitting Henry Cooper in 1963. Few observers and fans believed he could beat Liston. Furthermore, the brash Clay was not liked by most reporters. Lester Bromberg's forecast in the New York World-Telegram was typical. Bromberg predicted, "It will last almost the entire first round." The Los Angeles Times' Jim Murray observed, "The only thing at which Clay can beat Liston is reading the dictionary," adding that the faceoff between two unlikeable athletes would be "the most popular fight since Hitler and Stalin--180 million Americans rooting for a double knockout." The New York Times' regular boxing writer Joe Nichols declined to cover the fight, assuming it would be a mismatch. By fight time, Clay was a seven to one betting underdog.
The television series "I've Got A Secret" did multiple segments about the title fight. Panelists Bill Cullen, Henry Morgan and Betsy Palmer predicted that Liston would win in the third, second, and first rounds, respectively. Host Garry Moore was even more pessimistic about Clay's chances, estimating a Liston Knockout "in the very early moments of round one," adding, "if I were Cassius, I would catch a cab and leave town". Actor Hal March went a step further: "I think the fight will end in the dressing room. I think [Clay] is going to faint before he comes out."
The night before the first fight, on February 24, 1964, the show featured Clay and Liston's sparring partners as guests. Harvey Jones brought with him a lengthy rhyming boast from Cassius Clay:
"Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat, if Liston goes back an inch farther he'll end up in a ringside seat. Clay swings with a left, clay swings with a right, just look at young Cassius carry the fight. Liston keeps backing but there's not enough room, it's a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom. Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing, and the punch raised the bear clear out of the ring. Liston still rising and the ref wears a frown, but he can't start counting until Sonny comes down. Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic and our radaring stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic. Who on Earth thought, when they came to the fight, that they would witness the launching of a human satellite. Hence the crowd did not dream, when they laid down their money, that they would see a total eclipse of Sonny."
– Cassius Clay, As read on CBS' I've Got a Secret.
Jesse Bowdry brought a much terser written message from Sonny Liston:
"Cassius, you're my million dollar baby, so please don't let anything happen to you before tomorrow night."
– Sonny Liston, As read on CBS' I've Got a Secret.
The following week, "I've Got a Secret" brought on two sportswriters, whose secret was that they had been the only writers to correctly predict Clay's victory.
During training, Clay took to driving his entourage in a bus over to the site where Liston was training, and repeatedly called Liston the "big, ugly bear". Liston grew increasingly irritated as the motormouthed Clay continued hurling insults ("After the fight I'm gonna build myself a pretty home and use him as a bearskin rug. Liston even smells like a bear. I'm gonna give him to the local zoo after I whup him... if Sonny Liston whups me, I'll kiss his feet in the ring, crawl out of the ring on my knees, tell him he's the greatest, and catch the next jet out of the country."). Clay insisted to a skeptical press that he would knock out Liston in eight rounds.
Clay's outbursts continued at the pre-fight physical the day before the event. Clay worked himself into such a frenzy that his heartrate registered an astonishing 120 beats per minute. Many observers took this to mean that Clay was either terrified or not in the proper shape. However, Clay's heartrate was back to normal by the official weigh-in.
Liston's title defense against Clay was held on February 25, 1964, in Miami Beach, Florida. The fight began with Clay showing a lot of movement, using a fast, effective jab and quick flurries of combinations. This made it difficult for Liston to score with his slower armspeed and heavy punches. In the third round, Clay opened up his attack and hit Liston with several combinations, causing a bruise under Liston's right eye and a cut under his left. During the fourth round, Clay coasted, keeping his distance. However, when he returned to his corner, Clay started complaining that there was something burning in his eyes and that he could not see.
It has been theorized that a substance used to stop Liston's cuts from bleeding (possibly Monsel's Solution) may have caused the irritation, but this has never been confirmed. In any case, Angelo Dundee rinsed Clay's eyes with a sponge and pushed him off his stool to begin the fifth round, telling him to stay away from Liston.
Clay managed to survive the fifth round. By the sixth his sight had cleared, and he resumed control of the fight, landing combinations of punches seemingly at will. On his stool following the sixth round, Liston told his cornermen that he couldn't continue, complaining of a shoulder injury. He failed to answer the bell for the seventh round and Clay was declared the winner by technical knockout.

Cassius Clay vs Liston 1964 - I am the Greatest
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Sensing that he had made history, Clay sprang to the center of the ring, did a victory jig and then quickly ran to the ropes to remind sportswriters that he had told them so all along. In a scene that has been rebroadcast countless times over the ensuing decades, Clay repeatedly yelled "I'm the greatest!" and "I shook up the world!"

