Sentient Quotes (8 quotes)
At this stage you must admit that whatever is seen to be sentient is nevertheless composed of atoms that are insentient. The phenomena open to our observation so not contradict this conclusion or conflict with it. Rather they lead us by the hand and compel us to believe that the animate is born, as I maintain, of the insentient.
Disinterestedness is as great a puzzle and paradox as ever. Indeed, strictly speaking, it is a species of irrationality, or insanity, as regards the individual’s self; a contradiction of the most essential nature of a sentient being, which is to move to pleasure and from pain.
I recognize that to view the Earth as if it were alive is just a convenient, but different, way of organizing the facts of the Earth. I am, of course, prejudiced in favour of Gaia and have filled my life for the past 25 years with the thought that the Earth might be in certain ways be alive—not as the ancients saw her, a sentient goddess with purpose and foresight—more like a tree. A tree that exists, never moving except to sway in the wind, yet endlessly conversing with the sunlight and the soil. Using sunlight and water and nutrients to grow and change. But all done so imperceptibly that, to me, the old oak tree on the green is the same as it was when I was a child.
If all sentient beings in the universe disappeared, there would remain a sense in which mathematical objects and theorems would continue to exist even though there would be no one around to write or talk about them. Huge prime numbers would continue to be prime, even if no one had proved them prime.
The mathematician … stands between areas of study, especially between the humanities and the natural sciences … The object of his research is more spiritual than that of the natural scientist, and more sentient than that of the humanist.
— Max Dehn
The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
Unhappily for the physiologist, the subjects of the principal department of his science, that of animal physiology, are sentient beings; and every experiment, every new or unusual situation of such a being, is necessarily attended by pain or suffering of a bodily or mental kind.
Where a body is in motion, there exists space and time, the simplest sentient creature in this world would thus be a measure of them. Our hearing, and perhaps our seeing too, consists of a counting of oscillations.