Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Philosophy

Philosophy Quotes (163 quotes)

'Unless,' said I [Socrates], either philosophers become kings in our states or those whom we now call our kings:. and rulers take to the pursuit of' philosophy seriously and adequately, and there is a conjunction of these two things, political power and philosophic intelligence, while the motley horde of the natures who at present pursue either apart from the other are compulsorily excluded, there can be no cessation of troubles, dear Glaucon, for our states, nor, I fancy for the human race either. Nor, until this happens, will this constitution which we have been expounding in theory ever be put into practice within the limits of possibility and see the light of the sun.
The Republic 5 474ce, trans. P. Shorey (1930), Vol. 1, Book 5, 509.
Science quotes on:  |  Cessation (10)  |  Compulsion (7)  |  Constitution (19)  |  Exclusion (10)  |  Happening (29)  |  Horde (2)  |  Human Race (33)  |  Intelligence (98)  |  King (17)  |  Light (156)  |  Limit (41)  |  Nature (670)  |  Philosopher (89)  |  Politics (66)  |  Possibility (81)  |  Practice (31)  |  Pursuit (41)  |  Ruler (8)  |  Socrates (9)  |  State (47)  |  Sun (131)  |  Theory (437)

Παιδεία ἄρα ἐδτὶν ἡ ἔντευξις τῶν ἠθῶν. τοῦτο καὶ Θουκυδίδης ἔοικε λέγειν πεpὶ ἳστορίας λέγων· ὄτι καὶ ἱστορία φιλοσοφία ἐστὶν ἐκ παραδειγμάτων.
Education should be the cultivation of character, just as Thucydides (1, 22) used to say of history, that it was philosophy teaching by examples.
In Ars Rhetorica, XI, 2, 212), (Tauchnitz edition). As quoted in William Francis Henry King (ed.), Classical and Foreign Quotations: A Polyglot Manual of Historical and Literary Sayings, Noted Passages in Poetry and Prose, Phrases, Proverbs, and Bons Mots (3rd ed., 1904), 255.
Science quotes on:  |  Character (54)  |  Cultivation (16)  |  Education (223)  |  Example (32)  |  History (199)  |  Teaching (84)  |  Thucydides (2)

Indiana Jones: Archaeology is the search for fact… not truth. If it’s truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall. … So forget any ideas you've got about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and “X” never, ever marks the spot. Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading.
Spoken by actor Harrison Ford as character Indiana Jones in movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeology (25)  |  Fact (409)  |  Movie (5)  |  Search (53)  |  Truth (560)

Lyveris to-forn us
Useden to marke
For selkouthes that thei seighen,
Hir sones for to teche;
And helden it an heigh science
Hir wittes to knowe.
Ac thorugh hir science soothly
Was nevere no soule y-saved,
Ne broght by hir bokes
To blisse ne to joye;
For alle hir kynde knowynges
Come but of diverse sightes.
Patriarkes and prophetes
Repreveden hir science,
And seiden hir wordes and hir wisdomes
Nas but a folye
And to the clergie of Crist
Counted it but a trufle.

Our ancestors in olden days used to record
The strange things they saw, and teach them to their sons;
And they held it a high science, to have knowledge of such things.
But no soul was ever saved by all that science,
Nor brought by books into eternal bliss;
Their science was only a series of sundry observations.
So patriarchs and prophets disapproved of their science,
And said their so-called words of wisdom were but folly—
And compared with Christian philosophy, a contemptible thing.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 235-236. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (22)  |  Bliss (2)  |  Book (123)  |  Christian (8)  |  Compared (7)  |  Eternal (26)  |  Folly (16)  |  High (19)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Observation (332)  |  Old (40)  |  Patriarch (2)  |  Prophet (4)  |  Record (37)  |  Science (1103)  |  Series (26)  |  Son (10)  |  Soul (68)  |  Strange (26)  |  Sundry (3)  |  Teach (27)  |  Wisdom (107)  |  Word (131)

Natura nihil agit frustra [Nature does nothing in vain] is the only indisputible axiom in philosophy. There are no grotesques in nature; not any thing framed to fill up empty cantons, and unncecessary spaces.
Religio Medici (1642), Part I, Section 15. In Thomas Browne and Simon Wilkin (Ed.), The Works of Thomas Browne (1852), Vol. 2, 339.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (15)  |  Nature (670)

Philosophia vero omnium mater artium.
Philosophy is true mother of the arts [of science].
Tusculanarum Disputationum Book 1. In Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations as revised and expanded by Kate Louise Roberts (1922), 691.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1103)

Tout le monde convient maintenant qu’une Physique d’où l'on banniroit tout ce qui peut avoir quelque rapport avec les mathématiques, pour se borner à un simple recueil d’observations & d’experiences, ne seroit qu’un amusement historique, plus propre à récréer un cercle de personnes oisives, qu’à occuper un esprit véritablement philosophique.
Everyone now agrees that a Physics where you banish all relationship with mathematics, to confine itself to a mere collection of experiences and observations, would be but an historical amusement, more fitting to entertain idle people, than to engage the mind of a true philosopher.
In Dictionnaire de Physique (1781), Vol. 8, 209. English version via Google Translate, tweaked by Webmaster. Also seen translated as—“Everyone now agrees that a physics lacking all connection with mathematics…would only be an historical amusement, fitter for entertaining the idle than for occupying the mind of a philosopher”—in John L. Heilbron, Electricity in the 17th and 18th centuries: A Study of Early Modern Physics (1979), 74. In the latter source, the subject quote immediately follows a different one by Franz Karl Achard. An editor misreading that paragraph is the likely reason the subject quote will be found in Oxford Dictionary of Science Quotations attributed to Achard. Webmaster checked the original footnoted source, and corrected the author of this entry to Paulian (16 May 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Physics (202)

A totally blind process can by definition lead to anything; it can even lead to vision itself.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1972), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (105)  |  Blind (14)  |  Definition (107)  |  Process (132)

A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
In 'Maxims for Revolutionists: Education', in Man and Superman (1903), 230.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (223)  |  Superstition (40)

A Frenchman who arrives in London, will find Philosophy, like every Thing else, very much chang’d there. He had left the World a plenum, and he now finds it a vacuum. At Paris the Universe is seen, compos’d of Vortices of subtile Matter; but nothing like it is seen in London. In France, ‘tis the Pressure of the Moon that causes the Tides; but in England ‘tis the Sea that gravitates towards the Moon; so what when you think that the Moon should make it flood with us, those Gentlemen fancy it should be Ebb, which, very unluckily, cannot be prov’d. For to be able to do this, ‘tis necessary the Moon and the Tides should have been enquir’d into, at the very instant of the Creation.
Letter XIV. 'On DesCartes and Sir Isaac Newton', in Letters Concerning the English Nation (1733), 109-110.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (164)  |  England (24)  |  Flood (21)  |  France (13)  |  Gentleman (9)  |  Gravitation (16)  |  London (9)  |  Matter (169)  |  Moon (92)  |  Necessary (37)  |  Paris (7)  |  Pressure (21)  |  Proved (3)  |  Sea (78)  |  Subtile (2)  |  Tide (11)  |  Universe (339)  |  Vacuum (20)  |  Vortex (2)  |  World (351)

A physicist learns more and more about less and less, until he knows everything about nothing; whereas a philosopher learns less and less about more and more, until he knows nothing about everything.
Science quotes on:  |  Physics (202)  |  French Saying (60)

After Gibbs, one the most distinguished [American scientists] was Langley, of the Smithsonian. … He had the physicist's heinous fault of professing to know nothing between flashes of intense perception. … Rigidly denying himself the amusement of philosophy, which consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems, and liked to wander past them in a courteous temper, even bowing to them distantly as though recognizing their existence, while doubting their respectibility.
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography? (1918), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (119)  |  Fault (17)  |  Gibbs_Willard (3)  |  Insoluble (6)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Perception (31)  |  Physicist (87)  |  Problem (234)  |  Scientist (298)

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, “I refute it thus.”
In Boswell's Life of Johnson (1820), Vol. 1, 218.
Science quotes on:  |  George Berkeley (6)  |  Samuel Johnson (29)  |  Matter (169)

All good moral philosophy is ... but the handmaid to religion.
In The Advancement of Learning, book 2, xxii, 14. In Francis Bacon and Basil Montagu, The Works of Francis Bacon (1825), 252.
Science quotes on:  |  Handmaid (3)  |  Moral (55)  |  Religion (135)  |  Science And Religion (195)

All the sciences have a relation, greater or less, to human nature; and...however wide any of them may seem to run from it, they still return back by one passage or another. Even Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion, are in some measure dependent on the science of MAN; since they lie under the cognizance of men, and are judged of by their powers and faculties.
A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40), ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge (1888), introduction, xix.
Science quotes on:  |  Human Nature (42)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Religion (135)  |  Science (1103)

Art and religion first; then philosophy; lastly science. That is the order of the great subjects of life, that’s their order of importance.
Dialog by the character Miss Brodie, in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961, 2004), 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (107)  |  Importance (148)  |  Life (588)  |  Order (87)  |  Religion (135)  |  Science (1103)  |  Subject (77)

As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didn’t make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting—the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near.
From More Die of Heartbreak (1987, 1997), 246-247.
Science quotes on:  |  Age Of Science (2)  |  Assigned (2)  |  Choose (8)  |  Conviction (33)  |  End (70)  |  Existence (177)  |  Game (32)  |  Humanities (10)  |  Humankind (3)  |  Nursery (3)  |  Painting (19)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Science And Art (128)  |  Turning Point (2)  |  Worthless (10)

As modern physics started with the Newtonian revolution, so modern philosophy starts with what one might call the Cartesian Catastrophe. The catastrophe consisted in the splitting up of the world into the realms of matter and mind, and the identification of “mind” with conscious thinking. The result of this identification was the shallow rationalism of l’esprit Cartesien, and an impoverishment of psychology which it took three centuries to remedy even in part.
The Act of Creation (1964), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Matter (169)  |  Mind (334)  |  Physics (202)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Thinking (206)

Ask a follower of Bacon what [science] the new philosophy, as it was called in the time of Charles the Second, has effected for mankind, and his answer is ready; “It has lengthened life; it has mitigated pain; it has extinguished diseases; it has increased the fertility of the soil; it has given new securities to the mariner; it has furnished new arms to the warrior; it has spanned great rivers and estuaries with bridges of form unknown to our fathers; it has guided the thunderbolt innocuously from heaven to earth; it has lighted up the night with the splendour of the day; it has extended the range of the human vision; it has multiplied the power of the human muscles; it has accelerated motion; it has annihilated distance; it has facilitated intercourse, correspondence, all friendly offices, all dispatch of business; it has enabled man to descend to the depths of the sea, to soar into the air, to penetrate securely into the noxious recesses of the earth, to traverse the land in cars which whirl along without horses, to cross the ocean in ships which run ten knots an hour against the wind. These are but a part of its fruits, and of its first-fruits; for it is a philosophy which never rests, which has never attained, which is never perfect. Its law is progress. A point which yesterday was invisible is its goal to-day, and will be its starting-point to-morrow.”
From essay (Jul 1837) on 'Francis Bacon' in Edinburgh Review. In Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay and Lady Trevelyan (ed.) The Works of Lord Macaulay Complete (1871), Vol. 6, 222.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceleration (4)  |  Aeronautics (9)  |  Agriculture (25)  |  Attainment (31)  |  Automobile (14)  |  Sir Francis Bacon (143)  |  Benefit (34)  |  Bridge (18)  |  Bridge Engineering (8)  |  Business (35)  |  Cave (9)  |  Correspondence (6)  |  Disease (192)  |  Electricity (90)  |  Engineering (81)  |  Estuary (3)  |  Exploration (65)  |  Fertility (10)  |  Fruit (46)  |  Human (220)  |  Invisibility (5)  |  Law (327)  |  Life (588)  |  Lighting (4)  |  Machine (79)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Mariner (3)  |  Medicine (215)  |  Mining (8)  |  Motion (91)  |  Muscle (28)  |  Oceanography (3)  |  Pain (65)  |  Progress (249)  |  Rest (36)  |  River (45)  |  Science (1103)  |  Sea (78)  |  Ship (23)  |  Soil (39)  |  Steam Engine (30)  |  Strength (32)  |  Telegraph (26)  |  Thunderbolt (3)  |  Today (37)  |  Tomorrow (16)  |  Vision (31)  |  Warrior (5)  |  Yesterday (3)