"I shook up the world!"
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

The day after the fight, Clay announced that he was changing his name to Muhammad Ali.

Elijah Muhammad addresses followers including Cassius Clay
World Telegram & Sun photo by Stanley Wolfson.
Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection
Date 1964

Because of the unexpected ending of the first bout, boxing authorities ordered a rematch, this time with Liston as challenger. Originally scheduled for Boston, Massachusetts in November 1964, the fight was postponed six months when Ali needed emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia. However, since the promoters did not have a license in Massachusetts, the fight eventually was moved to a small auditorium in Lewiston, Maine, the state's second largest city. Due to the remote location (140 miles north of Boston), only 2,434 fans were present, setting the all-time record for the lowest attendance for a heavyweight championship fight.
The ending of the second fight remains one of the most controversial in boxing history. Midway through the first round, Liston fell to the canvas, in what many have argued was not a legitimate knockdown. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott, a former world heavyweight champion himself, appeared confused after Ali refused to reatreat to a neutral corner. Instead, Ali stood over his fallen opponent, gesturing and yelling at him to get up. The moment was captured by ringside photographer Neil Leifer, and has become one of the iconic images of sport. Ali then posed over him, with his fists in the air celebrating the knockdown. While Walcott tried to sort out the situation, 20 seconds passed, and by then Liston had gotten to his feet and resumed boxing. Nat Fleischer, publisher of The Ring, finally alerted Walcott that Liston had spent more than the requisite 10 seconds on the canvas, and Walcott stopped the fight — awarding Ali a first-round knockout.

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston (1965)
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In November 1965 Ali fought Floyd Patterson in his second title defense including his rematch with Liston. Patterson lost by technical knockout at the end of the 12th round in a bout that mirrored what he would later do against Ernie Terrell, savagely beating his opponent but refusing to knock him out. Ali was scheduled to fight WBA champion Ernie Terrell (the WBA stripped Ali of his title after he announced his conversion) in a unification bout in Toronto on March 29, but Terrell backed out and Ali won a 15-round decision against substitute opponent George Chuvalo. He then went to England and defeated Henry Cooper by stoppage on cuts and Brian London. Ali's next defense was against German southpaw Karl Mildenberger, the first German to fight for the title since Max Schmeling. In one of the tougher fights of his life, Ali stopped his opponent in round 12.
Ali returned to the United States in November 1966 to fight Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams in the Houston Astrodome, in front of an indoor record 35,460 fight fans. A year and a half before the fight, Williams had been shot in the stomach at point-blank range by a Texas policeman. As a result, Williams went into the fight missing one kidney and 10 feet of his small intestine, and with a shriveled left leg from nerve damage from the bullet. Ali beat Williams in three rounds.
On February 6, 1967, Ali returned to a Houston boxing ring to fight Terrell in what became one of the uglier fights in boxing. Terrell had angered Ali by calling him Clay, and the champion vowed to punish him for this insult. During the fight, Ali kept shouting at his opponent, "What's my name, Uncle Tom ... What's my name?" Terrell suffered 15 rounds of brutal punishment, losing 13 rounds on two judges' scorecards, but Ali did not knock him out. Analysts, including several who spoke to ESPN on the sports channel's "Ali Rap" special, speculated that the fight continued only because Ali wanted to thoroughly punish and humiliate Terrell. After the fight, Tex Maule wrote, "It was a wonderful demonstration of boxing skill and a barbarous display of cruelty." Ali returned to Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 22, 1967 beating Zora Folley in a TKO after 7 rounds.
Appearing for his scheduled induction into the U.S. Armed Forces on April 28, 1967 in Houston, he refused three times to step forward at the call of his name. An officer warned him he was committing a felony punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Once more, Ali refused to budge when his name was called. As a result, on that same day, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title. Other boxing commissions followed suit.
In 1970, Ali was allowed to fight again. the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Ali had been unjustly denied a boxing license.
Ali and Frazier met in the ring on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden. The fight, known as '"The Fight of the Century," was one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of all time and remains one of the most famous. It featured two skilled, undefeated fighters, both of whom had legitimate claims to the heavyweight crown.
The fight lived up to the hype, and Frazier punctuated his victory by flooring Ali with a hard left hook in the 15th and final round.
In 1974, following splitting two bouts with Ken Norton (one Ali lost in which Norton broke his jaw) Ali fought a rematch against Joe Frazier, Ali-Frazier II, which was notable for a pre-fight brawl on ABC Sports sparked by Ali calling Frazier "ignorant." In the fight at Madison Square Garden, Ali won a unanimous decision.

