Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Aesthetic

Aesthetic Quotes (10 quotes)

Aesthetic considerations are a matter of luxury and indulgence rather than of necessity.
A New Jersey Court decision confirming an existing billboard to be exempted from retrospective application of a city ordinance restricting billboard location. From 'City of Passaic v. Paterson Bill Posting, Etc., Co. (Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey, November 20, 1905)', The New Jersey Law Journal (1906), 29, 244. The court wrote that the effect of the ordinance was to take private property without compensation, and could not be justified as an exercise of the police power because public safety was not unreasonably compromised by the billboard, and thus the ordinance exceeded necessity.
Science quotes on:  |  Billboard (2)  |  Consideration (38)  |  Environment (75)  |  Indulgence (2)  |  Law (273)  |  Luxury (4)  |  Necessity (78)

Doubtless it is true that while consciousness is occupied in the scientific interpretation of a thing, which is now and again “a thing of beauty,” it is not occupied in the aesthetic appreciation of it. But it is no less true that the same consciousness may at another time be so wholly possessed by the aesthetic appreciation as to exclude all thought of the scientific interpretation. The inability of a man of science to take the poetic view simply shows his mental limitation; as the mental limitation of a poet is shown by his inability to take the scientific view. The broader mind can take both.
In An Autobiography (1904), Vol. 1, 485.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciation (12)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Both (5)  |  Broader (2)  |  Consciousness (36)  |  Doubtless (5)  |  Exclusion (7)  |  Inability (3)  |  Interpretation (38)  |  Limitation (10)  |  Man Of Science (11)  |  Mind (272)  |  Occupation (28)  |  Poet (26)  |  Possession (24)  |  Science And Art (58)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Thought (170)  |  View (48)

Frequently, I have been asked if an experiment I have planned is pure or applied science; to me it is more important to know if the experiment will yield new and probably enduring knowledge about nature. If it is likely to yield such knowledge, it is, in my opinion, good fundamental research; and this is more important than whether the motivation is purely aesthetic satisfaction on the part of the experimenter on the one hand or the improvement of the stability of a high-power transistor on the other.
Quoted in Richard R. Nelson, 'The Link Between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor,' The Rate and Direction of the Inventive Activity (1962). In Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (1999), 32, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Asking (18)  |  Enduring (5)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Experimenter (9)  |  Frequently (8)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Importance (106)  |  Improvement (36)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Likelihood (3)  |  Motivation (16)  |  Nature (534)  |  New (107)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Plan (40)  |  Pure Science (7)  |  Research (360)  |  Satisfaction (31)  |  Stability (6)  |  Yield (7)

In its earliest development knowledge is self-sown. Impressions force themselves upon men’s senses whether they will or not, and often against their will. The amount of interest in which these impressions awaken is determined by the coarser pains and pleasures which they carry in their train or by mere curiosity; and reason deals with the materials supplied to it as far as that interest carries it, and no further. Such common knowledge is rather brought than sought; and such ratiocination is little more than the working of a blind intellectual instinct. It is only when the mind passes beyond this condition that it begins to evolve science. When simple curiosity passes into the love of knowledge as such, and the gratification of the ζsthetic sense of the beauty of completeness and accuracy seems more desirable that the easy indolence of ignorance; when the finding out of the causes of things becomes a source of joy, and he is accounted happy who is successful in the search, common knowledge passes into what our forefathers called natural history, whence there is but a step to that which used to be termed natural philosophy, and now passes by the name of physical science.
In this final state of knowledge the phenomena of nature are regarded as one continuous series of causes and effects; and the ultimate object of science is to trace out that series, from the term which is nearest to us, to that which is at the farthest limit accessible to our means of investigation.
The course of nature as it is, as it has been, and as it will be, is the object of scientific inquiry; whatever lies beyond, above, or below this is outside science. But the philosopher need not despair at the limitation on his field of labor; in relation to the human mind Nature is boundless; and, though nowhere inaccessible, she is everywhere unfathomable.
The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoφlogy (1880), 2-3. Excerpted in Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 789-790.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Boundless (6)  |  Cause (122)  |  Cause And Effect (4)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Continuity (17)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Determination (37)  |  Development (122)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Finding (19)  |  Forefather (2)  |  Gratification (8)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Impression (32)  |  Indolence (5)  |  Inquiry (14)  |  Instinct (24)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Interest (82)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Joy (25)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Labour (27)  |  Limitation (10)  |  Mind (272)  |  Natural History (23)  |  Nature (534)  |  Pain (49)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Ratiocination (2)  |  Reason (173)  |  Sense (104)  |  Series (18)  |  Term (34)  |  Tracing (2)  |  Unfathomable (2)  |  Will (22)