Be a Philosopher; but, amidst all your Philosophy, be still a Man.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Philosopher (89)

But, indeed, the science of logic and the whole framework of philosophical thought men have kept since the days of Plato and Aristotle, has no more essential permanence as a final expression of the human mind, than the Scottish Longer Catechism.
A Modern Utopia (1904, 2006), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (109)  |  Catechism (2)  |  Logic (149)  |  Permanence (14)  |  Plato (35)  |  Science (1103)  |  Scottish (2)  |  Thought (228)

Casting off the dark fog of verbal philosophy and vulgar medicine, which inculcate names alone ... I tried a series of experiments to explain more clearly many phenomena, particularly those of physiology. In order that I might subject as far as possible the reasonings of the Galenists and Peripatetics to sensory criteria, I began, after trying experiments, to write dialogues in which a Galenist adduced the better-known and stronger reasons and arguments; these a mechanist surgeon refuted by citing to the contrary the experiments I had tried, and a third, neutral interlocutor weighed the reasons advanced by both and provided an opportunity for further progress.
'Malpighi at Pisa 1656-1659', in H. B. Adelmann (ed.), Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology (1966), Vol. 1, 155-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (33)  |  Experiment (457)  |  Explanation (127)  |  Galen (14)  |  Inculcate (3)  |  Medicine (215)  |  Name (76)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Physiology (53)  |  Progress (249)  |  Reason (211)

Chemical research conducts to the knowledge of philosophical truth, and forms the mind to philosophical enlargement and accuracy of thought, more happily than almost any other species of investigation in which the human intellect can be employed.
Quote following title page of Samuel Parkes, A Chemical Catechism With Notes, Illustrations and Experiments (8th ed. 1818).
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (47)  |  Chemistry (185)  |  Employment (17)  |  Enlargement (6)  |  Form (103)  |  Happiness (63)  |  Human (220)  |  Intellect (125)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Mind (334)  |  Research (395)  |  Species (116)  |  Thought (228)  |  Truth (560)

Cosmology, for centuries consisting of speculation based on a minimum of observational evidence and a maximum of philosophical predilection, became in the twentieth century an observational science, its theories now subject to verification or refutation to a degree previously unimaginable.
Opening sentence in 'Philosophical Values and Observation in Edwin Hubble's Choice of a Model of the Universe', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1982), 13, No. 1, 41.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (17)  |  Century (56)  |  Cosmology (13)  |  Evidence (103)  |  Maximum (6)  |  Minimum (8)  |  Observation (332)  |  Predilection (2)  |  Refutation (8)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Theory (437)  |  Unimaginable (2)  |  Verification (18)

Descartes, the father of modern philosophy … would never—so he assures us—have been led to construct his philosophy if he had had only one teacher, for then he would have believed what he had been told; but, finding that his professors disagreed with each other, he was forced to conclude that no existing doctrine was certain.
From 'Philosophy For Laymen', collected in Unpopular Essays (1950, 1996), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Assure (2)  |  Belief (204)  |  Certainty (81)  |  Conclude (6)  |  Construct (7)  |  René Descartes (33)  |  Doctrine (35)  |  Existing (6)  |  Father (23)  |  Forced (2)  |  Modern (65)  |  Professor (30)  |  Teacher (66)  |  Told (3)

Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
Unweave a rainbow.
Lamia 1820, II, lines 229-37. In John Barnard (ed.), John Keats. The Complete Poems (1973), 431.
Science quotes on:  |  Poem (78)

Empirical sciences prosecuted purely for their own sake, and without philosophic tendency are like a face without eyes.
The World as Will and Idea translated by Richard Burdon Haldane Haldane, John Kemp (3rd. Ed.,1888), Vol. 2, 318-319.
Science quotes on:  |  Empirical (5)  |  Eye (97)  |  Face (35)  |  Prosecute (3)  |  Sake (9)  |  Science (1103)  |  Tendency (26)

Essentially only one thing in life interests us: our psychical constitution, the mechanism of which was and is wrapped in darkness. All human resources, art, religion, literature, philosophy and historical sciences, all of them join in bringing lights in this darkness. But man has still another powerful resource: natural science with its strictly objective methods. This science, as we all know, is making huge progress every day. The facts and considerations which I have placed before you at the end of my lecture are one out of numerous attempts to employ a consistent, purely scientific method of thinking in the study of the mechanism of the highest manifestations of life in the dog, the representative of the animal kingdom that is man's best friend.
'Physiology of Digestion', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1904). In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901-1921 (1967), 134
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Kingdom (5)  |  Art (107)  |  Attempt (53)  |  Consideration (53)  |  Consistency (16)  |  Constitution (19)  |  Darkness (16)  |  Dog (29)  |  Employment (17)  |  Essential (55)  |  Fact (409)  |  History (199)  |  Human (220)  |  Interest (108)  |  Lecture (41)  |  Life (588)  |  Literature (46)  |  Manifestation (24)  |  Mechanism (32)  |  Method (105)  |  Numerous (10)  |  Objective (27)  |  Progress (249)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Religion (135)  |  Representative (5)  |  Resource (18)  |  Science (1103)  |  Scientific Method (112)  |  Strictness (2)  |  Study (227)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Wrap (2)

Every philosophy is tinged with the colouring of some secret imaginative background, which never emerges explicitly into its train of reasoning.
In Science and the Modern World (1925), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Background (15)  |  Color (53)  |  Emerge (4)  |  Imaginative (2)  |  Never (22)  |  Reasoning (68)  |  Tinge (2)  |  Train (13)

Every physical fact, every expression of nature, every feature of the earth, the work of any and all of those agents which make the face of the world what it is, and as we see it, is interesting and instructive. Until we get hold of a group of physical facts, we do not know what practical bearings they may have, though right-minded men know that they contain many precious jewels, which science, or the expert hand of philosophy will not fail top bring out, polished, and bright, and beautifully adapted to man's purposes.
In The Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), 209-210. Maury was in particular referring to the potential use of deep-sea soundings.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (10)  |  Agent (17)  |  Beauty (125)  |  Bright (11)  |  Earth (303)  |  Expert (25)  |  Expression (54)  |  Fact (409)  |  Feature (20)  |  Instructive (2)  |  Interesting (27)  |  Jewel (3)  |  Nature (670)  |  Physical (47)  |  Polish (5)  |  Precious (14)  |  Purpose (93)  |  Work (267)

Every variety of philosophical and theological opinion was represented there [The Metaphysical Society], and expressed itself with entire openness; most of my colleages were -ists of one sort or another; and, however kind and friendly they might be, I, the man without a rag of a label to cover himself with, could not fail to have some of the uneasy feelings which must have beset the historical fox when, after leaving the trap in which his tail remained, he presented himself to his normally elongated companions. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic' .
'Agnosticism' (1889). In Collected Essays (1894), Vol. 5, 239.
Science quotes on:  |  Opinion (103)  |  Theology (25)

For scholars and laymen alike it is not philosophy but active experience in mathematics itself that can alone answer the question: What is mathematics?
In Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins, What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods (1941, 1996), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (56)  |  Answer (119)  |  Experience (167)  |  Itself (7)  |  Layman (9)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Question (196)  |  Scholar (23)

Freud expressed the opinion—not quite in earnest, though, it seeemed to me—that philosophy was the most decent form of sublimation of repressed sexuality, nothing more. In response I put the question, 'What then is science, particularly psychoanalytic psychology?' Whereup on he, visible a bit surprised, answered evasively: 'At least psychology has a social purpose.'
Recollection by Binswanger of conversation during his third visit to Vienna to see Freud (17-18 May 1913), in Gerhard Fichtner (ed.) and Arnold J. Pomerans (trans.), The Sigmund Freud-Ludwig Binswanger Correspondence 1908-1938 (2003), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Sigmund Freud (48)  |  Opinion (103)  |  Psychoanalysis (24)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Purpose (93)  |  Science (1103)  |  Sexuality (9)  |  Social (24)

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40), ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge (1888), book 1, part 4, section 7, 272.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (174)  |  Religion (135)  |  Ridiculous (8)

God is a philosophical black hole—the point where reason breaks down.
Quotations: Superultramodern Science and Philosophy (2005), 5
Science quotes on:  |  Black Hole (10)  |  God (267)  |  Reason (211)

How then did we come to the “standard model”? And how has it supplanted other theories, like the steady state model? It is a tribute to the essential objectivity of modern astrophysics that this consensus has been brought about, not by shifts in philosophical preference or by the influence of astrophysical mandarins, but by the pressure of empirical data.
In The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrophysics (9)  |  Consensus (3)  |  Data (71)  |  Empiricism (14)  |  Essential (55)  |  Influence (62)  |  Modern (65)  |  Objectivity (8)  |  Preference (16)  |  Pressure (21)  |  Shift (11)  |  Standard Model (2)  |  Supplanting (2)  |  Theory (437)  |  Tribute (4)

I also ask you my friends not to condemn me entirely to the mill of mathematical calculations, and allow me time for philosophical speculations, my only pleasures.
Letter to Vincenzo Bianchi (17 Feb 1619). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 17, letter 827, l. 249-51, p. 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (54)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Pleasure (73)  |  Speculation (56)

I believe it to be of particular importance that the scientist have an articulate and adequate social philosophy, even more important than the average man should have a philosophy. For there are certain aspects of the relation between science and society that the scientist can appreciate better than anyone else, and if he does not insist on this significance no one else will, with the result that the relation of science to society will become warped, to the detriment of everybody.
Reflections of a Physicist (1950), 287.

I can see him now at the blackboard, chalk in one hand and rubber in the other, writing rapidly and erasing recklessly, pausing every few minutes to face the class and comment earnestly, perhaps on the results of an elaborate calculation, perhaps on the greatness of the Creator, perhaps on the beauty and grandeur of Mathematics, always with a capital M. To him mathematics was not the handmaid of philosophy. It was not a humanly devised instrument of investigation, it was Philosophy itself, the divine revealer of TRUTH.
Writing as a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a former student of Peirce, in 'Benjamin Peirce: II. Reminiscences', The American Mathematical Monthly (Jan 1925), 32, No. 1, 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (125)  |  Blackboard (6)  |  Calculation (54)  |  Capital (10)  |  Chalk (4)  |  Class (33)  |  Comment (3)  |  Creator (21)  |  Devised (3)  |  Divine (23)  |  Elaborate (9)  |  Face (35)  |  Grandeur (12)  |  Greatness (32)  |  Handmaid (3)  |  Humanly (2)  |  Instrument (49)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Minute (12)  |  Rapidly (3)  |  Recklessly (2)  |  Result (164)  |  Rubber (2)  |  Truth (560)  |  Writing (70)

I do not believe that a moral philosophy can ever be founded on a scientific basis. … The valuation of life and all its nobler expressions can only come out of the soul’s yearning toward its own destiny. Every attempt to reduce ethics to scientific formulas must fail. Of that I am perfectly convinced.
In 'Science and God: A Dialogue', Forum and Century (June 1930), 83, 374. Einstein’s dialogue was with James Murphy and J.W.N. Sullivan. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 230. The book introduces this quote as Einstein’s reply when Murphy asked, in the authors’ words, “how far he thought modern science might be able to go toward establishing practical ideals of life on the ruins of religious ideals.”
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (53)  |  Belief (204)  |  Destiny (14)  |  Ethic (8)  |  Expression (54)  |  Failure (79)  |  Formula (39)  |  Life (588)  |  Moral (55)  |  Nobler (3)  |  Reduction (30)  |  Science And Religion (195)  |  Soul (68)  |  Yearning (4)

I have here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the thread that tied them together.
In William Hazlitt (ed.), The Works of Michael de Montaigne: His Essays, Letters, and Journey Through Germany and Italy (1849), 515. Alternate translation: “I have gathered a posy [posie] of other men's flowers and nothing but the thread which binds them is my own,” as epigraph to article 'A Country Walk With the Poets', The Victoria Magazine (May 1874), 23, 1. No citations given. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Bind (7)  |  Bouquet (2)  |  Compilation (3)  |  Flower (33)  |  Gather (18)  |  Nothing (124)  |  Thought (228)  |  Thread (8)  |  Tie (4)

I have read somewhere or other, — in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, I think, — that history is philosophy teaching by examples.
In On the Study and Use of History, Letter 2. As cited in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations (1875, 10th ed., 1919), 304. Dionysius was quoting Thucydides.
Science quotes on:  |  Dionysius of Halicarnassus (2)  |  Example (32)  |  History (199)  |  Read (33)  |  Teaching (84)  |  Thucydides (2)

I have tried to read philosophers of all ages and have found many illuminating ideas but no steady progress toward deeper knowledge and understanding. Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.
Max Born
My Life & My Views (1968), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Matter (169)  |  Progress (249)  |  Quantum Physics (15)  |  Science (1103)  |  Space-Time (9)  |  Theoretical Physics (11)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Understanding (291)

I never said a word against eminent men of science. What I complain of is a vague popular philosophy which supposes itself to be scientific when it is really nothing but a sort of new religion and an uncommonly nasty one. When people talked about the fall of man, they knew they were talking about a mystery, a thing they didn’t understand. Now they talk about the survival of the fittest: they think they do understand it, whereas they have not merely no notion, they have an elaborately false notion of what the words mean.
In The Club of Queer Trades (1903, 1905), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Complaint (7)  |  Elaborate (9)  |  Eminence (11)  |  False (42)  |  Man Of Science (16)  |  Mystery (86)  |  Nasty (4)  |  New (167)  |  Notion (21)  |  Popular (14)  |  Religion (135)  |  Scientific (87)  |  Supposition (31)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (29)  |  Talk (29)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Uncommon (5)  |  Understanding (291)  |  Vague (6)

I see I have made my self a slave to Philosophy.
Letter to Henry Oldenburg (18 Nov 1676). In H. W. Turnbull (ed.), The Correspondence of Isaac Newton, 1676-1687 (1960), Vol. 2, 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Slave (13)

I shall no doubt be blamed by certain scientists, and, I am afraid, by some philosophers, for having taken serious account of the alleged facts which are investigated by Psychical Researchers. I am wholly impenitent about this. The scientists in question seem to me to confuse the Author of Nature with the Editor of Nature; or at any rate to suppose that there can be no productions of the former which would not be accepted for publication by the latter. And I see no reason to believe this.
The Mind and its Place in Nature (1925), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Psychical Research (2)

I started studying law, but this I could stand just for one semester. I couldn't stand more. Then I studied languages and literature for two years. After two years I passed an examination with the result I have a teaching certificate for Latin and Hungarian for the lower classes of the gymnasium, for kids from 10 to 14. I never made use of this teaching certificate. And then I came to philosophy, physics, and mathematics. In fact, I came to mathematics indirectly. I was really more interested in physics and philosophy and thought about those. It is a little shortened but not quite wrong to say: I thought I am not good enough for physics and I am too good for philosophy. Mathematics is in between.
From interview on his 90th birthday. In D J Albers and G L Alexanderson (eds.), Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews (1985), 245-254.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (207)  |  Examination (55)  |  Indirect (5)  |  Interest (108)  |  Language (90)  |  Latin (13)  |  Law (327)  |  Literature (46)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Physics (202)  |  Result (164)  |  School (50)  |  Thought (228)

I suspect that the changes that have taken place during the last century in the average man's fundamental beliefs, in his philosophy, in his concept of religion. in his whole world outlook, are greater than the changes that occurred during the preceding four thousand years all put together. ... because of science and its applications to human life, for these have bloomed in my time as no one in history had had ever dreamed could be possible.
In The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan (1951, 1980), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (86)  |  Average (18)  |  Belief (204)  |  Century (56)  |  Change (181)  |  Concept (47)  |  Dream (47)  |  Fundamental (72)  |  History (199)  |  Human Life (11)  |  Man (288)  |  Outlook (10)  |  Possibility (81)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Religion (135)  |  Science (1103)  |  Suspicion (17)  |  Thousand (53)  |  Time (234)  |  Year (105)

If an angel were to tell us about his philosophy, I believe many of his statements might well sound like '2 x 2= 13'.
Lichtenberg: Aphorisms & Letters (1969), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (14)  |  Arithmetic (49)  |  Equation (57)

If experiments are performed thousands of times at all seasons and in every place without once producing the effects mentioned by your philosophers, poets, and historians, this will mean nothing and we must believe their words rather our own eyes? But what if I find for you a state of the air that has all the conditions you say are required, and still the egg is not cooked nor the lead ball destroyed? Alas! I should be wasting my efforts... for all too prudently you have secured your position by saying that 'there is needed for this effect violent motion, a great quantity of exhalations, a highly attenuated material and whatever else conduces to it.' This 'whatever else' is what beats me, and gives you a blessed harbor, a sanctuary completely secure.
'The Assayer' (1623), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 273.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (457)

If we consider what science already has enabled men to know—the immensity of space, the fantastic philosophy of the stars, the infinite smallness of the composition of atoms, the macrocosm whereby we succeed only in creating outlines and translating a measure into numbers without our minds being able to form any concrete idea of it—we remain astounded by the enormous machinery of the universe.
Address (10 Sep 1934) to the International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, Venice. In Associated Press, 'Life a Closed Book, Declares Marconi', New York Times (11 Sep 1934), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Astounding (2)  |  Atom (188)  |  Composition (36)  |  Concrete (16)  |  Consideration (53)  |  Enabled (3)  |  Enormous (18)  |  Fantastic (6)  |  Formation (47)  |  Idea (302)  |  Immensity (9)  |  Infinity (49)  |  Machinery (16)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Measurement (132)  |  Mind (334)  |  Number (114)  |  Outline (3)  |  Remaining (12)  |  Science (1103)  |  Smallness (2)  |  Space (85)  |  Star (161)  |  Success (139)  |  Translation (11)  |  Universe (339)

In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.
The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687),3rd edition (1726), trans. I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman (1999), Book 3, Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy, Rule 4, 796.
Science quotes on:  |  Exception (22)  |  Experiment (457)  |  Hypothesis (185)  |  Induction (28)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Proposition (35)

In general, art has preceded science. Men have executed great, and curious, and beautiful works before they had a scientific insight into the principles on which the success of their labours was founded. There were good artificers in brass and iron before the principles of the chemistry of metals were known; there was wine among men before there was a philosophy of vinous fermentation; there were mighty masses raised into the air, cyclopean walls and cromlechs, obelisks and pyramids—probably gigantic Doric pillars and entablatures—before there was a theory of the mechanical powers. … Art was the mother of Science.
Lecture (26 Nov 1851), to the London Society of Arts, 'The General Bearing of the Great Exhibition on the Progress of Art and Science', collected in Lectures on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851' (1852), 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (106)  |  Beautiful (27)  |  Brass (2)  |  Chemistry (185)  |  Construction (52)  |  Curious (12)  |  Fermentation (12)  |  Founded (3)  |  Great (103)  |  Insight (38)  |  Iron (43)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Labour (32)  |  Mass (34)  |  Mechanics (37)  |  Metal (25)  |  Mother (34)  |  Pillar (4)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Principle (141)  |  Pyramid (3)  |  Raised (3)  |  Science And Art (128)  |  Success (139)  |  Theory (437)  |  Wall (16)  |  Wine (17)  |  Work (267)

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 æsthetic 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 Zoölogy (1880), 2-3. Excerpted in Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 789-790.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (47)  |  Aesthetic (15)  |  Beauty (125)  |  Boundless (9)  |  Cause (166)  |  Cause And Effect (5)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Continuity (19)  |  Curiosity (67)  |  Determination (46)  |  Development (165)  |  Evolution (375)  |  Finding (29)  |  Forefather (2)  |  Gratification (10)  |  Happiness (63)  |  Human Mind (28)  |  Ignorance (141)  |  Impression (35)  |  Indolence (5)  |  Inquiry (16)  |  Instinct (37)  |  Intellect (125)  |  Interest (108)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Joy (31)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Labour (32)  |  Limitation (15)  |  Mind (334)  |  Natural History (31)  |  Nature (670)  |  Pain (65)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Physical Science (41)  |  Pleasure (73)  |  Ratiocination (2)  |  Reason (211)  |  Sense (134)  |  Series (26)  |  Term (55)  |  Tracing (3)  |  Unfathomable (2)  |  Will (26)

In my opinion a mathematician, in so far as he is a mathematician, need not preoccupy himself with philosophy—an opinion, moreover, which has been expressed by many philosophers.
In George Edward Martin, The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane (1982), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Express (11)  |  Mathematician (134)  |  Opinion (103)

In my work I now have the comfortable feeling that I am so to speak on my own ground and territory and almost certainly not competing in an anxious race and that I shall not suddenly read in the literature that someone else had done it all long ago. It is really at this point that the pleasure of research begins, when one is, so to speak, alone with nature and no longer worries about human opinions, views and demands. To put it in a way that is more learned than clear: the philological aspect drops out and only the philosophical remains.
In Davis Baird, R.I.G. Hughes and Alfred Nordmann, Heinrich Hertz: Classical Physicist, Modern Philosopher (1998), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (19)  |  Anxiety (9)  |  Beginning (91)  |  Comfort (27)  |  Competition (21)  |  Demand (24)  |  Feeling (60)  |  Ground (31)  |  Literature (46)  |  Nature (670)  |  Opinion (103)  |  Pleasure (73)  |  Race (46)  |  Reading (46)  |  Research (395)  |  Territory (9)  |  View (59)  |  Work (267)

In our day grand generalizations have been reached. The theory of the origin of species is but one of them. Another, of still wider grasp and more radical significance, is the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy, the ultimate philosophical issues of which are as yet but dimly seem-that doctrine which 'binds nature fast in fate' to an extent not hitherto recognized, exacting from every antecedent its equivalent consequent, and bringing vital as well as physical phenomena under the dominion of that law of causal connexion which, so far as the human understanding has yet pierced, asserts itself everywhere in nature.
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 1801.
Science quotes on:  |  Antecedent (2)  |  Assertion (18)  |  Binding (8)  |  Bringing (9)  |  Cause (166)  |  Connection (56)  |  Consequence (53)  |  Conservation Of Energy (18)  |  Doctrine (35)  |  Dominion (4)  |  Equivalent (10)  |  Everywhere (6)  |  Exacting (2)  |  Extent (13)  |  Fate (25)  |  Generalization (21)  |  Grandness (2)  |  Grasp (19)  |  Human (220)  |  Issue (16)  |  Law (327)  |  Nature (670)  |  Origin Of Species (36)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Physics (202)  |  Radical (14)  |  Reach (34)  |  Recognition (51)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Significance (38)  |  Theory (437)  |  Ultimate (36)  |  Understanding (291)  |  Vitality (7)

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast … “To physics and metaphysics.” Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and … the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (23)  |  Accuracy (47)  |  Answer (119)  |  Completion (14)  |  Conclusion (88)  |  Devising (7)  |  Difference (161)  |  Dinner (6)  |  Discarding (2)  |  Elimination (15)  |  End (70)  |  Error (174)  |  Experiment (457)  |  Freeing (2)  |  Glance (4)  |  Idea (302)  |  Literature (46)  |  Measurement (132)  |  Metaphysics (28)  |  Mind (334)  |  Physicist (87)  |  Physics (202)  |  Possibility (81)  |  Preparation (29)  |  Promise (15)  |  Reading (46)  |  Refinement (8)  |  Response (12)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Sense (134)  |  Test (68)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Toast (5)  |  Truth (560)  |  Robert W. Wood (2)  |  Work (267)  |  Worthless (10)

