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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Certitude

Certitude Quotes (6 quotes)

Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that are not so.
In 'Natural Law', The Harvard Law Review, 32, (1918). In Oliver Wendell Holmes and Harold Joseph Laski, Collected Legal Papers (1920), 311.
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In the Life of Darwin by his son, there is related an incident of how the great naturalist once studied long as to just what a certain spore was. Finally he said, “It is this, for if it isn’t, then what is it?” And all during his life he was never able to forget that he had been guilty of this unscientific attitude, for science is founded on certitude, not assumption.
In Elbert Hubbard (ed. and publ.), The Philistine (May 1908), 26, No. 6, 172.
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Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?
'The Will to Believe' (1896). In The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897), 14.
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On all questions where his passions are strongly engaged, man prizes certitude and fears knowledge. Dispassionate inquiry is welcomed only when the result is indifferent.
In Aspects of Science (1925), 9.
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One of the most constant characteristics of beliefs is their intolerance. It is even more uncompromising as the belief is stronger. Men dominated by a certitude cannot tolerate those who do not accept it.
From Les Opinions et les Croyances: Genèse—Évolution (1911), 235. As translated in review of that book by: Samuel N. Reep, The American Journal of Sociology (1913), 18, No. 6, 814 (first and last sentences). Original French text: “Un des caractères généraux les plus constants des croyances est leur intolérance. Elle est d’autant plus intransigeante que la croyance est plus forte. Les hommes dominés par une certitude ne peuvent tolérer ceux qui ne l’acceptent pas.” The second sentence as translated by Webmaster from the original French. Also seen translated as, “The stronger the belief, the greater its intolerance.”
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Properly speaking, there is no certitude. All there is is men who are certain.
In Traité de psychologie rationnelle, Vol. 1, 366. As quoted by William James in 'Bain and Renouvier', (1876), in Ralph Barton Perry (ed.), Collected Essays and Reviews (1920), 33. French source as cited in David G. Schultenover, The Reception of Pragmatism in France and the Rise of Roman Catholic Modernism, 1890-1914 (2009), 112.
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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
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