It would seem that more than function itself, simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation. One might call the process beauty through function and simplification.
As quoted in Christian Science Monitor (7 May 1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (88)  |  Call (11)  |  Decision (30)  |  Equation (46)  |  Factor (15)  |  Function (41)  |  Invention (174)  |  Process (97)  |  Simplicity (92)

Mathematics is not only one of the most valuable inventions—or discoveries—of the human mind, but can have an aesthetic appeal equal to that of anything in art. Perhaps even more so, according to the poetess who proclaimed, “Euclid alone hath looked at beauty bare.”
From 'The Joy of Maths'. Collected in Arthur C. Clarke, Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!: Collected Essays, 1934-1998, 460.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Bare (4)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Euclid (24)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Invention (174)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Science And Art (58)  |  Value (63)

The process of preparing programs for a digital computer is especially attractive, not only because it can be economically and scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic experience much like composing poetry or music.
The Art of Computer Programming (1968), Vol. 1, v.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (132)  |  Music (26)  |  Poetry (63)  |  Programming (2)  |  Reward (21)  |  Software (7)  |  Writing (50)

The scientific value of truth is not, however, ultimate or absolute. It rests partly on practical, partly on aesthetic interests. As our ideas are gradually brought into conformity with the facts by the painful process of selection,—for intuition runs equally into truth and into error, and can settle nothing if not controlled by experience,—we gain vastly in our command over our environment. This is the fundamental value of natural science
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (32)  |  Command (7)  |  Conformity (4)  |  Control (41)  |  Environment (75)  |  Error (152)  |  Experience (132)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Gain (23)  |  Idea (226)  |  Interest (82)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Natural Science (29)  |  Painful (3)  |  Practical (30)  |  Process (97)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Selection (20)  |  Truth (450)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Value (63)

The tragedy of deforestation in Amazonia as well as elsewhere in the tropics is that its costs, in... economic, social, cultural, and aesthetic terms, far outweigh its benefits. In many cases, destruction of the region’s rainforests is motivated by short-term gains rather than the long-term productive capacity of the land. And, as a result, deforestation usually leaves behind landscapes that are economically as well as ecologically impoverished.
From Anthony Bennett Anderson (ed.), Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps Toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest (1990), xi. As cited in Lykke E. Andersen (ed.), The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon (2002), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazon (2)  |  Benefit (21)  |  Capacity (15)  |  Cost (15)  |  Cultural (5)  |  Deforestation (27)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Ecology (21)  |  Economy (25)  |  Gain (23)  |  Landscape (14)  |  Long-Term (3)  |  Productive (4)  |  Rain Forest (14)  |  Result (129)  |  Social (16)  |  Term (34)  |  Tragedy (9)

You may object that by speaking of simplicity and beauty I am introducing aesthetic criteria of truth, and I frankly admit that I am strongly attracted by the simplicity and beauty of mathematical schemes which nature presents us. You must have felt this too: the almost frightening simplicity and wholeness of the relationship, which nature suddenly spreads out before us.
Letter to Albert Einstein. In Ian Stewart, Why Beauty is Truth (), 278.
Science quotes on:  |  Attract (5)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Criteria (5)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Nature (534)  |  Relationship (37)  |  Scheme (8)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Spread (7)  |  Truth (450)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton