Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index T > Category: Tendency

Tendency Quotes (56 quotes)

A modern branch of mathematics, having achieved the art of dealing with the infinitely small, can now yield solutions in other more complex problems of motion, which used to appear insoluble. This modern branch of mathematics, unknown to the ancients, when dealing with problems of motion, admits the conception of the infinitely small, and so conforms to the chief condition of motion (absolute continuity) and thereby corrects the inevitable error which the human mind cannot avoid when dealing with separate elements of motion instead of examining continuous motion. In seeking the laws of historical movement just the same thing happens. The movement of humanity, arising as it does from innumerable human wills, is continuous. To understand the laws of this continuous movement is the aim of history. … Only by taking an infinitesimally small unit for observation (the differential of history, that is, the individual tendencies of man) and attaining to the art of integrating them (that is, finding the sum of these infinitesimals) can we hope to arrive at the laws of history.
War and Peace (1869), Book 11, Chap. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (98)  |  Aim (89)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Appear (118)  |  Arise (49)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Attain (45)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Branch (107)  |  Chief (38)  |  Complex (95)  |  Concept (146)  |  Condition (163)  |  Conform (11)  |  Continuity (30)  |  Continuous (38)  |  Correct (85)  |  Deal (49)  |  Differential (7)  |  Element (162)  |  Error (277)  |  Examine (44)  |  Find (408)  |  History (369)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Mind (82)  |  Humanity (125)  |  Individual (221)  |  Inevitable (27)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Infinitesimal (15)  |  Innumerable (23)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Integrate (5)  |  Law (515)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Modern (162)  |  Motion (160)  |  Movement (83)  |  Observation (450)  |  Problem (497)  |  Seek (107)  |  Separate (74)  |  Small (163)  |  Solution (216)  |  Sum (41)  |  Understand (340)  |  Unit (31)  |  Unknown (107)  |  Yield (38)

A premature attempt to explain something that thrills you will destroy your perceptivity rather than increase it, because your tendency will be to explain away rather than seek out.
Victor K. McElhenty, Insisting on the Impossible, 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (126)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Increase (146)  |  Premature (20)  |  Seek (107)  |  Thrill (19)

Descartes is the completest type which history presents of the purely mathematical type of mind—that in which the tendencies produced by mathematical cultivation reign unbalanced and supreme.
In An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (1878), 626.
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (87)  |  Cultivation (27)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  History (369)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mind (760)  |  Present (176)  |  Produce (102)  |  Purely (28)  |  Reign (12)  |  Supreme (37)  |  Type (52)  |  Unbalanced (2)

Differences between individuals are the raw materials for evolutionary change and for the evolution of adaptations, yet of course most physiologists treat these differences as noise that is to be filtered out. From the standpoint of physiological ecology, the traditional emphasis of physiologists on central tendencies rather than on variance has some unhappy consequences. Variation is not just noise; it is also the stuff of evolution and a central attribute of living systems. The physiological differences between individuals in the same species or population, and also the patterns of variation in different groups, must not be ignored.
From 'Interspecific comparison as a tool for ecological physiologists', collected in M.E. Feder, A.F. Bennett, W.W. Burggren, and R.B. Huey, (eds.), New Directions in Ecological Physiology (1987), 32-33,
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (49)  |  Attribute (38)  |  Central (34)  |  Change (364)  |  Consequence (114)  |  Difference (246)  |  Different (186)  |  Ecology (69)  |  Emphasis (17)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Filter (8)  |  Group (72)  |  Ignore (31)  |  Individual (221)  |  Live (272)  |  Material (156)  |  Noise (31)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Physiological (17)  |  Physiologist (17)  |  Population (79)  |  Raw (13)  |  Same (156)  |  Species (221)  |  Standpoint (10)  |  Stuff (21)  |  System (191)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Treat (34)  |  Unhappy (8)  |  Variance (5)  |  Variation (63)