It is a safe rule to apply that, when a mathematical or philosophical author writes with a misty profoundity, he is talking nonsense.
In An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Author (30)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Misty (3)  |  Nonsense (20)  |  Rule (74)  |  Safety (28)  |  Talking (10)  |  Writing (70)

It is a wrong business when the younger cultivators of science put out of sight and deprecate what their predecessors have done; but obviously that is the tendency of Huxley and his friends … It is very true that Huxley was bitter against the Bishop of Oxford, but I was not present at the debate. Perhaps the Bishop was not prudent to venture into a field where no eloquence can supersede the need for precise knowledge. The young naturalists declared themselves in favour of Darwin’s views which tendency I saw already at Leeds two years ago. I am sorry for it, for I reckon Darwin’s book to be an utterly unphilosophical one.
Letter to James D, Forbes (24 Jul 1860). Trinity College Cambridge, Whewell Manuscripts.
Science quotes on:  |  Bitterness (3)  |  Book (123)  |  Charles Darwin (226)  |  Debate (12)  |  Eloquence (2)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (83)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Naturalist (41)  |  Predecessor (15)  |  Tendency (26)  |  Truth (560)

It is necessary that a surgeon should have a temperate and moderate disposition. That he should have well-formed hands, long slender fingers, a strong body, not inclined to tremble and with all his members trained to the capable fulfilment of the wishes of his mind. He should be of deep intelligence and of a simple, humble, brave, but not audacious disposition. He should be well grounded in natural science, and should know not only medicine but every part of philosophy; should know logic well, so as to be able to understand what is written, to talk properly, and to support what he has to say by good reasons.
Chirurgia Magna (1296, printed 1479), as translated by James Joseph Walsh in Old-Time Makers of Medicine (1911), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (215)  |  Surgeon (33)

It is not therefore the business of philosophy, in our present situation in the universe, to attempt to take in at once, in one view, the whole scheme of nature; but to extend, with great care and circumspection, our knowledge, by just steps, from sensible things, as far as our observations or reasonings from them will carry us, in our enquiries concerning either the greater motions and operations of nature, or her more subtile and hidden works. In this way Sir Isaac Newton proceeded in his discoveries.
An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in Four Books (1748), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (53)  |  Business (35)  |  Care (48)  |  Circumspection (2)  |  Concern (39)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Extend (7)  |  Hidden (23)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Motion (91)  |  Nature (670)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)  |  Observation (332)  |  Operation (66)  |  Reasoning (68)  |  Scheme (11)  |  Sensible (13)  |  Situation (23)  |  Step (39)  |  Subtle (10)  |  Universe (339)  |  View (59)

It is profitable nevertheless to permit ourselves to talk about 'meaningless' terms in the narrow sense if the preconditions to which all profitable operations are subject are so intuitive and so universally accepted as to form an almost unconscious part of the background of the public using the term. Physicists of the present day do constitute a homogenous public of this character; it is in the air that certain sorts of operation are valueless for achieving certain sorts of result. If one wants to know how many planets there are one counts them but does not ask a philosopher what is the perfect number.
Reflections of a Physicist (1950), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (101)

It is rigid dogma that destroys truth; and, please notice, my emphasis is not on the dogma, but on the rigidity. When men say of any question, “This is all there is to be known or said of the subject; investigation ends here,” that is death. It may be that the mischief comes not from the thinker but for the use made of his thinking by late-comers. Aristotle, for example, gave us our scientific technique … yet his logical propositions, his instruction in sound reasoning which was bequeathed to Europe, are valid only within the limited framework of formal logic, and, as used in Europe, they stultified the minds of whole generations of mediaeval Schoolmen. Aristotle invented science, but destroyed philosophy.
Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, as recorded by Lucien Price (1954, 2001), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (109)  |  Dogma (15)  |  Instruction (23)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Logic (149)  |  Question (196)  |  Rigidity (3)  |  Scientific Method (112)  |  Thought (228)

It is this ideal of progress through cumulative effort rather than through genius—progress by organised effort, progress which does not wait for some brilliant stroke, some lucky discovery, or the advent of some superman, has been the chief gift of science to social philosophy.
Address to 48th annual summer convention of the American Institute of Electriccal Engineers, Cleveland (21 Jun 1932), abridged in 'The Rôle of the Engineer', The Electrical Journal (1932), 109, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Advent (3)  |  Brilliant (9)  |  Chief (15)  |  Cumulative (6)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Effort (57)  |  Genius (134)  |  Gift (33)  |  Ideal (32)  |  Lucky (3)  |  Organization (63)  |  Progress (249)  |  Science (1103)  |  Social (24)  |  Stroke (5)  |  Superman (2)  |  Wait (20)

Let him who so wishes take pleasure in boring us with all the wonders of nature: let one spend his life observing insects, another counting the tiny bones in the hearing membrane of certain fish, even in measuring, if you will, how far a flea can jump, not to mention so many other wretched objects of study; for myself, who am curious only about philosophy, who am sorry only not to be able to extend its horizons, active nature will always be my sole point of view; I love to see it from afar, in its breadth and its entirety, and not in specifics or in little details, which, although to some extent necessary in all the sciences, are generally the mark of little genius among those who devote themselves to them.
'L'Homme Plante', in Oeuvres Philosophiques de La Mettrie (1796), Vol. 2, 70-1. Jacques Roger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, edited by Keith R. Benson and trans. Robert Ellrich (1997), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (39)  |  Ear (14)  |  Flea (6)  |  Genius (134)  |  Insect (45)  |  Measurement (132)  |  Nature (670)  |  Observation (332)

Like other departments of philosophy, medicine began with an age of wonder. The accidents of disease and the features of death aroused surprise and stimulated interest, and a beginning was made when man first asked in astonishment, Why should these things be?
In 'The Evolution of Internal Medicine', Modern Medicine: Its Theory and Practice, (1907), Vol. 1, xvi.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (37)  |  Asking (23)  |  Astonishment (16)  |  Beginning (91)  |  Death (216)  |  Disease (192)  |  Interest (108)  |  Medicine (215)  |  Surprise (27)  |  Wonder (86)

Logic is the last scientific ingredient of Philosophy; its extraction leaves behind only a confusion of non-scientific, pseudo problems.
The Unity of Science, trans. Max Black (1934), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Confusion (26)  |  Extraction (5)  |  Ingredient (8)  |  Leave (9)  |  Logic (149)  |  Non-Scientific (4)  |  Scientific (87)

Logic issues in tautologies, mathematics in identities, philosophy in definitions; all trivial, but all part of the vital work of clarifying and organising our thought.
'Last Papers: Philosophy' (1929), in The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays (1931), 264.
Science quotes on:  |  Clarification (4)  |  Definition (107)  |  Identity (7)  |  Issue (16)  |  Logic (149)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Organization (63)  |  Tautology (2)  |  Thought (228)  |  Vital (18)  |  Work (267)

Mathematics is, as it were, a sensuous logic, and relates to philosophy as do the arts, music, and plastic art to poetry.
Aphorism 365 from Selected Aphorisms from the Lyceum (1797-1800). In Friedrich Schlegel, translated by Ernst Behler and Roman Struc, Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms (trans. 1968), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Logic (149)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Music (36)  |  Plastic (12)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Relation (61)  |  Science And Art (128)

Medicine rests upon four pillars—philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics. The first pillar is the philosophical knowledge of earth and water; the second, astronomy, supplies its full understanding of that which is of fiery and airy nature; the third is an adequate explanation of the properties of all the four elements—that is to say, of the whole cosmos—and an introduction into the art of their transformations; and finally, the fourth shows the physician those virtues which must stay with him up until his death, and it should support and complete the three other pillars.
Vas Buch Paragranum (c.1529-30), in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (4)  |  Air (106)  |  Alchemy (19)  |  Art (107)  |  Astronomy (130)  |  Completion (14)  |  Cosmos (27)  |  Death (216)  |  Earth (303)  |  Element (85)  |  Ethic (8)  |  Explanation (127)  |  Fire (75)  |  Four (3)  |  Introduction (20)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Medicine (215)  |  Physician (193)  |  Pillar (4)  |  Property (68)  |  Stay (3)  |  Supply (20)  |  Transformation (33)  |  Understanding (291)  |  Virtue (33)  |  Water (165)

Natural history is a matter of observation; it is a harvest which you gather when and where you find it growing. Birds and squirrels and flowers are not always in season, but philosophy we have always with us. It is a crop which we can grow and reap at all times and in all places and it has its own value and brings its own satisfaction.
From Under the Apple-Trees (1916), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (66)  |  Crop (11)  |  Flower (33)  |  Gather (18)  |  Growth (89)  |  Harvest (9)  |  Natural History (31)  |  Observation (332)  |  Reap (3)  |  Satisfaction (39)  |  Season (14)  |  Squirrel (5)  |  Value (93)

Not only are there meaningless questions, but many of the problems with which the human intellect has tortured itself turn out to be only 'pseudo problems,' because they can be formulated only in terms of questions which are meaningless. Many of the traditional problems of philosophy, of religion, or of ethics, are of this character. Consider, for example, the problem of the freedom of the will. You maintain that you are free to take either the right- or the left-hand fork in the road. I defy you to set up a single objective criterion by which you can prove after you have made the turn that you might have made the other. The problem has no meaning in the sphere of objective activity; it only relates to my personal subjective feelings while making the decision.
The Nature of Physical Theory (1936), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (40)

Now Einstein was a very clever man,
with us all his philosophies he shared,
He gave us the theory of relativity,
which is E equals M C squared.
From lyrics of song Sod’s Law.
Science quotes on:  |  Clever (8)  |  Albert Einstein (200)  |  Energy (126)  |  Mass (34)  |  Share (16)  |  Speed Of Light (11)  |  Theory Of Relativity (8)

Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together. Here, at Padua, is the principal professor of philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, [telescope] which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? what shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! and to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa laboring before the grand duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky.
From Letter to Johannes Kepler. As translated in John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune, Life of Galileo Galilei: With Illustrations of the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy (1832), 92-93.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (33)  |  Charm (13)  |  Folly (16)  |  Glass (25)  |  Glorious (9)  |  Hearing (26)  |  Hearty (2)  |  Incantation (3)  |  Johannes Kepler (53)  |  Laugh (10)  |  Laughter (15)  |  Logic (149)  |  Magic (41)  |  Moon (92)  |  New (167)  |  Planet (103)  |  Principal (9)  |  Professor (30)  |  Refusal (16)  |  Repeated (3)  |  Shout (5)  |  Sky (41)  |  Telescope (54)  |  Urgent (3)  |  Wish (29)

Once early in the morning, at two or three in the morning, when the master was asleep, the books in the library began to quarrel with each other as to which was the king of the library. The dictionary contended quite angrily that he was the master of the library because without words there would be no communication at all. The book of science argued stridently that he was the master of the library for without science there would have been no printing press or any of the other wonders of the world. The book of poetry claimed that he was the king, the master of the library, because he gave surcease and calm to his master when he was troubled. The books of philosophy, the economic books, all put in their claims, and the clamor was great and the noise at its height when a small low voice was heard from an old brown book lying in the center of the table and the voice said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And all of the noise and the clamor in the library ceased, and there was a hush in the library, for all of the books knew who the real master of the library was.
'Ministers of Justice', address delivered to the Eighty-Second Annual Convention of the Tennessee Bar Association at Gatlinburg (5 Jun 1963). In Tennessee Law Review (Fall 1963), 31, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (11)  |  Bible (49)  |  Book (123)  |  Calm (9)  |  Cease (6)  |  Claim (33)  |  Clamor (2)  |  Communication (46)  |  Dictionary (9)  |  Economics (22)  |  King (17)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Library (31)  |  Lord (6)  |  Master (28)  |  Noise (17)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Quarrel (7)  |  Science (1103)  |  Shepherd (2)  |  Voice (17)  |  Wonder (86)  |  Word (131)  |  World (351)

