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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Carl L. Becker Quotes

Carl L. Becker
(7 Sep 1873 - 10 Apr 1945)

American historian and author best known for his book The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-century Philosophers.(1932)

Science Quotes by Carl L. Becker (6 quotes)

All historians, even the most scientific, have bias, if in no other sense than the determination not to have any.
— Carl L. Becker
In Everyman His Own Historian (1935), 136. The book is expanded from his presidential address (1931) to the American Historical Association.
Science quotes on:  |  Bias (15)  |  Determination (53)  |  Historian (30)  |  Scientific (169)

Professor Whitehead has recently restored a seventeenth century phrase—"climate of opinion." The phrase is much needed. Whether arguments command assent or not depends less upon the logic that conveys them than upon the climate of opinion in which they are sustained.
— Carl L. Becker
In The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932, 2003), 5
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (10)  |  Argument (59)  |  Assent (4)  |  Climate (38)  |  Convey (10)  |  Depend (56)  |  Logic (187)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Sustain (13)  |  Alfred North Whitehead (90)

The questions we ask are "What?" and "How?" What are the facts and how are they related? If sometimes, in a moment of absent-mindedness or idle diversion, we ask the question "Why?" the answer escapes us.
— Carl L. Becker
In The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932, 2003), 16
Science quotes on:  |  Absent-Minded (2)  |  Answer (201)  |  Diversion (7)  |  Escape (34)  |  Fact (609)  |  Idle (11)  |  Question (315)  |  Related (5)

The significance of man is that he is insignificant and is aware of it.
— Carl L. Becker
In Progress and Power: Three Lectures, April 1935 (1936), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (23)  |  Insignificant (11)  |  Man (345)  |  Significance (60)

The value of history is, indeed, not scientific but moral: by liberalizing the mind, by deepening the sympathies, by fortifying the will, it enables us to control, not society, but ourselves—a much more important thing; it prepares us to live more humanely in the present and to meet rather than to foretell the future.
— Carl L. Becker
In 'A New Philosophy of History', The Dial (2 Sep 1915), 148. This is Becker’s concluding remark in his review of a book by L. Cecil Jane, The Interpretation of History. Becker refutes Jane’s idea that the value of history lies in whether it consists in furnishing “some clue as to what the future will bring.”
Science quotes on:  |  Control (93)  |  Deepen (5)  |  Foretell (5)  |  Fortify (3)  |  Future (229)  |  History (302)  |  Live (186)  |  Mind (544)  |  Moral (100)  |  Prepare (19)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Society (188)  |  Sympathy (15)  |  Value (180)  |  Will (29)

Why, it is asked, since the scientist, by means of classification and experiment, can predict the “action of the physical world, shall not the historian do as much for the moral world”! The analogy is false at many points; but the confusion arises chiefly from the assumption that the scientist can predict the action of the physical world. Certain conditions precisely given, the scientist can predict the result; he cannot say when or where in the future those conditions will obtain.
— Carl L. Becker
In 'A New Philosophy of History', The Dial (2 Sep 1915), 148. This is Becker’s review of a book by L. Cecil Jane, The Interpretation of History. Becker refutes Jane’s idea that the value of history lies in whether it consists in furnishing “some clue as to what the future will bring.”
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Classification (79)  |  Experiment (543)  |  False (79)  |  Future (229)  |  Historian (30)  |  Morality (33)  |  Precise (17)  |  Predict (12)  |  Result (250)  |  Scientist (447)


See also:

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

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



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