Best match Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Ali regained his title on October 30, 1974 by defeating champion George Foreman in their bout in Kinshasa, Zaire. Hyped as "The Rumble In The Jungle," the fight was promoted by Don King.
In October 1975, Ali fought Joe Frazier for the third time. The bout was promoted as the Thrilla in Manila by Don King, who had ascended to prominence following the Ali-Foreman fight. The anticipation was enormous for this final clash between two great heavyweights. Ali believed Frazier was "over the hill" by that point, and his overconfidence may have caused him to train less than he could have. Ali's frequent insults, slurs and demeaning poems increased the anticipation and excitement for the fight, but also enraged a determined Frazier. Regarding the fight, Ali famously remarked, "It will be a killa... and a chilla... and a thrilla... when I get the gorilla in Manila."

Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier 3 - Thrilla in Manila Mix
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The fight lasted 14 grueling rounds in temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Ali won many of the early rounds, but Frazier staged a comeback in the middle rounds. By the late rounds, however, Ali had reasserted control and the fight was stopped when Frazier was unable to answer the bell for the 15th and final round (his eyes were swollen closed). Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to continue. Ali, in one of the toughest fights of his entire career, was quoted as saying, "It was the closest thing to death that I could feel." Another version had Ali saying, "It was like death. Closest thing to dyin' that I know of." The fight was ultimately detrimental to the health of both fighters, Frazier would retire after losing a fight to George Foreman, while Ali would continue to box but with skills that were beginning to decline.
in September 1976, at Yankee Stadium, Ali faced Ken Norton in their third fight, with Ali winning a close 15-round decision.
In February 1978 an aged and out of shape Ali lost the title to 1976 Olympic Champion Leon Spinks. Ali defeated Spinks seven months later, winning the Heavyweight Title a third time, following which he retired. Ali's retirement was short lived. In 1980 he returned to face Larry Holmes to win the heavyweight title back an unprecedented four times. By this time Ali was already on medication for what developed into Parkinson's Disease (or syndrome) and was unable to recover his former skills or stamina. Angelo Dundee refused to let his man come out for the 11th round, in what became Ali's first and only loss by anything other than a decision. Ali's final fight, a loss by unanimous decision after 10 rounds, was to up-and-coming challenger Trevor Berbick in 1981.
Muhammad Ali defeated almost every top heavyweight in his era, which has been called the golden age of heavyweight boxing. Ali was named "Fighter of the Year" by Ring Magazine more times than any other fighter, and was involved in more Ring Magazine "Fight of the Year" bouts than any other fighter. He is an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and holds wins over seven other Hall of Fame inductees. He is also one of only three boxers to be named "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated. He is regarded as one of the best pound for pound boxers in history. He was a masterful self-promoter, and his psychological tactics before, during, and after fights became legendary. It was his athleticism and boxing skill, however, that enabled him to scale the heights and sustain his position for so many years.
Ali lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his fourth wife, Yolanda 'Lonnie' Ali.[33] They own a house in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which is for sale. On January 9, 2007, they purchased a house in eastern Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Muhammad Ali
The 12th Annual Keep Memory Alive Foundation
Power of Love charity gala
MGM Grand Conference Center. Las Vegas, Nevada
©2008 Ltd

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John Dewey, by Eva Watson Sch├╝tze

(Image from
John Dewey (1859-1952) lived from the Civil War to the Cold War, a period of extraordinary social, economic, demographic, political and technological change. During his lifetime the United States changed from a rural to an urban society, from an agricultural to an industrial economy, from a regional to a world power. It emancipated its slaves, but subjected them to white supremacy. It absorbed millions of immigrants from Europe and Asia, but faced wrenching conflicts between capital and labor as they were integrated into the urban industrial economy. It granted women the vote, but resisted their full integration into educational and economic institutions. As the face-to-face communal life of small villages and towns waned, it confronted the need to create new forms of community life capable of sustaining democracy on urban and national scales. Dewey believed that neither traditional moral norms nor traditional philosophical ethics were up to the task of coping with the problems raised by these dramatic transformations. Traditional morality was adapted to conditions that no longer existed. Hidebound and unreflective, it was incapable of changing so as to effectively address the problems raised by new circumstances.
(By Elizabeth Anderson at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
After graduation in 1879, Dewey taught high school for two years, during which the idea of pursuing a career in philosophy took hold. With this nascent ambition in mind, he sent a philosophical essay to W.T. Harris, then editor of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and the most prominent of the St. Louis Hegelians. Harris's acceptance of the essay gave Dewey the confirmation he needed of his promise as a philosopher. With this encouragement he traveled to Baltimore to enroll as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University.
(By Richard Field,Northwest Missouri State University, at the Internet Encyclopedia of Encyclopedia)
Dewey came to Columbia in 1905 after a decade at the University of Chicago, a year before he was elected president of the American Philosophical Association. His arrival made Columbia's philosophy department arguably the strongest in the country. He taught at Columbia for 25 years, retiring in 1930. His teaching style was characterized by long pauses and lots of backtracking, as if he was putting his ideas together as he spoke, the effect of which could either be inspiring or soporific. He also taught the philosophy of education at Teachers College, where his impact on educational theory and practice was both profound and controversial. With his wife, Alice, he helped establish laboratory schools, first at Chicago and later at Columbia. He received the Butler Medal at the 1935 commencement for "the distinguished character and continued vitality of his contributions to philosophy and education."
(© Copyright 2004 Columbia University)