Doubtless the reasoning faculty, the mind, is the leading and characteristic attribute of the human race. By the exercise of this, man arrives at the properties of the natural bodies. This is science, properly and emphatically so called. It is the science of pure mathematics; and in the high branches of this science lies the truly sublime of human acquisition. If any attainment deserves that epithet, it is the knowledge, which, from the mensuration of the minutest dust of the balance, proceeds on the rising scale of material bodies, everywhere weighing, everywhere measuring, everywhere detecting and explaining the laws of force and motion, penetrating into the secret principles which hold the universe of God together, and balancing worlds against worlds, and system against system. When we seek to accompany those who pursue studies at once so high, so vast, and so exact; when we arrive at the discoveries of Newton, which pour in day on the works of God, as if a second fiat had gone forth from his own mouth; when, further, we attempt to follow those who set out where Newton paused, making his goal their starting-place, and, proceeding with demonstration upon demonstration, and discovery upon discovery, bring new worlds and new systems of worlds within the limits of the known universe, failing to learn all only because all is infinite; however we may say of man, in admiration of his physical structure, that “in form and moving he is express and admirable,” it is here, and here without irreverence, we may exclaim, “In apprehension how like a god!” The study of the pure mathematics will of course not be extensively pursued in an institution, which, like this [Boston Mechanics’ Institute], has a direct practical tendency and aim. But it is still to be remembered, that pure mathematics lie at the foundation of mechanical philosophy, and that it is ignorance only which can speak or think of that sublime science as useless research or barren speculation.
In Works (1872), Vol. 1, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (22)  |  Acquisition (42)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Admiration (44)  |  Aim (89)  |  Apprehension (16)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Attainment (40)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Attribute (38)  |  Balance (55)  |  Barren (15)  |  Body (247)  |  Branch (107)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (128)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Deserve (28)  |  Detect (14)  |  Direct (84)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Dust (49)  |  Emphatically (3)  |  Epithet (3)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Everywhere (24)  |  Exact (68)  |  Exclaim (4)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Explain (107)  |  Express (65)  |  Extensive (18)  |  Faculty (70)  |  Fail (58)  |  Far (154)  |  Fiat (6)  |  Follow (124)  |  Force (249)  |  Form (314)  |  Forth (13)  |  Foundation (108)  |  Goal (100)  |  God (535)  |  High (153)  |  Hold (94)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Race (69)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Institution (39)  |  Irreverence (3)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Law (515)  |  Lead (160)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lie (115)  |  Limit (126)  |  Material (156)  |  Measure (104)  |  Mechanical (50)  |  Mensuration (2)  |  Mind (760)  |  Minute (44)  |  Motion (160)  |  Mouth (21)  |  Move (94)  |  Natural (173)  |  New (496)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Pause (6)  |  Penetrate (30)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Physical (134)  |  Pour (10)  |  Practical (133)  |  Principle (292)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Properly (20)  |  Property (126)  |  Pure Mathematics (65)  |  Pursue (23)  |  Reason (471)  |  Remember (82)  |  Research (590)  |  Rise (70)  |  Say (228)  |  Scale (63)  |  Science (2067)  |  Second (59)  |  Secret (131)  |  Seek (107)  |  Set (99)  |  Speak (92)  |  Speculation (104)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Structure (225)  |  Study (476)  |  Sublime (27)  |  System (191)  |  Think (347)  |  Together (79)  |  Truly (33)  |  Universe (686)  |  Useless (32)  |  Vast (89)  |  Weigh (14)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)

Education, like everything else, goes in fads, and has the normal human tendency to put up with something bad for just so long, and then rush to the other extreme.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (99)  |  Education (347)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Fad (4)  |  Human (550)  |  Rush (18)  |  Tolerance (8)

Empirical sciences prosecuted purely for their own sake, and without philosophic tendency are like a face without eyes.
The World as Will and Idea translated by Richard Burdon Haldane Haldane, John Kemp (3rd. Ed.,1888), Vol. 2, 318-319.
Science quotes on:  |  Empirical (27)  |  Eye (222)  |  Face (108)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Prosecute (3)  |  Sake (23)  |  Science (2067)

Entropy is the universe’s tendency to go completely bullshit.
Anonymous
attributed to Onsager
Science quotes on:  |  Bullshit (2)  |  Completely (32)  |  Entropy (42)  |  Universe (686)

Environmentalists may get off on climate porn, but most people just turn away. 'If it was really so bad, they'd do something,' says one colleague, without specifying who 'they' are. The human tendency to convince yourself that everything is OK, because no one else is worried, is deeply ingrained.
'Wake up and smell the smoke of disaster', The Times (8 Nov 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (99)  |  Climate (43)  |  Colleague (23)  |  Convince (23)  |  Deeply (17)  |  Do (24)  |  Environmentalist (5)  |  Human (550)  |  Ingrained (5)  |  People (390)  |  Turn (118)  |  Worry (33)

Fiction tends to become “fact” simply by serial passage via the printed page.
Anonymous
Saying.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (733)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Page (30)  |  Passage (20)  |  Printing (13)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Serial (4)