Our present work sets forth mathematical principles of philosophy. For the basic problem of philosophy seems to be to discover the forces of nature from the phenomena of motions and then to demonstrate the other phenomena from these forces. It is to these ends that the general propositions in books 1 and 2 are directed, while in book 3 our explanation of the system of the world illustrates these propositions.
The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687), 3rd edition (1726), trans. I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman (1999), Preface to the first edition, 382.
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstrate (9)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Force (105)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Motion (91)  |  Nature (670)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Principle (141)  |  Problem (234)

Owing to his lack of knowledge, the ordinary man cannot attempt to resolve conflicting theories of conflicting advice into a single organized structure. He is likely to assume the information available to him is on the order of what we might think of as a few pieces of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. If a given piece fails to fit, it is not because it is fraudulent; more likely the contradictions and inconsistencies within his information are due to his lack of understanding and to the fact that he possesses only a few pieces of the puzzle. Differing statements about the nature of things, differing medical philosophies, different diagnoses and treatments—all of these are to be collected eagerly and be made a part of the individual's collection of puzzle pieces. Ultimately, after many lifetimes, the pieces will fit together and the individual will attain clear and certain knowledge.
'Strategies of Resort to Curers in South India', contributed in Charles M. Leslie (ed.), Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study (1976), 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (25)  |  Assumption (33)  |  Attempt (53)  |  Availability (9)  |  Certainty (81)  |  Clarity (27)  |  Collection (32)  |  Conflict (32)  |  Contradiction (29)  |  Diagnosis (54)  |  Difference (161)  |  Eagerness (4)  |  Fact (409)  |  Failure (79)  |  Few (9)  |  Fit (16)  |  Inconsistency (4)  |  Individual (83)  |  Information (68)  |  Jigsaw (2)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Lack (27)  |  Lifetime (13)  |  Man (288)  |  Medicine (215)  |  Nature Of Things (4)  |  Ordinary (26)  |  Organization (63)  |  Piece (20)  |  Possession (28)  |  Puzzle (23)  |  Resolution (12)  |  Single (35)  |  Statement (31)  |  Structure (133)  |  Theory (437)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Treatment (67)  |  Ultimate (36)

Philosophers say, that Man is a Microcosm, or little World, resembling in Miniature every Part of the Great: And, in my Opinion, the Body Natural may be compared to the Body Politic: and if this be so, how can the Epicureans Opinion be true, that the Universe was formed by a fortuitous Concourse of Atoms; which I will no more believe, than that the accidental Jumbling of the Letters of the Alphabet, could fall by Chance into a most ingenious and learned Treatise of Philosophy. Risum teneatis Amici, Hor.
In 'A Tritical Essay Upon the Faculties of the Mind' (6 Aug 1707), collected in various volumes and editions, for example, The Works of J.S, D.D, D.S.P.D.: Volume 1: Miscellanies in Prose (1739), 173. An earlier, undated, fourth volume of Miscellanies gives the 6 Aug 1707 date the essay was written. The final Latin phrase can be translated as, “Can you help laughing, friends?” attributed to Horace. In Jonathan Swift and Temple Scott (ed.), The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift: A Tale of a Tub: the Battle of the Books, and Other Early Works (1897, reprint 1907), Vol. 1, 291, the editor footnotes that “this essay is a parody on the pseudo-philosophical essays of the time, in which all sense was lost in the maze of inconsequential quotations.” Indeed, the rest of the essay is, by design, a jumble of disjointed thoughts and makes next to no sense.
Science quotes on:  |  Alphabet (5)  |  Atom (188)  |  Belief (204)  |  Body (127)  |  Chance (96)  |  Compared (7)  |  Concourse (3)  |  Epicurean (2)  |  Fall (43)  |  Formed (4)  |  Fortuitous (4)  |  Ingenious (12)  |  Learned (13)  |  Letter (25)  |  Microcosm (4)  |  Miniature (3)  |  Natural (71)  |  Opinion (103)  |  Philosopher (89)  |  Resembling (2)  |  Treatise (11)  |  True (42)  |  Universe (339)  |  World (351)

Philosophically, I liked the steady-state cosmology. So I thought that we should report our results as a simple measurement; the measurement might be true after the cosmology was no longer true!
Remarking on the measurement he made with Arno Penzias of the 3 K cosmic background radiation. From Proceedings of workshop, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, West Virginia (4-6 May 1983), 'Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background', Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy (1983), 195. Also collected in B. Bertotti (ed.) Modern Cosmology in Retrospect (1990), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmology (13)  |  Like (16)  |  Measurement (132)  |  Report (21)  |  Result (164)  |  Simple (44)  |  Steady-State (2)  |  Truth (560)

Philosophy asks the simple question, What is it all about?
In 'Remarks: Analysis of Meaning', The Philosophical Review (Mar 1937), 46, No. 2, 178. Collected in Barbara MacKinnon, American Philosophy: A Historical Anthology (1985), 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (27)  |  Question (196)  |  Simple (44)

Philosophy became a gloomy science, in the labyrinth of which people vainly tried to find the exit, called The Truth.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward (2003), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Exit (2)  |  Find (90)  |  Labyrinth (5)  |  Truth (560)  |  Try (42)  |  Vainly (2)

Philosophy becomes poetry, and science imagination, in the enthusiasm of genius.
Literary Character of Men of Genius, Chap. 12. In In Jehiel Keeler Hoyt, The Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1996), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Enthusiasm (24)  |  Genius (134)  |  Imagination (168)  |  Poetry (75)

Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains. There have been added, however, some grasp of the immensity of things, some purification of emotion by understanding.
In Modes of Thought: Six Lectures Delivered in Wellesley College, Massachusetts, and Two Lectures in the University of Chicago (1908, 1938), 168
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (91)  |  End (70)  |  Remaining (12)  |  Thought (228)  |  Wonder (86)

Philosophy dwells aloft in the Temple of Science, the divinity of its inmost shrine; her dictates descend among men, but she herself descends not : whoso would behold her must climb with long and laborious effort, nay, still linger in the forecourt, till manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission into the interior solemnities.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 347:42.

Philosophy is a game with objectives and no rules. Mathematics is a game with rules and no objectives.
In Wieslaw Krawcewicz, Bindhyachal Rai, Calculus with Maple Labs (2003), 328. In this book, and also in Julian Havil, Nonplussed!: Mathematical Proof of Implausible Ideas? (2007), 68, the quote is attributed to Ian Ellis, but most sources vite it as Anonymous.
Science quotes on:  |  Game (32)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Objective (27)  |  Rule (74)

Philosophy is not a science of things in general, but a science that investigates the presuppositions of experience and discovers the nature of the first principle.
Epigram to 'Philosophy in Outline', The Journal of Speculative Philosophy (Jul 1883), 17, No. 3, 296.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (470)  |  Experience (167)  |  General (48)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Nature (670)  |  Principle (141)  |  Science (1103)  |  Supposition (31)

Philosophy is regarded by many as inseparable from speculation. ... Philosophy has proceeded from speculation to science.
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Science (1103)  |  Speculation (56)

Philosophy is such an impertinently litigious Lady that a man had as good be engaged in Law suits as have to do with her.
Letter to Edmond Halley (20 Jun 1686). In H. W. Turnbull (ed.), The Correspondence of Isaac Newton, 1676-1687 (1960), Vol. 2, 437.
Science quotes on:  |  Impertinence (4)  |  Lady (4)  |  Law (327)

Philosophy is that part of science which at present people chose to have opinions about, but which they have no knowledge about. Therefore every advance in knowledge robs philosophy of some problems which formerly it had …and will belong to science.
'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' (1918). In Betrand Russell and Robert Charles Marsh (Ed.), Logic and Knowledge: Essays, 1901-1950 (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Problem (234)  |  Science (1103)

Philosophy is the science which considers truth.
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 410.
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (14)  |  Science (1103)  |  Truth (560)

Philosophy is to science as pornography is to sex: it is cheaper, easier and some people prefer it.
Review of Simon Pinker, How the Mind Works (1997). In New York Review of Books (6 Nov 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Preference (16)  |  Sex (35)

Philosophy of Science is about as much use to scientists as ornithology is to birds.
Attributed. Frequently quoted, but primary source is lacking. For example, Steven Weinberg quoted it in a talk at the Tercentenary Celebration of Newton's Principia, 'Newtonianism, Reductionism and the Art of Congressional Testimony' (See Nature (3 Dec 1987), 330, No. 6147, 433). Weinberg states “I’ve heard the remark (although I forget the source).” Any attribution to Stephen Weinberg is thus incorrect, although it appears thus in, for example, the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations. Other sources most often attribute the subject quote to Richard Feynman, though still without a documented source. So Webmaster moved the quote from the Weinberg page to this Feynman page 1 Jul 2015. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (66)  |  Ornithology (4)  |  Science (1103)  |  Scientist (298)

Philosophy stands in need of a science which shall determine the possibility, principles, and extent of human knowledge à priori.
Critique of Pure Reason, translated by John Miller Dow Meiklejohn (1899), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (9)  |  Extent (13)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Possibility (81)  |  Principle (141)

Philosophy would long ago have reached a high level if our predecessors and fathers had put this into practice; and we would not waste time on the primary difficulties, which appear now as severe as in the first centuries which noticed them. We would have the experience of assured phenomena, which would serve as principles for a solid reasoning; truth would not be so deeply sunken; nature would have taken off most of her envelopes; one would see the marvels she contains in all her individuals. ...
Les Préludes de l'Harmonie Universelle (1634), 135-139. In Charles Coulston Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 316.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (64)  |  Century (56)  |  Contain (5)  |  Difficulty (94)  |  Envelope (4)  |  Experience (167)  |  Father (23)  |  High (19)  |  Individual (83)  |  Marvel (19)  |  Nature (670)  |  Notice (14)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Practice (31)  |  Predecessor (15)  |  Primary (12)  |  Principle (141)  |  Reasoning (68)  |  Severity (4)  |  Sinking (6)  |  Solid (24)  |  Time (234)  |  Truth (560)  |  Waste (41)

Philosophy, like medicine, has plenty of drugs, few good remedies, and hardly any specific cures.
Maximes et pensées (1796), Vol. 1, No. 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Cure (57)  |  Drug (34)  |  Remedy (27)

PHILOSOPHY, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  251.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (98)

Psychiatry's chief contribution to philosophy is the discovery that the toilet is the seat of the soul.
Perspectives (1966). In Rhoda Thomas Tripp, The International Thesaurus of Quotations (1970), 517.
Science quotes on:  |  Psychiatry (12)

Psychological introspection goes hand in hand with the methods of experimental physiology. If one wants to put the main emphasis on the characteristic of the method, our science, experimental psychology, is to be distinguished from the ordinary mental philosophy [Seelenlehre], based purely on introspection.
In Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie [Principles of Physiological Psychology] (1874), 2-3. Trans. K. Damiger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research (1990), 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (457)  |  Introspection (3)  |  Physiology (53)  |  Psychology (80)

Science is a human activity, and the best way to understand it is to understand the individual human beings who practise it. Science is an art form and not a philosophical method. The great advances in science usually result from new tools rather than from new doctrines. ... Every time we introduce a new tool, it always leads to new and unexpected discoveries, because Nature's imagination is richer than ours.
Concluding remark from 'The Scientist As Rebel' American Mathemtical Monthly (1996), 103, 805. Reprinted in The Scientist as Rebel (2006), 17-18, identified as originally written for a lecture (1992), then published as an essay in the New York Review.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (56)  |  Advance (66)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Doctrine (35)  |  Human (220)  |  Imagination (168)  |  Introduction (20)  |  Nature (670)  |  New (167)  |  Practise (2)  |  Result (164)  |  Rich (18)  |  Science (1103)  |  Science And Art (128)  |  Tool (38)  |  Understanding (291)  |  Unexpected (17)

Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don't know.
In Bertrand Russell Speaks his Mind (1960), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Science (1103)

Science is what you more or less know and philosophy is what you do not know.
'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' (1918). In Betrand Russell and Robert Charles Marsh (Ed.), Logic and Knowledge: Essays, 1901-1950 (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1103)

Science never makes an advance until philosophy authorizes it to do so.
Essay on Freud (1937). Quoted in Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler, Gravitation (1973), 1208.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (66)  |  Authorization (2)  |  Science (1103)

Science repudiates philosophy. In other words, it has never cared to justify its truth or explain its meaning.
Lowell Lecture (Feb 1925), 'The Origins of Modern Science', collected in Science and the Modern World (1925), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (48)  |  Explanation (127)  |  Justification (25)  |  Meaning (72)  |  Science (1103)  |  Truth (560)

Science was born as a result and consequence of philosophy; it cannot survive without a philosophical base. If philosophy perishes, science will be next to go.
Ayn Rand
For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1963), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Base (15)  |  Birth (60)  |  Consequence (53)  |  Perish (15)  |  Result (164)  |  Science (1103)  |  Survival (37)

Seeing and thinking have done much for human progress; in the sphere of mind and morals everything, and could the world have been saved by armchair philosophy, the Greeks would have done it; but only a novum organon could do this, the powerful possibilities of which were only revealed when man began to search our the secrets of nature by way of experiment, to use the words of Harvey.
Address at the opening of the new Pathological Institute of the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow (4 Oct 1911). Printed in 'The Pathological Institute of a General Hospital', Glasgow Medical Journal (1911), 76, 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (457)  |  Greek (26)  |  William Harvey (22)  |  Mind (334)  |  Moral (55)  |  Nature (670)  |  Possibility (81)  |  Progress (249)  |  Revelation (27)  |  Secret (60)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Thinking (206)

Sir Hiram Maxim is a genuine and typical example of the man of science, romantic, excitable, full of real but somewhat obvious poetry, a little hazy in logic and philosophy, but full of hearty enthusiasm and an honorable simplicity. He is, as he expresses it, “an old and trained engineer,” and is like all of the old and trained engineers I have happened to come across, a man who indemnifies himself for the superhuman or inhuman concentration required for physical science by a vague and dangerous romanticism about everything else.
In G.K. Chesterton, 'The Maxims of Maxim', Daily News (25 Feb 1905). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (207)  |  Concentration (10)  |  Danger (43)  |  Else (4)  |  Engineer (51)  |  Enthusiasm (24)  |  Everything (53)  |  Example (32)  |  Excitement (25)  |  Expression (54)  |  Full (15)  |  Genuine (12)  |  Hearty (2)  |  Honour (22)  |  Logic (149)  |  Sir Hiram Maxim (4)  |  Men Of Science (94)  |  Obvious (29)  |  Old (40)  |  Physical Science (41)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Real (40)  |  Requirement (40)  |  Romance (7)  |  Romanticism (4)  |  Simplicity (113)  |  Somewhat (2)  |  Superhuman (2)  |  Training (30)  |  Typical (7)  |  Vagueness (8)

So I want to admit the assumption which the astronomer—and indeed any scientist—makes about the Universe he investigates. It is this: that the same physical causes give rise to the same physical results anywhere in the Universe, and at any time, past, present, and future. The fuller examination of this basic assumption, and much else besides, belongs to philosophy. The scientist, for his part, makes the assumption I have mentioned as an act of faith; and he feels confirmed in that faith by his increasing ability to build up a consistent and satisfying picture of the universe and its behavior.
From Science and the Nation (1957), 49. Also quoted in Ronald Keast, Dancing in the Dark: The Waltz in Wonder of Quantum Metaphysics (2009), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (51)  |  Anywhere (3)  |  Assumption (33)  |  Astronomer (35)  |  Behaviour (23)  |  Build (26)  |  Cause (166)  |  Confirmation (11)  |  Consistent (3)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Physical (47)  |  Picture (34)  |  Result (164)  |  Satisfying (3)  |  Scientist (298)  |  Time (234)  |  Universe (339)

Such philosophy as shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable speculation but shall be operative to the endowment and betterment of man’s life.
As quoted on title page of Lancelot Hogben, Science for the Citizen (1938).
Science quotes on:  |  Betterment (3)  |  Endowment (6)  |  Fume (5)  |  Life (588)  |  Man (288)  |  Operative (3)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Sublime (13)  |  Subtile (2)  |  Vanish (5)

Superficially, it might be said that the function of the kidneys is to make urine; but in a more considered view one can say that the kidneys make the stuff of philosophy itself.
'The Evolution of the Kidney', Lectures on the Kidney (1943), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Consideration (53)  |  Function (60)  |  Kidney (9)  |  French Saying (60)  |  Stuff (11)  |  Superficial (7)  |  Urine (8)  |  View (59)

That the Universe was formed by a fortuitous Concourse of Atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental Jumbling of the Letters of the Alphabet would fall by Chance into a most ingenious and learned Treatise of Philosophy, Risum teneatis Amici, Hor.
In 'A Tritical Essay Upon the Faculties of the Mind' (6 Aug 1707), collected in various volumes and editions, for example, The Works of J.S, D.D, D.S.P.D.: Volume 1: Miscellanies in Prose (1739), 173. An earlier, undated, fourth volume of Miscellanies gives the 6 Aug 1707 date the essay was written. The final Latin phrase can be translated as, “Can you help laughing, friends?” attributed to Horace.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (37)  |  Alphabet (5)  |  Atom (188)  |  Belief (204)  |  Concourse (3)  |  Fall (43)  |  Formation (47)  |  Fortuitous (4)  |  Ingenuity (20)  |  Jumble (2)  |  Treatise (11)  |  Universe (339)

The best and safest way of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiences [experiments] and then to proceed slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments.
Letter to the French Jesuit, Gaston Pardies. Translation from the original Latin, as in Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: a Biography of Isaac Newton‎ (1983), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (8)  |  Best (68)  |  Determine (19)  |  Diligent (3)  |  Employ (6)  |  Establish (12)  |  Experience (167)  |  Experiment (457)  |  Explain (14)  |  Furnish (11)  |  Hypothesis (185)  |  Proceed (10)  |  Property (68)  |  Safe (7)

The Darwinian movement has made no difference to mankind, except that, instead of talking unphilosophically about philosophy, they now talk unscientifically about science.
In The Club of Queer Trades (1903, 1905), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Darwinian (2)  |  Difference (161)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Movement (40)  |  Unscientific (7)

The ductless glands secrete among other things our moods, our aspirations, our philosophy of life.
'And Wanton Optics Roil the Melting Eye', in Music at Night and Other Essays (1931), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspiration (10)  |  Gland (7)  |  Mood (4)

The energy available for each individual man is his income, and the philosophy which can teach him to be content with penury should be capable of teaching him also the uses of wealth.
Science and Life: Aberdeen Addresses (1920), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Availability (9)  |  Capability (32)  |  Contentment (9)  |  Energy (126)  |  Income (4)  |  Individual (83)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Teaching (84)  |  Wealth (35)

The great basic thought that the world is not to be comprehended as a complex of ready-made things, but as a complex of processes, in which the things apparently stable no less than their mind-images in our heads, the concepts, go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away, in which, in spite of all seeming accidents and of all temporary retrogression, a progressive development asserts itself in the end—this great fundamental thought has, especially since the time of Hegel, so thoroughly permeated ordinary consciousness that in this generality it is scarcely ever contradicted.
Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy (1886). C. P. Dutt (ed.) (1934), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Understanding (291)

The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments... I will write these traits down in two columns. I think you will practically recognize the two types of mental make-up that I mean if I head the columns by the titles 'tender-minded' and 'tough-minded' respectively.
THE TENDER-MINDED. Rationalistic (going by 'principles'), Intellectualistic, Idealistic, Optimistic, Religious, Free-willist, Monistic, Dogmatical.
THE TOUGH-MINDED. Empiricist (going by 'facts'), Sensationalistic, Materialistic, Pessimistic, Irreligious, Fatalistic, Pluralistic, Sceptical.
'The Present Dilemma in Philosophy', in Pragmatism: A New Way for Some Old Ways of Thinking, Popular Lectures on Philosophy (1907), 6, 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Temperament (5)  |  Trait (12)

The moment philosophy supposes it can find a final and comprehensive solution, it ceases to be inquiry and becomes either apologetics or propaganda.
Logic (1938), 42.

The natural sciences are sometimes said to have no concern with values, nor to seek morality and goodness, and therefore belong to an inferior order of things. Counter-claims are made that they are the only living and dynamic studies... Both contentions are wrong. Language, Literature and Philosophy express, reflect and contemplate the world. But it is a world in which men will never be content to stay at rest, and so these disciplines cannot be cut off from the great searching into the nature of things without being deprived of life-blood.
Presidential Address to Classical Association, 1959. In E. J. Bowen's obituary of Hinshelwood, Chemistry in Britain (1967), Vol. 3, 536.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Morality (21)

The only part of evolution in which any considerable interest is felt is evolution applied to man. A hypothesis in regard to the rocks and plant life does not affect the philosophy upon which one's life is built. Evolution applied to fish, birds and beasts would not materially affect man's view of his own responsibilities except as the acceptance of an unsupported hypothesis as to these would be used to support a similar hypothesis as to man. The evolution that is harmful—distinctly so—is the evolution that destroys man’s family tree as taught by the Bible and makes him a descendant of the lower forms of life. This … is a very vital matter.
'God and Evolution', New York Times (26 Feb 1922), 84. Rebuttals were printed a few days later from Henry Fairfield Osborn and Edwin Grant Conklin.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (38)  |  Animal (188)  |  Beast (17)  |  Bible (49)  |  Bird (66)  |  Descendant (9)  |  Evolution (375)  |  Hypothesis (185)  |  Interest (108)  |  Man (288)  |  Plant (119)  |  Responsibility (28)  |  Rock (68)

The philosopher of science is not much interested in the thought processes which lead to scientific discoveries; he looks for a logical analysis of the completed theory, including the establishing its validity. That is, he is not interested in the context of discovery, but in the context of justification.
'The Philosophical Significance of the Theory of Relativity' (1938). Collected in P.A. Schillp (ed.). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1949, 1970), 292. Cited in G. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought (1973), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (101)  |  Completion (14)  |  Context (7)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Establishment (24)  |  Interest (108)  |  Justification (25)  |  Logic (149)  |  Process (132)  |  Theory (437)  |  Validity (16)

The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person's life. It ultimately makes people protective of the environment in a very committed way. It is my opinion that the study of natural history should be the primary avenue for creating environmentalists.
As quoted in William V. Mealy, ‎Peter Friederici and ‎Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Value in American Wildlife Art: Proceedings of the 1992 Forum (1992), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (56)  |  Aspect (22)  |  Avenue (4)  |  Create (20)  |  Effect (94)  |  Environment (95)  |  Environmentalist (4)  |  Far-Reaching (3)  |  Life (588)  |  Make (11)  |  Natural History (31)  |  Opinion (103)  |  Person (64)  |  Primary (12)  |  Protective (2)  |  Serious (18)  |  Study (227)  |  Ultimately (3)  |  Work (267)

