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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Expedient

Expedient Quotes (6 quotes)

“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.
Sir Joshua Reynolds.”
Sign motto used by Edison in his plant. It is a compacted paraphrase of an original quote by the painter, Joshua Reynolds, (which can been seen on the Reynolds quote page on this site). This form of the quote, was published by B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine (Jan 1921), 10. Forbes wrote about his visit to the Edison’s office, where he was shown a placard bearing the motto and attribution to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and told by Edison that he intended to have copies “put all over the plant.”
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An eye critically nice can only be formed by observing well-colored pictures with attention; and by close attention … discover … expedients by which good colorists have raised the value of their tints, and by which nature has been so happily imitated.
In The Life and Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1853), 24.
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I found out at an early age that science is a haven for the timid, the freaks, the misfits. That is more true perhaps for the past than now. If you were a student in Göttingen in the 1920s and went to the seminar “Structure of Matter” which was under the joint auspices of David Hilbert and Max Born, you could well imagine that you were in a madhouse as you walked in. Every one of the persons there was obviously some kind of a severe case. The least you could do was put on some kind of a stutter. Robert Oppenheimer as a graduate student found it expedient to develop a very elegant kind of stutter, the "njum-njum-njum" technique. Thus, if you were an oddball you felt at home.
Answering the question, “Why did you choose science as your life’s work?” In 'Homo Scientificus According to Beckett," collected in William Beranek, Jr. (ed.)Science, Scientists, and Society, (1972), 135. Excerpted in Ann E. Kammer, Science, Sex, and Society (1979), 278.
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In nature we find not only that which is expedient, but also everything which is not so inexpedient as to endanger the existence of the species.
On Aggression, trans. M. Latzke (1966), 260.
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It is one of the triumphs of human wit ... to conquer by humility and submissiveness ... to make oneself small in order to appear great ... such ... are often the expedients of the neurotic.
In The Neurotic Constitution (1917), 81-82.
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There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.[Greatly abbreviated and paraphrased.]
The original 1784 version of this quote begins “A provision of endless apparatus…” (see elsewhere on this page). Over the years, the original 35-word quote has been paraphrased, re-paraphrased and abbreviated to these 18 words. In this form, it was published by B.C. Forbes in 'Why Do So Many Men Never Amount to Anything?',The American Magazine (Jan 1921). The journalist, having visited Thomas Edison’s laboratory, wrote that Edison showed him a placard inscribed with this quote, including the name of Joshua Reynolds, with the intention of having copies placed “all over the plant.” The quote was subsequently repeated by other writers, (describing Edison’s use of the sign), some of whom omitted the name of Joshua Reynolds incorrectly implying attribution to Edison.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (123)  |  Labor (200)  |  Man (2252)  |  Resort (8)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Will (2350)


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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