University: University of Vermont (1879)
University: PhD, Johns Hopkins University (1882-84)
Professor: University of Michigan (1884-94 excluding 1888-89)
Professor: University of Minnesota (1888-89)
Professor: University of Chicago (1894-1904)
Professor: Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University (1904-30)
(Copyright ©2008 Soylent Communications)

One of John Dewey's far-reaching ideas was the idea that talking or communication is miraculous. It seemed to him the most wonderful occurrence in the world that things should have evolved beyond externally pulling and pushing one another around, and we should have developed the ability to communicate, should have acquired the art of handling our feelings and meanings to one another.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to hear one another talking. The complexity and speed, and the very weight of life's machinery are forcing the spirit of man to retreat in upon itself. Yet out of the deepest retreat, even out of the fears, suspicions, distrusts, animosities that shout their denunciations on every side, we keep on talking to one another. We ask one another for understanding, for support, for affection. John Dewey was among the greatest of those who persisted in laboring to win better and better means of articulating man's hunger for comradeship in making individual lives and the lives of individuals in togetherness as joyous and worthy as possible. And he did not speak, as have others, for a given culture, a limited geographical area, a particular time.
(By by Max Otto from The Progressive, Madison, July 1952)
According to Dewey, there have been three great revolutions in modern life of which the traditional school has taken little or no account: the intellectual revolution, brought about by the discoveries of modern science; the industrial revolution, consequent upon the invention and development of modern machinery; and the social revolution, resulting from the growth of modern democracy.

Democracy and Education:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1
Education as a Necessity of Life
Chapter 2
Education as a Social Function
Chapter 3
Education as Direction
Chapter 4
Education as Growth
Chapter 5
Preparation, Unfolding, and Formal Discipline
Chapter 6
Education as Conservative and Progresssive
Chapter 7
The Democratic Conception in Education
Chapter 8
Aims in Education
Chapter 9
Natural Development and Social Efficiency as Aims
Chapter 10
Interest and Discipline
Chapter 11
Experience and Thinking
Chapter 12
Thinking in Education
Chapter 13
The Nature of Method
Chapter 14
The Nature of Subject Matter
Chapter 15
Play and Work in the Curriculum
Chapter 16
The Significance of Geography and History
Chapter 17
Science in the Course of Study
Chapter 18
Educational Values
Labor and Leisure
Chapter 20
Intellectual and Practical Studies
Chapter 21
Physical and Social Studies: Naturalism and Humanism
Chapter 22
The Individual and the World
Chapter 23
Vocational Aspects of Education
Chapter 24
Philosophy of Education
Chapter 25
Theories of Knowledge
Chapter 26
Theories of Morals
Copyright © 1916 The Macmillan Company.
Copyright renewed 1944 John Dewey.
HTML markup copyright 1994 ILT Digital Classics.

