Phantom Quotes (7 quotes)
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth.
But nature is remarkably obstinate against purely logical operations; she likes not schoolmasters nor scholastic procedures. As though she took a particular satisfaction in mocking at our intelligence, she very often shows us the phantom of an apparently general law, represented by scattered fragments, which are entirely inconsistent. Logic asks for the union of these fragments; the resolute dogmatist, therefore, does not hesitate to go straight on to supply, by logical conclusions, the fragments he wants, and to flatter himself that he has mastered nature by his victorious intelligence.
Mathematical research, with all its wealth of hidden treasure, is all too apt to yield nothing to our research: for it is haunted by certain ignes fatuidelusive phantoms, that float before us, and seem so fair, and are all but in our grasp, so nearly that it never seems to need more than one step further, and the prize shall be ours! Alas for him who has been turned aside from real research by one of these spectreswho has found a music in its mocking laughterand who wastes his life and energy on the desperate chase!
Science robs men of wisdom and usually converts them into phantom beings loaded up with facts.
So numerous are the objects which meet our view in the heavens, that we cannot imagine a point of space where some light would not strike the eye;—innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.
When I first read Plato and came upon this gradation of beings which rises from the lightest atom to the Supreme Being, I was struck with admiration. But when I looked at it more closely, the great phantom vanished. At first the imagination takes a pleasure in seeing the imperceptible transition from inanimate to organic matter, from plants to zoophytes, from these to animals, from these to genii, and finally angels.
[Modern science] passed through a long period of uncertainty and inconclusive experiment, but as the instrumental aids to research improved, and the results of observation accumulated, phantoms of the imagination were exorcised, idols of the cave were shattered, trustworthy materials were obtained for logical treatment, and hypotheses by long and careful trial were converted into theories.