First, as concerns the success of teaching mathematics. No instruction in the high schools is as difficult as that of mathematics, since the large majority of students are at first decidedly disinclined to be harnessed into the rigid framework of logical conclusions. The interest of young people is won much more easily, if sense-objects are made the starting point and the transition to abstract formulation is brought about gradually. For this reason it is psychologically quite correct to follow this course.
Not less to be recommended is this course if we inquire into the essential purpose of mathematical instruction. Formerly it was too exclusively held that this purpose is to sharpen the understanding. Surely another important end is to implant in the student the conviction that correct thinking based on true premises secures mastery over the outer world. To accomplish this the outer world must receive its share of attention from the very beginning.
Doubtless this is true but there is a danger which needs pointing out. It is as in the case of language teaching where the modern tendency is to secure in addition to grammar also an understanding of the authors. The danger lies in grammar being completely set aside leaving the subject without its indispensable solid basis. Just so in Teaching of Mathematics it is possible to accumulate interesting applications to such an extent as to stunt the essential logical development. This should in no wise be permitted, for thus the kernel of the whole matter is lost. Therefore: We do want throughout a quickening of mathematical instruction by the introduction of applications, but we do not want that the pendulum, which in former decades may have inclined too much toward the abstract side, should now swing to the other extreme; we would rather pursue the proper middle course.
In Ueber den Mathematischen Unterricht an den hoheren Schulen; Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, Bd. 11, 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Accomplishment (80)  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Addition (29)  |  Application (170)  |  Attention (121)  |  Author (62)  |  Base (71)  |  Basis (91)  |  Begin (108)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (99)  |  Completely (32)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Correct (85)  |  Course (84)  |  Danger (78)  |  Decade (32)  |  Development (289)  |  Difficult (121)  |  End (195)  |  Essential (117)  |  Exclusive (16)  |  Extent (51)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Follow (124)  |  Former (25)  |  Formerly (5)  |  Formulation (26)  |  Framework (20)  |  Gradual (26)  |  Grammar (14)  |  Harness (19)  |  High School (11)  |  Hold (94)  |  Implant (4)  |  Important (205)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inquire (9)  |  Instruction (73)  |  Interest (237)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Kernel (4)  |  Language (228)  |  Leave (128)  |  Logic (260)  |  Lose (94)  |  Majority (42)  |  Mastery (28)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Matter (343)  |  Middle (16)  |  Modern (162)  |  Need (287)  |  Outer (13)  |  Pendulum (15)  |  Permit (31)  |  Point (123)  |  Possible (158)  |  Premise (27)  |  Proper (38)  |  Psychological (12)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Pursue (23)  |  Quicken (7)  |  Reason (471)  |  Receive (60)  |  Recommend (7)  |  Rigid (13)  |  Secure (21)  |  Sense (321)  |  Set Aside (4)  |  Share (49)  |  Sharpen (16)  |  Side (51)  |  Solid (50)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Student (203)  |  Stunt (3)  |  Subject (240)  |  Success (250)  |  Swing (10)  |  Teach (188)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Think (347)  |  Transition (18)  |  True (208)  |  Understand (340)  |  Want (176)  |  Whole (192)  |  Wise (61)  |  World (898)  |  Young (100)

For science, God is simplythe stream of tendency in which all things seek to fulfil the law of their being.
In Literature and Dogma: An Essay Towards a Better Apprehension of the Bible (1873), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (535)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Law (515)  |  Seek (107)  |  Stream (40)

Historical theories are, after all, intellectual apple carts. They are quite likely to be upset. Nor should it be forgotten that they tend to attract, when they gain ascendancy, a fair number of apple-polishers
'Books of the Times'. New York Times (9 Dec 1965), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (35)  |  Ascendancy (2)  |  Attract (22)  |  Cart (3)  |  Forget (63)  |  Gain (70)  |  History (369)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Polish (9)  |  Theory (696)  |  Upset (8)

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.
From On Liberty (1859), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Built (7)  |  Develop (107)  |  Force (249)  |  Grow (99)  |  Human Nature (60)  |  Inward (2)  |  Living (56)  |  Machine (157)  |  Model (81)  |  Prescribed (3)  |  Require (85)  |  Tree (171)  |  Work (635)

I am persuaded that there is not in the nature of science anything unfavourable to religious feelings, and if I were not so persuaded I should be much puzzled to account for our being invested, as we so amply are, with the facilities that lead us to the discovery of scientific truth. It would be strange if our Creator should be found to be urging us on in a career which tended to be a forgetfulness of him.
Letter to H. J. Rose (19 Nov 1826). Quoted in I. Todhunter (ed.), William Whewell: An Account of His Writings with Selections From His Literary and Scientific Correspondence (1876), Vol. 2, 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Career (57)  |  Creator (55)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Find (408)  |  Forgetfulness (6)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Puzzle (35)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Strange (94)  |  Truth (928)  |  Urge (16)

I have often been amused by our vulgar tendency to take complex issues, with solutions at neither extreme of a continuum of possibilities, and break them into dichotomies, assigning one group to one pole and the other to an opposite end, with no acknowledgment of subtleties and intermediate positions–and nearly always with moral opprobrium attached to opponents.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgment (11)  |  Amused (3)  |  Assign (13)  |  Attach (14)  |  Break (54)  |  Complex (95)  |  Continuum (5)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  End (195)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Group (72)  |  Intermediate (20)  |  Issue (42)  |  Moral (124)  |  Nearly (26)  |  Often (106)  |  Opponent (11)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Pole (18)  |  Position (76)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Solution (216)  |  Subtlety (11)  |  Vulgar (15)

I have therefore tried to show the tendency displayed throughout history, by the most profound investigators, to pass from the world of the senses to a world where vision becomes spiritual, where principles are elaborated, and from which the explorer emerges with conceptions and conclusions, to be approved or rejected according as they coincide with sensible things.
Heat, A Mode of Motion (1880, 1915), 6th ed., viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Approve (3)  |  Coincide (5)  |  Conception (92)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Display (24)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Explorer (20)  |  History (369)  |  Investigator (35)  |  Pass (93)  |  Principle (292)  |  Profound (59)  |  Rejected (2)  |  Sense (321)  |  Sensible (27)  |  Spiritual (57)  |  Vision (94)  |  World (898)