Referring to this triad of changes in globo, he said: "One can hardly believe there has been a revolution in all history so rapid, so extensive, so complete. [Consequently,] that this revolution should not affect education in other than formal and superficial fashion is inconceivable." And again, since "it is radical conditions [in the world] which have changed; only equally radical change in education suffices." According to basic Hegelianism, a change in one phase of reality calls for a corresponding change in every other: "The obvious fact is that our social life has undergone a thorough and radical change.
If our education is to have any meaning for life, it must pass through an equally complete transformation."
John Dewey was enough of a psychologist to know that the most formative years of a person's life are his childhood. In many of his writings, therefore, he was specially concerned with using experience as the medium of education for children, from kindergarten through grammar school. Dewey wrote, children in their early years are neither moral nor immoral, but simply unmoral; their sense of right and wrong has not yet begun to develop. Therefore, they should be allowed as much freedom as possible; prohibitions and commands, the result of which either upon themselves or their companions they cannot understand, are bound to be meaningless; their tendency is to make the child secretive and deceitful.
He said, in progressive schools "the children do the work, and the teacher is there to help them to know, not to have them give back what they have memorized" and not experienced. "Tests are often conducted with books open.... Lessons are not assigned"; otherwise, the child would be having knowledge poured into him from the outside instead of learning it from within
Dewey is not satisfied with "the superficial explanation that a government resting upon popular suffrage cannot be successful unless those who elect and who obey their governors are educated." The real reason why education in a democracy is of its very essence is that "a democratic society repudiates the principle of external authority [and] must find a substitute in voluntary disposition and interest; these can be created only by education."
(Provided Courtesy of: Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210)

Teaching John Dewey: An Essay Review of Three Books on John Dewey
Reviewer: Eric Margolis
Arizona State University at Education Review

For John Dewey, education and democracy are intimately connected. Why do so many students hate school? It seems an obvious, but ignored question. Dewey proposed that education be designed on the basis of a theory of experience. We must understand the nature of how humans have the experiences they do, in order to design effective education. In this respect, Dewey's theory of experience rested on two central tenets -- continuity and interaction.
Continuity refers to the notion that humans are sensitive to (or are affected by) experience. Humans survive more by learning from experience after they are born than do many other animals who rely primarily on pre-wired instinct. In humans, education is critical for providing people with the skills to live in society. Dewey argued that we learn something from every experience, whether positive or negative and ones accumulated learned experience influences the nature of one's future experiences. Thus, every experience in some way influences all potential future experiences for an individual. Continuity refers to this idea that s each experience is stored and carried on into the future, whether one likes it or not.
Interaction builds upon the notion of continuity and explains how past experience interacts with the present situation, to create one's present experience. Dewey's hypothesis is that your current experience can be understood as a function of your past (stored) experiences which interacting with the present situation to create an individual's experience. This explains the "one man's meat is another man's poison" maxim. Any situation can be experienced in profoundly different ways because of unique individual differences e.g., one student loves school, another hates the same school. This is important for educators to understand. Whilst they can't control students' past experiences, they can try to understand those past experiences so that better educational situations can be presented to the students. Ultimately, all a teacher has control over is the design of the present situation. The teacher with good insight into the effects of past experiences which students bring with them better enables the teacher to provide quality education which is relevant and meaningful for the students.
(By James Neill, Last updated: 26 Jan 2005 at

The School and Social Process (1907)
The School and the Life of the Child (1907)
Waste in Education (1907)
Three Years of the University Elementary School (1907)
The Psychology of Elementary Education (1915)
Froebel's Educational Principles (1915)
The Psychology of Occupations (1915)
The Development of Attention (1915)
The Aim of History in Elementary Education (1915)
John Dewey. The School and Society:
Lectures by John Dewey
supplemented by a statement of the University Elementary School, Chicago
University of Chicago Press. (1907)
©2007 The Mead Project.

Honorary Degrees:
1904 LL.D. University of Wisconsin
1910 LL.D. University of Vermont
1913 LL.D. University of Michigan
1915 LL.D. Johns Hopkins University
1917 LL.D. Illinois College
1920 Hon. Ph.D. National University of Peking
1929 Hon. Ph.D. University of St. Andrews
Litt.D. Columbia University
1930 DOCTEUR DE L'UNIVERSITE' honoris causa Paris
1932 Harvard University
1946 D.Sc. University of Pennsylvania
University of Oslo
1948 Dewey refused a proffered honorary degree from Charles University of Prague
( © 2006, Media Matrix)

