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Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Discerning

Discerning Quotes (7 quotes)

...for the animals, which we resemble and which would be our equals if we did not have reason, do not reflect upon the actions or the passions of their external or internal senses, and do not know what is color, odor or sound, or if there is any differences between these objects, to which they are moved rather than moving themselves there. This comes about by the force of the impression that the different objects make on their organs and on their senses, for they cannot discern if it is more appropriate to go and drink or eat or do something else, and they do not eat or drink or do anything else except when the presence of objects or the animal imagination [l'imagination brutalle], necessitates them and transports them to their objects, without their knowing what they do, whether good or bad; which would happen to us just as to them if we were destitute of reason, for they have no enlightenment except what they must have to take their nourishment and to serve us for the uses to which God has destined them.
[Arguing the uniqueness of man by regarding animals to be merely automatons.].
Les Préludes de l'Harmonie Universelle (1634), 135-139. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Animal (309)  |  Appropriate (18)  |  Automaton (6)  |  Color (78)  |  Destiny (26)  |  Destitution (2)  |  Difference (208)  |  Drink (27)  |  Eat (38)  |  Enlightenment (11)  |  Equal (53)  |  God (454)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Impression (51)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Nourishment (16)  |  Object (110)  |  Odor (7)  |  Organ (60)  |  Passion (54)  |  Reason (330)  |  Resemblance (18)  |  Sense (240)  |  Serve (34)  |  Sound (59)  |  Transport (10)  |  Uniqueness (7)

Although it be a known thing subscribed by all, that the foetus assumes its origin and birth from the male and female, and consequently that the egge is produced by the cock and henne, and the chicken out of the egge, yet neither the schools of physicians nor Aristotle’s discerning brain have disclosed the manner how the cock and its seed doth mint and coin the chicken out of the egge.
As quoted in John Arthur Thomson, The Science of Life: An Outline of the History of Biology and Its Recent Advances (1899), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Birth (81)  |  Brain (181)  |  Chicken (6)  |  Cock (4)  |  Coin (9)  |  Disclose (5)  |  Egg (41)  |  Female (20)  |  Foetus (5)  |  Hen (4)  |  Male (24)  |  Manner (35)  |  Mint (3)  |  Origin Of Life (32)  |  Physician (232)  |  Produce (63)  |  School (87)  |  Seed (52)

Believing, as I do, in the continuity of nature, I cannot stop abruptly where our microscopes cease to be of use. Here the vision of the mind authoritatively supplements the vision of the eye. By a necessity engendered and justified by science I cross the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in that Matter which we, in our ignorance of its latent powers, and notwithstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of all terrestrial Life.
'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, 191.
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He who studies it [Nature] has continually the exquisite pleasure of discerning or half discerning and divining laws; regularities glimmer through an appearance of confusion, analogies between phenomena of a different order suggest themselves and set the imagination in motion; the mind is haunted with the sense of a vast unity not yet discoverable or nameable. There is food for contemplation which never runs short; you are gazing at an object which is always growing clearer, and yet always, in the very act of growing clearer, presenting new mysteries.
From 'Natural History', Macmillan's Magazine (1875), 31, 366.
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In the preface to his great History of Europe, H. A. L. Fisher wrote: “Men wiser than and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave …” It seems to me that the same is true of the much older [geological stratigraphical] history of Europe.
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1973), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Concealed (3)  |  Emergency (6)  |  Following (16)  |  Geology (187)  |  Harmony (55)  |  History (302)  |  Learned (20)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Plot (9)  |  Predetermined (3)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Stratigraphy (6)  |  Wave (55)  |  Wisdom (151)

The inherent unpredictability of future scientific developments—the fact that no secure inference can be drawn from one state of science to another—has important implications for the issue of the limits of science. It means that present-day science cannot speak for future science: it is in principle impossible to make any secure inferences from the substance of science at one time about its substance at a significantly different time. The prospect of future scientific revolutions can never be precluded. We cannot say with unblinking confidence what sorts of resources and conceptions the science of the future will or will not use. Given that it is effectively impossible to predict the details of what future science will accomplish, it is no less impossible to predict in detail what future science will not accomplish. We can never confidently put this or that range of issues outside “the limits of science”, because we cannot discern the shape and substance of future science with sufficient clarity to be able to say with any assurance what it can and cannot do. Any attempt to set “limits” to science—any advance specification of what science can and cannot do by way of handling problems and solving questions—is destined to come to grief.
The Limits of Science (1984), 102-3.
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The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things.
In 'Where I Lived and What I Lived For', in Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (1854, 1899), 112.
Science quotes on:  |  Intellect (157)  |  Rift (2)  |  Secret (98)


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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- 90 -
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- 40 -
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