If [science] tends to thicken the crust of ice on which, as it were, we are skating, it is all right. If it tries to find, or professes to have found, the solid ground at the bottom of the water it is all wrong. Our business is with the thickening of this crust by extending our knowledge downward from above, as ice gets thicker while the frost lasts; we should not try to freeze upwards from the bottom.
Samuel Bulter, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 329.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (33)  |  Business (84)  |  Crust (18)  |  Downward (4)  |  Extend (44)  |  Freezing (11)  |  Frost (13)  |  Ground (90)  |  Ice (33)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Profess (10)  |  Right (197)  |  Solid (50)  |  Thickness (5)  |  Try (141)  |  Upward (11)  |  Water (293)  |  Wrong (139)

In Euclid each proposition stands by itself; its connection with others is never indicated; the leading ideas contained in its proof are not stated; general principles do not exist. In modern methods, on the other hand, the greatest importance is attached to the leading thoughts which pervade the whole; and general principles, which bring whole groups of theorems under one aspect, are given rather than separate propositions. The whole tendency is toward generalization. A straight line is considered as given in its entirety, extending both ways to infinity, while Euclid is very careful never to admit anything but finite quantities. The treatment of the infinite is in fact another fundamental difference between the two methods. Euclid avoids it, in modern mathematics it is systematically introduced, for only thus is generality obtained.
In 'Geometry', Encyclopedia Britannica (9th edition).
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (45)  |  Aspect (58)  |  Attach (14)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Both (81)  |  Bring (90)  |  Careful (24)  |  Connection (111)  |  Consider (81)  |  Contain (67)  |  Difference (246)  |  Entirety (4)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Exist (148)  |  Extend (44)  |  Fact (733)  |  Finite (32)  |  Fundamental (164)  |  General (160)  |  Generality (34)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Give (201)  |  Great (534)  |  Group (72)  |  Idea (580)  |  Importance (218)  |  Indicate (18)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Introduce (42)  |  Lead (160)  |  Method (239)  |  Modern (162)  |  Modern Mathematics (38)  |  Obtain (45)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Pervade (10)  |  Principle (292)  |  Proof (245)  |  Proposition (83)  |  Quantity (65)  |  Separate (74)  |  Stand (108)  |  State (137)  |  Straight Line (17)  |  Systematically (7)  |  Theorem (90)  |  Thought (546)  |  Toward (45)  |  Treatment (100)  |  Whole (192)

In mathematics ... we find two tendencies present. On the one hand, the tendency towards abstraction seeks to crystallise the logical relations inherent in the maze of materials ... being studied, and to correlate the material in a systematic and orderly
Geometry and the imagination (New York, 1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Correlate (6)  |  Find (408)  |  Hand (142)  |  Inherent (30)  |  Logical (55)  |  Material (156)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Maze (10)  |  Orderly (14)  |  Present (176)  |  Relation (154)  |  Seek (107)  |  Study (476)  |  Systematic (33)

Is it not evident, that if the child is at any epoch of his long period of helplessness inured into any habit or fixed form of activity belonging to a lower stage of development, the tendency will be to arrest growth at that standpoint and make it difficult or next to impossible to continue the growth of the child?
In 'The Old Psychology vs. the New', Journal of Pedagogy (1894), 8, 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Arrest (7)  |  Child (252)  |  Continue (65)  |  Development (289)  |  Difficult (121)  |  Education (347)  |  Epoch (21)  |  Evident (29)  |  Fixed (17)  |  Form (314)  |  Growth (124)  |  Habit (112)  |  Helpless (8)  |  Impossible (113)  |  Period (66)

It is a wrong business when the younger cultivators of science put out of sight and deprecate what their predecessors have done; but obviously that is the tendency of Huxley and his friends … It is very true that Huxley was bitter against the Bishop of Oxford, but I was not present at the debate. Perhaps the Bishop was not prudent to venture into a field where no eloquence can supersede the need for precise knowledge. The young naturalists declared themselves in favour of Darwin’s views which tendency I saw already at Leeds two years ago. I am sorry for it, for I reckon Darwin’s book to be an utterly unphilosophical one.
Letter to James D, Forbes (24 Jul 1860). Trinity College Cambridge, Whewell Manuscripts.
Science quotes on:  |  Bishop (3)  |  Bitterness (3)  |  Book (257)  |  Charles Darwin (301)  |  Debate (24)  |  Deprecate (2)  |  Eloquence (7)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (126)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Predecessor (21)  |  Truth (928)