The picture of scientific method drafted by modern philosophy is very different from traditional conceptions. Gone is the ideal of a universe whose course follows strict rules, a predetermined cosmos that unwinds itself like an unwinding clock. Gone is the ideal of the scientist who knows the absolute truth. The happenings of nature are like rolling dice rather than like revolving stars; they are controlled by probability laws, not by causality, and the scientist resembles a gambler more than a prophet. He can tell you only his best posits—he never knows beforehand whether they will come true. He is a better gambler, though, than the man at the green table, because his statistical methods are superior. And his goal is staked higher—the goal of foretelling the rolling dice of the cosmos. If he is asked why he follows his methods, with what title he makes his predictions, he cannot answer that he has an irrefutable knowledge of the future; he can only lay his best bets. But he can prove that they are best bets, that making them is the best he can do—and if a man does his best, what else can you ask of him?
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951, 1973), 248-9. Collected in James Louis Jarrett and Sterling M. McMurrin (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy: A Book of Readings (1954), 376.
Science quotes on:  |  Absoluteness (3)  |  Asking (23)  |  Best (68)  |  Bet (4)  |  Causality (4)  |  Clock (18)  |  Conception (41)  |  Cosmos (27)  |  Course (34)  |  Dice (8)  |  Difference (161)  |  Draft (3)  |  Foretelling (4)  |  Future (142)  |  Gambler (3)  |  Goal (47)  |  Happening (29)  |  Ideal (32)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Method (105)  |  Modern (65)  |  Nature (670)  |  Picture (34)  |  Posit (2)  |  Prediction (56)  |  Probability (67)  |  Proof (160)  |  Prophet (4)  |  Roll (3)  |  Rule (74)  |  Scientific Method (112)  |  Scientist (298)  |  Stake (8)  |  Star (161)  |  Statistics (103)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Tradition (21)  |  Truth (560)  |  Universe (339)

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it
The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1959), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Paradox (26)  |  Simple (44)

The progress of mankind is due exclusively to the progress of natural sciences, not to morals, religion or philosophy.
Letter to Schoenbein (1 Aug 1866). In Liebig und Schoenbein: Briefwechsel (1900), 221. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Mankind (132)  |  Moral (55)  |  Natural Science (37)  |  Progress (249)  |  Religion (135)

The progress of the individual mind is not only an illustration, but an indirect evidence of that of the general mind. The point of departure of the individual and of the race being the same, the phases of the mind of a man correspond to the epochs of the mind of the race. Now, each of us is aware, if he looks back upon his own history, that he was a theologian in his childhood, a metaphysician in his youth, and a natural philosopher in his manhood. All men who are up to their age can verify this for themselves.
The Positive Philosophy, trans. Harriet Martineau (1853), Vol. 1, 3.

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.
In Process and Reality (1929), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Characterization (7)  |  Europe (22)  |  Footnote (2)  |  Plato (35)  |  Tradition (21)

The science of government is my duty. ... I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Letter to Abigail Adams, (1780). In John Adams and Charles Francis Adams, Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife (1841), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (25)  |  Architecture (26)  |  Commerce (10)  |  Duty (34)  |  Geography (19)  |  Government (59)  |  Liberty (11)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Natural History (31)  |  Navigation (8)  |  Politics (66)  |  Porcelain (3)  |  Sculpture (6)  |  Son (10)  |  Tapestry (2)  |  War (97)

The science of systematics has long been affected by profound philosophical preconceptions, which have been all the more influential for being usually covert, even subconscious.
The Major Features of Evolution (1953), 340.
Science quotes on:  |  Influence (62)  |  Preconception (8)  |  Profound (30)  |  Subconscious (2)

The sense that the meaning of the universe had evaporated was what seemed to escape those who welcomed Darwin as a benefactor of mankind. Nietzsche considered that evolution presented a correct picture of the world, but that it was a disastrous picture. His philosophy was an attempt to produce a new world-picture which took Darwinism into account but was not nullified by it.
In Nietzsche: the Man and his Philosophy (1965), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (226)  |  Disaster (18)  |  Evaporation (4)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Friedrich Nietzsche (23)  |  Picture (34)  |  Universe (339)

The solutions put forth by imperialism are the quintessence of simplicity...When they speak of the problems of population and birth, they are in no way moved by concepts related to the interests of the family or of society...Just when science and technology are making incredible advances in all fields, they resort to technology to suppress revolutions and ask the help of science to prevent population growth. In short, the peoples are not to make revolutions, and women are not to give birth. This sums up the philosophy of imperialism.
From Fidel Castro (1968).
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (66)  |  Birth (60)  |  Concept (47)  |  Family (20)  |  Incredible (11)  |  Interest (108)  |  People (75)  |  Population (50)  |  Population Growth (4)  |  Quintessence (2)  |  Resort (4)  |  Revolution (43)  |  Science (1103)  |  Simplicity (113)  |  Society (106)  |  Solution (131)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Suppression (4)  |  Technology (120)  |  Women (7)

The study of economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An easy subject, at which very few excel! The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man's nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician.
'Alfred Marshall: 1842-1924' (1924). In Geoffrey Keynes (ed.), Essays in Biography (1933), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Economics (22)  |  Historian (24)  |  Intellect (125)  |  Mathematician (134)  |  Paradox (26)  |  Science (1103)  |  Statesman (7)  |  Talent (40)

The sublime can only be found in the great subjects. Poetry, history and philosophy all have the same object, and a very great object—Man and Nature. Philosophy describes and depicts Nature. Poetry paints and embellishes it. It also paints men, it aggrandizes them, it exaggerates them, it creates heroes and gods. History only depicts man, and paints him such as he is.
'Discours Prononcé a L' Académie française par M. De Buffon. Le Jour de sa Reception 25 Aout 1753'. Supplement a T.iv (1753), Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi (1777), 11. Trans. Phillip R. Sloan.
Science quotes on:  |  History (199)  |  Man (288)  |  Nature (670)  |  Poetry (75)

The sublime discoveries of Newton, and, together with these, his not less fruitful than wonderful application, of the higher mathesis to the movement of the celestial bodies, and to the laws of light, gave almost religious sanction to the corpuscular system and mechanical theory. It became synonymous with philosophy itself. It was the sole portal at which truth was permitted to enter. The human body was treated an hydraulic machine... In short, from the time of Kepler to that of Newton, and from Newton to Hartley, not only all things in external nature, but the subtlest mysteries of life, organization, and even of the intellect and moral being, were conjured within the magic circle of mathematical formulae.
Hints Towards the Formation of a more Comprehensive Theory of Life (1848). In The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Shorter Works and Fragments (1995), H. J. Jackson and J. R. de J. Jackson (eds.), Vol. 11, 1, 498.
Science quotes on:  |  David Hartley (5)  |  Johannes Kepler (53)  |  Magic (41)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)

The weeds of a seemingly learned and brilliant but actually trivial and empty philosophy of Nature which, after having been replaced some 50 years ago by the exact sciences, is now once more dug up by pseudo scientists from the lumber room of human fallacies, and like a trollop, newly attired in elegant dress and make-up, is smuggled into respectable company, to which she does not belong.
'Sign of the Times', Journal für Praktische Chemie (1877), 15, 473, trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Fallacy (14)  |  Nature (670)  |  Science (1103)

The whole inherent pride of human nature revolts at the idea that the lord of the creation is to be treated like any other natural object. No sooner does the naturalist discover the resemblance of some higher mammals, such as the ape, to man, than there is a general outcry against the presumptuous audacity that ventures to touch man in his inmost sanctuary. The whole fraternity of philosophers, who have never seen monkeys except in zoological gardens, at once mount the high horse, and appeal to the mind, the soul, to reason, to consciousness, and to all the rest of the innate faculties of man, as they are refracted in their own philosophical prisms.
Carl Vogt
From Carl Vogt and James Hunt (ed.), Lectures on Man: His Place in Creation, and in the History of the Earth (1861), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Ape (28)  |  Appeal (16)  |  Audacity (3)  |  Consciousness (43)  |  Creation (164)  |  Discovery (470)  |  High (19)  |  Human Nature (42)  |  Idea (302)  |  Inherent (19)  |  Lord (6)  |  Mammal (20)  |  Mind (334)  |  Monkey (27)  |  Naturalist (41)  |  Philosopher (89)  |  Presumption (8)  |  Pride (28)  |  Prism (4)  |  Reason (211)  |  Refraction (5)  |  Resemblance (17)  |  Soul (68)

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Dream (47)  |  Earth (303)  |  Heaven (79)

There are three schools of magic. One: State a tautology, then ring the changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy. Two: Record many facts. Try to find a pattern. Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that's science. Three: Be aware that you live in a malevolent Universe controlled by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor; that's engineering.
Circulated as an e-mail 'fortune cookie', an interesting remark included with the signature.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (81)  |  Fact (409)  |  Guess (21)  |  Magic (41)  |  Murphy’s Law (4)  |  School (50)  |  Science (1103)  |  Tautology (2)  |  Universe (339)

There are, I believe, very few maxims in philosophy that have laid firmer hold upon the mind, than that air, meaning atmospherical air (free from various foreign matters, which were always supposed to be dissolved, and intermixed with it) is a simple elementary substance, indestructible, and unalterable, at least as much so as water is supposed to be. In the course of my enquiries, I was, however, soon satisfied that atmospherical air is not an unalterable thing; for that the phlogiston with which it becomes loaded from bodies burning in it, and animals breathing it, and various other chemical processes, so far alters and depraves it, as to render it altogether unfit for inflammation, respiration, and other purposes to which it is subservient; and I had discovered that agitation in water, the process of vegetation, and probably other natural processes, by taking out the superfluous phlogiston, restore it to its original purity.
'On Dephlogisticated Air, and the Constitution of the Atmosphere', in The Discovery of Oxygen, Part I, Experiments by Joseph Priestley 1775 (Alembic Club Reprint, 1894), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Agitation (6)  |  Air (106)  |  Alteration (19)  |  Atmosphere (45)  |  Depravity (2)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Dissolve (7)  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Inflammation (5)  |  Maxim (8)  |  Phlogiston (9)  |  Process (132)  |  Purity (9)  |  Purpose (93)  |  Respiration (12)  |  Restoration (4)  |  Subservience (3)  |  Unfit (6)  |  Vegetation (12)

There is no one central problem in philosophy, but countless little problems. Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
From conversation with Rush Rhees (1930) as given by Rush Rhees in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieving (3)  |  Adjustment (7)  |  Central (11)  |  Countless (7)  |  Dial (3)  |  Door (16)  |  Everything (53)  |  Little (44)  |  Nothing (124)  |  Opening (13)  |  Place (45)  |  Problem (234)  |  Safe (7)  |  Trying (17)

There is no philosophy which is not founded upon knowledge of the phenomena, but to get any profit from this knowledge it is absolutely necessary to be a mathematician.
Quoted in C. Truesdell, Essays in the History of Mathematics.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Mathematician (134)  |  Necessary (37)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Profit (17)

There is scarce any one invention, which this nation has produced in our age, but it has some way or other been set forward by his assistance. ... He is indeed a man born for the good of mankind, and for the honour of his country. ... So I may thank God, that Dr. Wilkins was an Englishman, for wherever he had lived, there had been the chief seat of generous knowledge and true philosophy.
In Micrographia, Preface. Cited in Charles Coulston Gillispie, Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1976), Vol. 14, 369-370.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (87)  |  Assistance (4)  |  Born (9)  |  Chief (15)  |  Country (60)  |  Englishman (2)  |  Forward (10)  |  God (267)  |  Good (111)  |  Honour (22)  |  Invention (213)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Man (288)  |  Mankind (132)  |  Nation (63)  |  Production (80)  |  Scarce (2)  |  Seat (3)  |  Thank (4)  |  Truth (560)  |  Way (35)  |  John Wilkins (3)