Below are some key concepts in John Dewey's philosophy of education:
The relationship between the school and the home:
"We cannot overlook the factors of discipline and of character building involved in this kind of life: training in habits of order and of industry, and in the idea of responsibility, of obligation to do something, to produce something, in the world. There was always something which really needed to be done, and a real necessity that each member of the household should do his own part faithfully and in co-operation with others." What Dewey wants in the school system is for the school to reproduce, or if it has to, introduce, what happens or should happen in the home in the school. He wants the school to reflect the household chores in the school. Not necessarily by doing on school what is done at home but relating what is done in school to what is done at home, doing things done at home with an academic twist to it. An example of something that a school could do to uphold this is in math class when teaching children word problems they could use terms in the problem that relate to the home life. Or when teaching the children how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide prices they could use the actual prices and rates of items the children use at home, then the children could even take this home to their parents to help them out. Basically getting work done at school, killing two birds with one stone.
Community Service:
In correlation with Dewey, community service would be a great way to help create a community of learners. Students live, play, and work out in the community and should be happy to make it a better place. If this idea could be instilled at an early age, students would grow with the idea that their involvement is necessary and appreciated. They could take what they know about there own community and use it in the classrooms. For example, one form of community service that I did in high school was helping out with activities at a local nursing home and visiting with the residents. We were able to see how a nursing home was managed and the necessary work it took on the part of everyone involved to keep the residents happy and healthy. Using this as an example, students can incorporate a nursing home into all areas of the curriculum including mathematics (expenses of a nursing home and how many residents per room or activity), reading (reading to residents), science (doctors and medications), health (special diets or types of exercise and physical therapy), and history (stories from older people who have lived through the wars or depressions). Any type of information they learn is extra because they would not have known it unless they out involved in the community. They probably do not realize how much they are learning until it can be tied into what they learn in school. They will be more invested in the education because they are activity involved in it. What they are learning affects more than just them. Their presence and help at the nursing home also affects lives of the residents. This gives their community service a purpose. Another example of a community service project would be building a house for Habitat for Humanity. By doing this you could incorporate a lot of different classes such as: wood shop, electrical class, architecture, and some business classes. All of these classes would contribute to the overall product of designing, and building the house.
"A society is a number of people held together because they are working along common lines, in a common spirit, and with reference to common aims". Dewey thought that, not only should a school teach children how to be a part of the community, but it should also be a society itself. The best example is private schools. Children got a great education, and they were also a kind of little family. They had to all work together to raise money to keep the school open. Classes volunteered to do things for the community (i.e. collecting food for the poor, singing or making cards for people at the nursing home). Also, the students worked together to keep the school clean. Some would volunteer to clean up the grounds. Eighth graders could volunteer to be on the cleaning crew. The cleaning crew got in groups of 4 or 5 and would go in a rotation, each group staying after school and cleaning for a week whenever it was their turn. Parents got involved in school repairs by offering their services and donating tools and equipment from their various businesses. Also, students were given the opportunity to decide what they wanted to do and learn. They had extra classes that were optional. Plus, they did not try out for sports, so anyone could play whatever they wanted. All of these things built a great sense of community. They learned a lot, both inside books and out. They also learned to be responsible. Students treat their school a lot differently when they are the ones taking care of it. Since they knew that either they or some of thier peers had to clean up after them, they respected the school property. Also, since they were the ones that kept their school running, they worked hard at whatever they did, whether it was academics or athletics. There was no point in working so hard to keep a school running and keep it looking nice if they weren't going get something out of it. This sense of responsibility was carried with them whenever they left the school. There is still a part of them that cringes when they see that someone has defaced property in some way. They obviously don't know what it costs!
Discipline is almost self-taught through the steps one must go through when trying to create something from start to finish. Discipline comes through perseverance. "…from having a part to do in constructive work, in contributing to a result …" supports the thought that when someone comes up with an idea, they must work it out to make it a reality. Problems arise during this process, and by working through them one develops discipline. Dewey believes one must be doing something that is for production of results and has self-meaning as shown in his statement, "But out of occupation, out of doing things that are to produce results, and out of doing these in a social and co-operative way, there is born a discipline of its own kind and type." By not giving up, students become their own discipline teacher.
If we try to tie Dewey's concepts into the curriculum, then "diversity education" would necessarily be an integral part of the classroom environment. For example, taking Dewey's ideas both of school as society and school in society, if students were encouraged to work together cooperatively and collaboratively, each student contributing as much as her or she is able, then they would learn to appreciate each other as individuals and value the contributions each person brings to that particular interaction. Then, when those students return to their home environments, they will have a greater sense of the value of diversity and will become more profitable members of society as a whole. The school should be treated as an ideal community in which each person is encouraged to work past his or her individual prejudices and work toward the greater good. If we can involve students in more cooperative activities while giving them an increased awareness of the power of diversity, we would be doing them a great deal of good.
(From Foundations of Education Web home page)

Here are resources critical of Dewey and his philosophy:
A collection of websites critical of Dewey.
Was Dewey a Marxist?, by William Brooks. Also see Dewey's Impressions of Soviet Russia and the revolutionary world
The Unknown Dewey: John Dewey vs. the Alexander Technique. Discussion and quotes put together by a long-time student of the Alexander Technique who objects to Dewey's philosophy generally and in particular to attempts to associate him with the Technique.
Progressive perspectives:
Dewey and the Arrogance of Reason, by Frank Margonis. Criticisms from a multicultural antiauthoritarian somewhat traditionalist educationist's standpoint.
(From Anti-Dewey Page Turnabout at


Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities - David Hume

Portrait of David Hume (1711-1776)
Artist Allan Ramsay
Year 1766
Location Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Type Oil on Canvas
Web Gallery of Art
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hume noted that many writers talk about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is (is-ought problem). But there seems to be a big difference between descriptive statements (what is) and prescriptive statements (what ought to be). Hume calls for writers to be on their guard against changing the subject in this way without giving an explanation of how the ought-statements are supposed to follow from the is-statements. But how exactly can you derive an "ought" from an "is"? That question, prompted by Hume's small paragraph, has become one of the central questions of ethical theory, and Hume is usually assigned the position that such a derivation is impossible. (Others interpret Hume as saying not that one cannot go from a factual statement to an ethical statement, but that one cannot do so without going through human nature, that is, without paying attention to human sentiments.) Hume is probably one of the first writers to make the distinction between normative (what ought to be) and positive (what is) statements, which is so prevalent in social science and moral philosophy. G. E. Moore defended a similar position with his "open question argument", intending to refute any identification of moral properties with natural properties ("naturalistic fallacy").
Although Hume leaves open the possibility for miracles to occur and be reported, he offers various arguments against this ever having happened in history:
People often lie, and they have good reasons to lie about miracles occurring either because they believe they are doing so for the benefit of their religion or because of the fame that results.
People by nature enjoy relating miracles they have heard without caring for their veracity and thus miracles are easily transmitted even where false.
Hume notes that miracles seem to occur mostly in "ignorant" and "barbarous" nations and times, and the reason they don't occur in the "civilized" societies is such societies aren't awed by what they know to be natural events. The miracles of each religion argue against all other religions and their miracles, and so even if a proportion of all reported miracles across the world fit Hume's requirement for belief, the miracles of each religion make the other less likely.
In philosophy, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which asserts that knowledge arises from experience. Together with John Locke, George Berkeley, and a handful of others, Hume is one of the principal early philosophers of empiricism. His History of England was the standard work on English history for many years, until Macaulay's The History of England from the Accession of James the Second.
David Hume, originally David Home, son of Joseph Home of Chirnside, advocate, and Katherine Lady Falconer, was born on 26 April 1711 (Old Style) in a tenement on the north side of the Lawnmarket in Edinburgh. He changed his name in 1734 because the English had difficulty pronouncing 'Home' in the Scottish manner. Throughout his life Hume, who never married, spent time occasionally at his family home at Ninewells by Chirnside, Berwickshire. Hume was politically a Whig.
Hume attended the University of Edinburgh at the unusually early age of twelve (possibly as young as ten) at a time when fourteen was normal. At first he considered a career in law, but came to have, in his words, "an insurmountable aversion to everything but the pursuits of Philosophy and general Learning; and while [my family] fanceyed I was poring over Voet and Vinnius, Cicero and Vergil were the Authors which I was secretly devouring." He had little respect for professors, telling a friend in 1735, "there is nothing to be learned from a professor, which is not to be met with in Books."
As he spent most of his savings during his four years there while writing A Treatise of Human Nature, he resolved "to make a very rigid frugality supply my deficiency of fortune, to maintain unimpaired my independency, and to regard every object as contemptible except the improvements of my talents in literature." He completed the Treatise at the age of twenty-six.

Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, Book I:
Contents ( PDF)
Part i ( PDF, 90kb)
Part ii ( PDF, 144kb)
Part iii:
Sections 1 through 10 ( PDF, 160kb)
Section 11 to end ( PDF, 154kb)
Part iv:
Sections 1 and 2 ( PDF, 140kb)
Sections 3 to end ( PDF, 190kb)

Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, Book II:
Contents ( PDF)
Part i ( PDF, 268kb)
Part ii ( PDF, 286kb)
Part iii ( PDF, 258kb)

Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, Book III:
Contents ( PDF)
Part i ( PDF, 155kb)
Part ii ( PDF, 433kb)
Part iii ( PDF, 253kb)

Although many scholars today consider the Treatise to be Hume's most important work and one of the most important books in western philosophy, the critics in Great Britain at the time did not agree, describing it as "abstract and unintelligible". Despite the disappointment, Hume later wrote, "Being naturally of a cheerful and sanguine temper, I soon recovered from the blow and prosecuted with great ardour my studies in the country". There, he wrote the Abstract.Without revealing his authorship, he aimed to make his larger work more intelligible by shortening it.
After the publication of Essays Moral and Political in 1744, Hume applied for the Chair of Pneumatics and Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. However, the position was given to William Cleghorn, after Edinburgh ministers petitioned the town council not to appoint Hume due to his atheism.
1987. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller.