It must happen that in some cases the author is not understood, or is very imperfectly understood; and the question is what is to be done. After giving a reasonable amount of attention to the passage, let the student pass on, reserving the obscurity for future efforts. … The natural tendency of solitary students, I believe, is not to hurry away prematurely from a hard passage, but to hang far too long over it; the just pride that does not like to acknowledge defeat, and the strong will that cannot endure to be thwarted, both urge to a continuance of effort even when success seems hopeless. It is only by experience we gain the conviction that when the mind is thoroughly fatigued it has neither the power to continue with advantage its course in .an assigned direction, nor elasticity to strike out a new path; but that, on the other hand, after being withdrawn for a time from the pursuit, it may return and gain the desired end.
In 'Private Study of Mathematics', Conflict of Studies and other Essays (1873), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (15)  |  Advantage (77)  |  Amount (31)  |  Assign (13)  |  Attention (121)  |  Author (62)  |  Belief (504)  |  Both (81)  |  Case (99)  |  Continuance (2)  |  Continue (65)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Course (84)  |  Defeat (18)  |  Desire (142)  |  Direction (76)  |  Effort (144)  |  Elasticity (5)  |  End (195)  |  Endure (20)  |  Experience (342)  |  Far (154)  |  Fatigue (8)  |  Future (287)  |  Gain (70)  |  Give (201)  |  Hang (24)  |  Happen (82)  |  Hard (99)  |  Hopeless (14)  |  Hurry (9)  |  Imperfectly (2)  |  Let (61)  |  Long (174)  |  Mind (760)  |  Natural (173)  |  New (496)  |  Obscurity (27)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Pass (93)  |  Passage (20)  |  Path (84)  |  Power (366)  |  Premature (20)  |  Pride (64)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Question (404)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Return (55)  |  Seem (143)  |  Solitary (15)  |  Strike (40)  |  Strong (72)  |  Student (203)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Success (250)  |  Thoroughly (14)  |  Time (595)  |  Understand (340)  |  Urge (16)  |  Withdraw (9)

It was his [Leibnitz’s] love of method and order, and the conviction that such order and harmony existed in the real world, and that our success in understanding it depended upon the degree and order which we could attain in our own thoughts, that originally was probably nothing more than a habit which by degrees grew into a formal rule. This habit was acquired by early occupation with legal and mathematical questions. We have seen how the theory of combinations and arrangements of elements had a special interest for him. We also saw how mathematical calculations served him as a type and model of clear and orderly reasoning, and how he tried to introduce method and system into logical discussions, by reducing to a small number of terms the multitude of compound notions he had to deal with. This tendency increased in strength, and even in those early years he elaborated the idea of a general arithmetic, with a universal language of symbols, or a characteristic which would be applicable to all reasoning processes, and reduce philosophical investigations to that simplicity and certainty which the use of algebraic symbols had introduced into mathematics.
A mental attitude such as this is always highly favorable for mathematical as well as for philosophical investigations. Wherever progress depends upon precision and clearness of thought, and wherever such can be gained by reducing a variety of investigations to a general method, by bringing a multitude of notions under a common term or symbol, it proves inestimable. It necessarily imports the special qualities of number—viz., their continuity, infinity and infinite divisibility—like mathematical quantities—and destroys the notion that irreconcilable contrasts exist in nature, or gaps which cannot be bridged over. Thus, in his letter to Arnaud, Leibnitz expresses it as his opinion that geometry, or the philosophy of space, forms a step to the philosophy of motion—i.e., of corporeal things—and the philosophy of motion a step to the philosophy of mind.
In Leibnitz (1884), 44-45. [The first sentence is reworded to better introduce the quotation. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Algebraic (5)  |  Applicable (11)  |  Arithmetic (121)  |  Arrangement (60)  |  Attain (45)  |  Attitude (59)  |  Bridge (30)  |  Bring (90)  |  Calculation (100)  |  Certainty (131)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Clear (98)  |  Clearness (11)  |  Combination (91)  |  Common (122)  |  Compound (58)  |  Continuity (30)  |  Contrast (29)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Corporeal (5)  |  Deal (49)  |  Degree (82)  |  Depend (90)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Discussion (48)  |  Early (62)  |  Elaborate (21)  |  Element (162)  |  Exist (148)  |  Express (65)  |  Favorable (12)  |  Form (314)  |  Formal (33)  |  Gain (70)  |  Gap (23)  |  General (160)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Grow (99)  |  Habit (112)  |  Harmony (72)  |  Highly (16)  |  Idea (580)  |  Import (5)  |  Increase (146)  |  Inestimable (4)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Introduce (42)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Language (228)  |  Lecture (68)  |  Legal (8)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Letter (51)  |  Logical (55)  |  Love (224)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mental (78)  |  Method (239)  |  Mind (760)  |  Model (81)  |  Motion (160)  |  Multitude (20)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Necessarily (30)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Notion (59)  |  Number (282)  |  Occupation (41)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Order (242)  |  Orderly (14)  |  Original (57)  |  Philosophical (23)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Precision (52)  |  Probable (20)  |  Process (267)  |  Progress (368)  |  Prove (109)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Quality (95)  |  Quantity (65)  |  Question (404)  |  Quotation (8)  |  Real World (14)  |  Reason (471)  |  Reduce (53)  |  Rule (177)  |  See (369)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Serve (58)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Small (163)  |  Space (257)  |  Special (77)  |  Special Interest (2)  |  Step (110)  |  Strength (81)  |  Success (250)  |  Symbol (73)  |  System (191)  |  Term (122)  |  Theory (696)  |  Thought (546)  |  Try (141)  |  Type (52)  |  Understand (340)  |  Universal (105)  |  Variety (71)  |  Year (299)