These Disciplines [mathematics] serve to inure and corroborate the Mind to a constant Diligence in Study; to undergo the Trouble of an attentive Meditation, and cheerfully contend with such Difficulties as lie in the Way. They wholly deliver us from a credulous Simplicity, most strongly fortify us against the Vanity of Scepticism, effectually restrain from a rash Presumption, most easily incline us to a due Assent, perfectly subject us to the Government of right Reason, and inspire us with Resolution to wrestle against the unjust Tyranny of false Prejudices. If the Fancy be unstable and fluctuating, it is to be poized by this Ballast, and steadied by this Anchor, if the Wit be blunt it is sharpened upon this Whetstone; if luxuriant it is pared by this Knife; if headstrong it is restrained by this Bridle; and if dull it is rouzed by this Spur. The Steps are guided by no Lamp more clearly through the dark Mazes of Nature, by no Thread more surely through the intricate Labyrinths of Philosophy, nor lastly is the Bottom of Truth sounded more happily by any other Line. I will not mention how plentiful a Stock of Knowledge the Mind is furnished from these, with what wholesome Food it is nourished, and what sincere Pleasure it enjoys. But if I speak farther, I shall neither be the only Person, nor the first, who affirms it; that while the Mind is abstracted and elevated from sensible Matter, distinctly views pure Forms, conceives the Beauty of Ideas, and investigates the Harmony of Proportions; the Manners themselves are sensibly corrected and improved, the Affections composed and rectified, the Fancy calmed and settled, and the Understanding raised and excited to more divine Contemplations. All which I might defend by Authority, and confirm by the Suffrages of the greatest Philosophers.
Prefatory Oration in Mathematical Lectures (1734), xxxi.
Science quotes on:  |  Anchor (2)  |  Ballast (2)  |  Beauty (125)  |  Contemplation (27)  |  Credulous (2)  |  Difficulty (94)  |  Diligence (11)  |  Discipline (21)  |  Idea (302)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Labyrinth (5)  |  Lamp (9)  |  Maze (6)  |  Meditation (6)  |  Mind (334)  |  Nature (670)  |  Pleasure (73)  |  Prejudice (33)  |  Presumption (8)  |  Reason (211)  |  Scepticism (3)  |  Sharpen (5)  |  Simplicity (113)  |  Spur (2)  |  Study (227)  |  Suffrage (2)  |  Truth (560)  |  Value Of Mathematics (2)  |  Vanity (10)  |  Wit (18)

To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-apply'd moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both.
In Of Proficience and Advancement of Learning Divine and Human (1605), collected in The Works of Francis Bacon (1711), Vol. 2, 417. Charles Darwin placed this quote on the title page of his On the Origin of Species.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (123)  |  Both (7)  |  Conceit (7)  |  Conclusion (88)  |  Divinity (8)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Endless (16)  |  God (267)  |  Maintain (10)  |  Moderation (2)  |  Progress (249)  |  Search (53)  |  Sobriety (2)  |  Study (227)  |  Thinking (206)  |  Weak (14)  |  Word (131)  |  Work (267)

To derive two or three general Principles of Motion from Phænomena, and afterwards to tell us how the Properties and Actions of all corporeal Things follow from those manifest Principles, would be a very great step in Philosophy.
From 'Query 31', Opticks (1704, 2nd ed., 1718), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (84)  |  Derive (6)  |  General (48)  |  Great (103)  |  Manifest (4)  |  Motion (91)  |  Phenomenon (158)  |  Principle (141)  |  Property (68)  |  Step (39)

Today's water institutions—the policies and laws, government agencies and planning and engineering practices that shape patterns of water use—are steeped in a supply-side management philosophy no longer appropriate to solving today's water problems.
From a study Postel wrote for Worldwatch Institute, quoted in New York Times (22 Sep 1985), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Agency (10)  |  Appropriateness (5)  |  Engineering (81)  |  Government (59)  |  Institution (18)  |  Law (327)  |  Management (8)  |  Pattern (32)  |  Plan (50)  |  Policy (13)  |  Practice (31)  |  Shaping (2)  |  Solution (131)  |  Use (62)  |  Water (165)

True religion is rational: if it excludes reason, it is self-condemned. And reason without religion fails of its object; since, if philosophy can find no place for religion, it can not explain man.
'An Essay On The Christian Doctrine of God', Lux Mundi: A Series of Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation (1890), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Man (288)  |  Reason (211)  |  Religion (135)

Truth travels down from the heights of philosophy to the humblest walks of life, and up from the simplest perceptions of an awakened intellect to the discoveries which almost change the face of the world. At every stage of its progress it is genial, luminous, creative. When first struck out by some distinguished and fortunate genius, it may address itself only to a few minds of kindred power. It exists then only in the highest forms of science; it corrects former systems, and authorizes new generalizations. Discussion, controversy begins; more truth is elicited, more errors exploded, more doubts cleared up, more phenomena drawn into the circle, unexpected connexions of kindred sciences are traced, and in each step of the progress, the number rapidly grows of those who are prepared to comprehend and carry on some branches of the investigation,— till, in the lapse of time, every order of intellect has been kindled, from that of the sublime discoverer to the practical machinist; and every department of knowledge been enlarged, from the most abstruse and transcendental theory to the daily arts of life.
In An Address Delivered Before the Literary Societies of Amherst College (25 Aug 1835), 16-17.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (181)  |  Comprehension (37)  |  Connection (56)  |  Creative (17)  |  Discovery (470)  |  Error (174)  |  Face (35)  |  Generalization (21)  |  Genial (2)  |  Genius (134)  |  Height (15)  |  Intellect (125)  |  Investigation (120)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Luminous (4)  |  Perception (31)  |  Progress (249)  |  Simplest (8)  |  Travel (18)  |  Truth (560)  |  Walk Of Life (2)  |  World (351)

TRUTH, n. An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  352.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (98)  |  Occupation (30)  |  Truth (560)

Ultimately there can be no disagreement between history, science, philosophy, and theology. Where there is disagreement, there is either ignorance or error.
As quoted on title page of Max Weisman (ed.), Center for the Study of The Great Ideas, Philosphy is Everybody's Business, (Spring/Summer 2001), 8, No. 1, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Disagreement (10)  |  Error (174)  |  History (199)  |  Ignorance (141)  |  Science (1103)  |  Theology (25)

We have here no esoteric theory of the ultimate nature of concepts, nor a philosophical championing of the primacy of the 'operation'. We have merely a pragmatic matter, namely that we have observed after much experience that if we want to do certain kinds of things with our concepts, our concepts had better be constructed in certain ways. In fact one can see that the situation here is no different from what we always find when we push our analysis to the limit; operations are not ultimately sharp or irreducible any more than any other sort of creature. We always run into a haze eventually, and all our concepts are describable only in spiralling approximation.
Reflections of a Physicist (1950 ), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (101)

We may reflect that physics and philosophy are at most a few thousand years old, but probably have lives of thousands of millions of years stretching in front of them.
Physics and Philosophy (1943, 1981), 217
Science quotes on:  |  Physics (202)

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality, they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man’s name live for thousands of years. But above this level, far above, separated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous.
In Simone Weil and Siân Miles (ed.), 'Human Personality', Simone Weil: An Anthology (2000), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (13)  |  Achievement (93)  |  Anonymous (367)  |  Art (107)  |  Dazzling (9)  |  Literature (46)  |  Manifestation (24)  |  Name (76)  |  Personality (23)  |  Possible (31)  |  Science (1103)

While Newton seemed to draw off the veil from some of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same time the imperfections of the mechanical philosophy; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets to that obscurity, in which they ever did and ever will remain.
The History Of Great Britain, Containing the Commonwealth and the Reigns of Charles II. and James II. (2nd ed. 1759), Vol. 2, 450.
Science quotes on:  |  Imperfection (12)  |  Mystery (86)  |  Nature (670)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)  |  Obscurity (16)  |  Secret (60)

While the dogmatist is harmful, the sceptic is useless …; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance. Knowledge is not so precise a concept as is commonly thought. Instead of saying ‘I know this’, we ought to say ‘I more or less know something more or less like this’. … Knowledge in practical affairs has not the certainty or the precision of arithmetic.
From 'Philosophy For Laymen', collected in Unpopular Essays (1950, 1996), 38-39.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (49)  |  Certainty (81)  |  Concept (47)  |  Dissipate (3)  |  Dogmatism (7)  |  Harmful (3)  |  Ignorance (141)  |  Knowledge (853)  |  Practical (51)  |  Precise (7)  |  Precision (25)  |  Sceptic (4)  |  Useless (9)

Will our Philosophy to later Life
Seem but a crudeness of the planet's youth,
Our Wisdom but a parasite of Truth?
Essay read at the Heretics Club, Cambridge (May 1922), 'Philosophic Ants', collected in Essays of a Biologist (1923), 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Crudeness (2)  |  Life (588)  |  Parasite (22)  |  Planet (103)  |  Seem (14)  |  Truth (560)  |  Wisdom (107)  |  Youth (44)

Without poetry our science will appear incomplete, and most of what now passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry.
Thomas Humphry Ward (ed.) with Introduction by Matthew Arnold, The English Poets: Chaucer to Donne (3rd. Ed., 1880), Vol. 1, xviii.
Science quotes on:  |  Incomplete (9)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Science And Religion (195)

Without the English, reason and philosophy would still be in the most despicable infancy in France.
Essai sur les Études en Russie', in J. Assézat (ed.), Oeuvres Complètes (1875-7), Vol. 3, 416. Quoted in Peter Gay, The Enlightenment (1966), Vol. I, 12.

Women have absolutely no sense of art, though they may have of poetry. They have no natural disposition for the sciences, though they may have for philosophy. They are by no means wanting in power of speculation and intuitive perception of the infinite; they lack only power of abstraction, which is far more easy to be learned.
From Selected Aphorisms from the Lyceum (1797-1800). As translated by Luis H. Gray in Kuno Francke and Isidore Singer (eds.), The German Classics: Masterpieces of German Literature Translated Into English (1913), Vol. 4, 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (16)  |  Disposition (8)  |  Infinite (57)  |  Learning (160)  |  Perception (31)  |  Poetry (75)  |  Science And Art (128)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Women (7)

[Among the books he chooses, a statesman] ought to read interesting books on history and government, and books of science and philosophy; and really good books on these subjects are as enthralling as any fiction ever written in prose or verse.
In Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913), 333.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (123)  |  Fiction (14)  |  Government (59)  |  History (199)  |  Interesting (27)  |  Prose (6)  |  Read (33)  |  Science (1103)  |  Statesman (7)  |  Verse (7)

[Kepler] had to realize clearly that logical-mathematical theoretizing, no matter how lucid, could not guarantee truth by itself; that the most beautiful logical theory means nothing in natural science without comparison with the exactest experience. Without this philosophic attitude, his work would not have been possible.
From Introduction that Einstein wrote for Carola Baumgardt and Jamie Callan, Johannes Kepler Life and Letters (1953), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (23)  |  Beautiful (27)  |  Clearly (5)  |  Comparison (41)  |  Experience (167)  |  Guarantee (11)  |  Johannes Kepler (53)  |  Logic (149)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Matter (169)  |  Natural Science (37)  |  Possible (31)  |  Realize (11)  |  Theory (437)  |  Truth (560)  |  Work (267)

[There is] one distinctly human thing - the story. There can be as good science about a turnip as about a man. ... [Or philosophy, or theology] ...There can be, without any question at all, as good higher mathematics about a turnip as about a man. But I do not think, though I speak in a manner somewhat tentative, that there could be as good a novel written about a turnip as a man.
In 'A Much Repeated Repetition', Daily News (26 Mar 1904). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Human (220)  |  Man (288)  |  Manner (16)  |  Mathematics (450)  |  Science (1103)  |  Story (25)  |  Tentative (6)  |  Theology (25)  |  Turnip (2)  |  Writing (70)

[The] second fundamental rule of historical science may be thus simply expressed:—we should not wish to explain every thing. Historical tradition must never be abandoned in the philosophy of history—otherwise we lose all firm ground and footing. But historical tradition, ever so accurately conceived and carefully sifted, doth not always, especially in the early and primitive ages, bring with it a full and demonstrative certainty.
In Friedrich von Schlegel and James Burton Robertson (trans.), The Philosophy of History (1835), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (21)  |  Age (87)  |  Certainty (81)  |  Everything (53)  |  Explanation (127)  |  Firm (8)  |  Footing (2)  |  Fundamental (72)  |  Ground (31)  |  History Of Science (42)  |  Primitive (19)  |  Rule (74)  |  Tradition (21)

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 EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.