Hume started his great historical work The History of Great Britain, which would take fifteen years and run to over a million words, to be published in six volumes in the period between 1754 and 1762. During this period, he was involved with the Canongate Theatre. In this context, he associated with Lord Monboddo and other Scottish Enlightenment luminaries in Edinburgh. From 1746, Hume served for three years as Secretary to Lieutenant-General St Clair, and wrote Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding, later published as An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. The Enquiry proved little more successful than the Treatise.

Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding:
Sections 1 through 5 ( PDF, 160kb)
Sections 6 through 8 ( PDF, 167kb)
Sections 9 to end ( PDF, 187kb)

Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian. His enormous The History of Great Britain, tracing events from the Saxon kingdoms to the Glorious Revolution, was a best-seller in its day. In it, Hume presented political man as a creature of habit, with a disposition to submit quietly to established government unless confronted by uncertain circumstances. In his view, only religious difference could deflect men from their everyday lives to think about political matters.
However, Hume's volume of Political Discourses (1752) was the only work he considered successful on first publication.
1752. Political Discourses. Edinburgh: A. Kincaid and A. Donaldson.

From 1763 to 1765, Hume was Secretary to Lord Hertford in Paris, where he was admired by Voltaire and lionised by the ladies in society. He made friends, and later fell out, with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He wrote of his Paris life, "I really wish often for the plain roughness of The Poker Club of Edinburgh . . . to correct and qualify so much lusciousness." For a year from 1767, Hume held the appointment of Under Secretary of State for the Northern Department. In 1768, he settled in Edinburgh.
In his ethical thinking, Hume applied the same scepticism to the idea of an objective rightness or wrongness about actions as he had applied to the idea of an objective causal connection between events. He argued that a belief that an action is right or wrong cannot be a belief about some matter of fact, because it is a belief that always in some degree motivates us to act, and beliefs about matters of fact never motivate us to act. Only desires and emotions can motivate us.
He went on to argue that when we think we are perceiving an objective rightness or wrongness in an action, we are only projecting on to the action the approval or disapproval that we, and other members of society, feel towards that action. The emotions of approval or disapproval in turn result from the fact that, although human beings are mainly self-interested, every person also has a degree of “sympathy” with all others. This is a tendency to resonate with their feelings, to feel happy when one sees that others are happy, to feel pain when one sees that they are in pain, and so on. If one thinks that an action is going to create a lot of happiness in a lot of people, then one's sympathy with those people expresses itself in a positive feeling towards the action, and this is the feeling of approval. It is the same with disapproval. Hume tried to show that all our moral experience and moral concepts could be explained as a result of the workings of sympathy, approval, and disapproval.
(From © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation)
The following is the substance of Hume's inquiries concerning human understanding:
All our perceptions may be divided into two classes: ideas or thoughts and impressions. Ideas are the less lively perceptions, of which we are conscious when we reflect on our sensations. By the term "impression" Hume means all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will.(8) Nothing, at first view, he says, seems more unbounded than thought; but a nearer examination shows that it is really confined within very narrow limits, and that it amounts to no more than the faculty of compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded us by the senses and experience. All the materials of our thinking are derived either from our outward or inward sentiment; the mixture and composition of these belongs alone to the mind and will. Or, in other terms, all our ideas or more feeble perceptions are copies of our impressions or more lively ones. Even the idea of God arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom which we observe in ourselves. We may prosecute this inquiry to what length we please; we shall always find that every idea which we examine is copied from a similar impression. A blind man can form no notion of colors; a deaf man of sounds. Moreover, all ideas, compared to sensations, are naturally faint and obscure.
(From History of Philosophy by Alfred Weber,

Tomb of David Hume on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Source own work
Date may 31, 2006
Author User:pschemp
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hume, Four Essays:
Tragedy ( PDF, 109kb)
The Standard of Taste ( PDF, 147kb)
Suicide ( PDF, 112kb)
The Immortality of the Soul ( PDF, 102kb)

Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals:
Sections 1-3 ( PDF, 215kb)
Sections 4-6 ( PDF, 239kb)
Sections 7-9 ( PDF, 206kb)
The appendixes ( PDF, 213kb)
Copyright ©2005-2008 Jonathan Bennett - Early Modern Texts

Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth
Copyright ©2002
Liberty Fund, Inc.