Kirchhoff’s whole tendency, and its true counterpart, the form of his presentation, was different [from Maxwell’s “dramatic bulk”]. … He is characterized by the extreme precision of his hypotheses, minute execution, a quiet rather than epic development with utmost rigor, never concealing a difficulty, always dispelling the faintest obscurity. … he resembled Beethoven, the thinker in tones. — He who doubts that mathematical compositions can be beautiful, let him read his memoir on Absorption and Emission … or the chapter of his mechanics devoted to Hydrodynamics.
In Ceremonial Speech (15 Nov 1887) celebrating the 301st anniversary of the Karl-Franzens-University Graz. Published as Gustav Robert Kirchhoff: Festrede zur Feier des 301. Gründungstages der Karl-Franzens-Universität zu Graz (1888), 30, as translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 187. From the original German, “Kirchhoff … seine ganze Richtung war eine andere, und ebenso auch deren treues Abbild, die Form seiner Darstellung. … Ihn charakterisirt die schärfste Präcisirung der Hypothesen, feine Durchfeilung, ruhige mehr epische Fortentwicklung mit eiserner Consequenz ohne Verschweigung irgend einer Schwierigkeit, unter Aufhellung des leisesten Schattens. … er glich dem Denker in Tönen: Beethoven. – Wer in Zweifel zieht, dass mathematische Werke künstlerisch schön sein können, der lese seine Abhandlung über Absorption und Emission oder den der Hydrodynamik gewidmeten Abschnitt seiner Mechanik.” The memoir reference is Gesammelte Abhandlungen (1882), 571-598.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (9)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Beethoven_Ludwig (8)  |  Chapter (10)  |  Characterize (20)  |  Composition (60)  |  Conceal (18)  |  Counterpart (6)  |  Development (289)  |  Different (186)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Dispel (5)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Emission (17)  |  Epic (6)  |  Execution (19)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Faint (9)  |  Hydrodynamics (5)  |  Hypothesis (252)  |  Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (3)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mathematics As A Fine Art (23)  |  James Clerk Maxwell (87)  |  Mechanics (57)  |  Memoir (13)  |  Minute (44)  |  Obscurity (27)  |  Precision (52)  |  Presentation (18)  |  Quiet (16)  |  Resemble (29)  |  Rigor (23)  |  Thinker (19)  |  Tone (11)  |  Utmost (12)

Men who have excessive faith in their theories … make poor observations, because they choose among the results of their experiments only what suits their object, neglecting whatever is unrelated to it and carefully setting aside everything which might tend toward the idea they wish to combat
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (95)  |  Choose (60)  |  Combat (13)  |  Excessive (10)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Faith (157)  |  Idea (580)  |  Ignoring (5)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Object (175)  |  Observation (450)  |  Poor (58)  |  Result (389)  |  Suit (11)  |  Theory (696)  |  Unrelated (6)  |  Wish (92)

Once life evolves, it tends to cover its tracks.
Quoted in Peter Douglas Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth (2000), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Cover (37)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Life (1131)  |  Track (15)

One can often recognize herd animals by their tendency to carry bibles.
From 'The Signal', a short story in Illusionless Man: Fantasies and Meditations (1971).
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Bible (91)  |  Carry (59)  |  Herd (14)  |  Recognize (69)

One dictionary that I consulted remarks that “natural history” now commonly means the study of animals and plants “in a popular and superficial way,” meaning popular and superficial to be equally damning adjectives. This is related to the current tendency in the biological sciences to label every subdivision of science with a name derived from the Greek. “Ecology” is erudite and profound; while “natural history” is popular and superficial. Though, as far as I can see, both labels apply to just about the same package of goods.
In The Nature of Natural History (1961, 2014), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Adjective (2)  |  Animal (359)  |  Biology (168)  |  Common (122)  |  Current (54)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Dictionary (14)  |  Ecology (69)  |  Equal (83)  |  Erudite (2)  |  Goods (8)  |  Greek (73)  |  Label (11)  |  Meaning (113)  |  Name (170)  |  Natural History (50)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Package (6)  |  Plant (200)  |  Popular (29)  |  Profound (59)  |  Related (5)  |  Similarity (21)  |  Study (476)  |  Subdivision (2)  |  Superficial (12)

Part of the strength of science is that it has tended to attract individuals who love knowledge and the creation of it.
Just as important to the integrity of science have been the unwritten rules of the game. These provide recognition and approbation for work which is imaginative and accurate, and apathy or criticism for the trivial or inaccurate. … Thus, it is the communication process which is at the core of the vitality and integrity of science.
Editorial, 'The Roots of Scientific Integrity', Science (1963), 3561. In Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1965), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Attract (22)  |  Creation (242)  |  Individual (221)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Love (224)  |  Science (2067)  |  Strength (81)

Science gives us the grounds of premises from which religious truths are to be inferred; but it does not set about inferring them, much less does it reach the inference; that is not its province. It brings before us phenomena, and it leaves us, if we will, to call them works of design, wisdom, or benevolence; and further still, if we will, to proceed to confess an Intelligent Creator. We have to take its facts, and to give them a meaning, and to draw our own conclusions from them. First comes Knowledge, then a view, then reasoning, then belief. This is why Science has so little of a religious tendency; deductions have no power of persuasion. The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma; no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.
Letter collected in Tamworth Reading Room: Letters on an Address Delivered by Sir Robert Peel, Bart., M.P. on the Establishment of a Reading Room at Tamworth (1841), 32. Excerpted in John Henry Newman, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870), 89 & 94 footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (504)  |  Benevolence (6)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (128)  |  Commonly (9)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Confess (15)  |  Creator (55)  |  Deduction (69)  |  Deed (21)  |  Description (84)  |  Design (115)  |  Die (82)  |  Direct (84)  |  Dogma (32)  |  Draw (55)  |  Event (116)  |  Fact (733)  |  Far (154)  |  First (314)  |  Give (201)  |  Ground (90)  |  Heart (139)  |  History (369)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Impression (72)  |  Infer (12)  |  Inference (32)  |  Inflame (2)  |  Influence (140)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Leave (128)  |  Less (102)  |  Little (188)  |  Live (272)  |  Martyr (3)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (176)  |  Melt (16)  |  Person (154)  |  Persuasion (3)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Power (366)  |  Premise (27)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Province (14)  |  Reach (121)  |  Reason (471)  |  Religious (49)  |  Science (2067)  |  Set (99)  |  Subdue (6)  |  Testimony (13)  |  Truth (928)  |  View (171)  |  Voice (51)  |  Wisdom (182)  |  Work (635)

Science is feasible when the variables are few and can be enumerated; when their combinations are distinct and clear. We are tending toward the condition of science and aspiring to do it. The artist works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science.
In Moralités (1932). Reprinted in J. Matthews (ed.), Collected Works (1970). As cited in Robert Andrews (ed.), The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 810.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Artist (69)  |  Aspiration (27)  |  Clear (98)  |  Combination (91)  |  Condition (163)  |  Distinction (46)  |  Enumerated (3)  |  Feasibility (3)  |  Formula (80)  |  Interest (237)  |  Making (27)  |  Science (2067)  |  Variable (16)  |  Work (635)

Science is not about building a body of known “facts”. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good.
In Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, The Science of Discworld (2014), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (55)  |  Awkward (7)  |  Belief (504)  |  Fact (733)  |  Human (550)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Question (404)  |  Science (2067)

Science itself is badly in need of integration and unification. The tendency is more and more the other way ... Only the graduate student, poor beast of burden that he is, can be expected to know a little of each. As the number of physicists increases, each specialty becomes more self-sustaining and self-contained. Such Balkanization carries physics, and indeed, every science further away, from natural philosophy, which, intellectually, is the meaning and goal of science.
Science, The Center of Culture (1970), 92. Quoted by Victor F. Weisskopf, 'One Hundred Years of the Physical Review', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (38)  |  Expectation (55)  |  Goal (100)  |  Graduate Student (4)  |  Integration (17)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Meaning (113)  |  Natural Philosophy (31)  |  Need (287)  |  Physicist (161)  |  Science (2067)  |  Self-Contained (3)  |  Self-Sustaining (3)  |  Specialty (10)  |  Unification (9)

Subatomic particles do not exist but rather show “tendencies to exist”, and atomic events do not occur with certainty at definite times and in definite ways, but rather show “tendencies to occur”.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 133.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Certainty (131)  |  Definite (43)  |  Event (116)  |  Existence (299)  |  Occurrence (33)  |  Particle (99)  |  Show (93)  |  Subatomic (7)  |  Time (595)  |  Way (37)

Such is the tendency of the human mind to speculation, that on the least idea of an analogy between a few phenomena, it leaps forward, as it were, to a cause or law, to the temporary neglect of all the rest; so that, in fact, almost all our principal inductions must be regarded as a series of ascents and descents, and of conclusions from a few cases, verified by trial on many.
In A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1830), 164-165.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (60)  |  Ascent (7)  |  Case (99)  |  Cause (285)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Descent (15)  |  Fact (733)  |  Forward (36)  |  Human Mind (82)  |  Idea (580)  |  Induction (60)  |  Law (515)  |  Leap (34)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Principal (28)  |  Regarded (4)  |  Series (51)  |  Speculation (104)  |  Temporary (17)  |  Trial (28)

The Anglo-Dane appears to possess an aptitude for mathematics which is not shared by the native of any other English district as a whole, and it is in the exact sciences that the Anglo-Dane triumphs.
In A Study of British Genius (1904), 69. As quoted and cited in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 131. Moritz adds an editorial footnote: “The mathematical tendencies of Cambridge are due to the fact that Cambridge drains the ability of nearly the whole Anglo-Danish district.”
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (108)  |  Appear (118)  |  Aptitude (17)  |  Cambridge (16)  |  District (9)  |  Drain (7)  |  Due (20)  |  English (35)  |  Exact Science (10)  |  Fact (733)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Native (15)  |  Nearly (26)  |  Possess (56)  |  Share (49)  |  Triumph (46)  |  Whole (192)

The conception of correspondence plays a great part in modern mathematics. It is the fundamental notion in the science of order as distinguished from the science of magnitude. If the older mathematics were mostly dominated by the needs of mensuration, modern mathematics are dominated by the conception of order and arrangement. It may be that this tendency of thought or direction of reasoning goes hand in hand with the modern discovery in physics, that the changes in nature depend not only or not so much on the quantity of mass and energy as on their distribution or arrangement.
In History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1903), Vol. 2, 736.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (60)  |  Change (364)  |  Conception (92)  |  Correspondence (15)  |  Depend (90)  |  Direction (76)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Distinguish (64)  |  Distribution (29)  |  Dominate (19)  |  Energy (214)  |  Fundamental (164)  |  Great (534)  |  Hand In Hand (4)  |  Magnitude (45)  |  Mass (78)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mensuration (2)  |  Modern (162)  |  Modern Mathematics (38)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Need (287)  |  Notion (59)  |  Old (147)  |  Order (242)  |  Part (222)  |  Physics (348)  |  Play (112)  |  Quantity (65)  |  Reason (471)  |  Science (2067)  |  Thought (546)

The due cultivation of practical manual arts in a nation, has a greater tendency to polish, and humanize mankind, than mere speculative science, however refined and sublime it may be.
From 'Artist and Mechanic', The artist & Tradesman’s Guide: embracing some leading facts & principles of science, and a variety of matter adapted to the wants of the artist, mechanic, manufacturer, and mercantile community (1827), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Cultivation (27)  |  Greater (42)  |  Mankind (241)  |  Manual (7)  |  Nation (134)  |  Polish (9)  |  Practical (133)  |  Refined (7)  |  Science (2067)  |  Speculative (9)  |  Sublime (27)

The growing complexity of civilized life demands with each age broader and more exact knowledge as to the material surroundings and greater precision in our recognition of the invisible forces or tendencies about us.
From Presidential Address (5 Dec 1896) to the Biological Society of Washington, 'The Malarial Parasite and Other Pathogenic Protozoa', Popular Science Monthly (Mar 1897), 642.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (178)  |  Broader (3)  |  Civilized (18)  |  Complexity (91)  |  Demand (76)  |  Exact (68)  |  Force (249)  |  Greater (42)  |  Grow (99)  |  Invisible (38)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Life (1131)  |  Material (156)  |  Precision (52)  |  Recognition (70)  |  Surrounding (13)

The majority of evolutive movements are degenerative. Progressive cases are exceptional. Characters appear suddenly that have no meaning in the atavistic series. Evolution in no way shows a general tendency toward progress… . The only thing that could be accomplished by slow changes would be the accumulation of neutral characteristics without value for survival. Only important and sudden mutations can furnish the material which can be utilized by selection.
As quoted in Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 91. Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Appear (118)  |  Change (364)  |  Character (118)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Degeneration (6)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Exception (40)  |  Furnish (42)  |  Important (205)  |  Majority (42)  |  Material (156)  |  Meaning (113)  |  Movement (83)  |  Mutation (30)  |  Natural Selection (90)  |  Neutral (7)  |  Progress (368)  |  Reversion (3)  |  Slow (56)  |  Sudden (34)  |  Survival (61)  |  Value (242)

The powers which tend to preserve, and those which tend to change the condition of the earth's surface, are never in equilibrio; the latter are, in all cases, the most powerful, and, in respect of the former, are like living in comparison of dead forces. Hence the law of decay is one which suffers no exception: The elements of all bodies were once loose and unconnected, and to the same state nature has appointed that they should all return... TIME performs the office of integrating the infinitesimal parts of which this progression is made up; it collects them into one sum, and produces from them an amount greater than any that can be assigned.
Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802), 116-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (31)  |  Appointment (5)  |  Assignment (10)  |  Change (364)  |  Collection (44)  |  Comparison (64)  |  Condition (163)  |  Decay (33)  |  Earth (638)  |  Equilibrium (20)  |  Exception (40)  |  Force (249)  |  Greater (42)  |  Infinitesimal (15)  |  Integration (17)  |  Law (515)  |  Loose (14)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Performance (33)  |  Power (366)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Production (117)  |  Progression (12)  |  Return (55)  |  State (137)  |  Sum (41)  |  Surface (101)  |  Time (595)  |  Unconnected (4)

There is an insistent tendency among serious social scientists to think of any institution which features rhymed and singing commercials, intense and lachrymose voices urging highly improbable enjoyment, caricatures of the human esophagus in normal and impaired operation, and which hints implausibly at opportunities for antiseptic seduction as inherently trivial. This is a great mistake. The industrial system is profoundly dependent on commercial television and could not exist in its present form without it.
In The New Industrial State (1967), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Antiseptic (5)  |  Caricature (6)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Dependent (24)  |  Enjoyment (29)  |  Exist (148)  |  Feature (44)  |  Form (314)  |  Great (534)  |  Highly (16)  |  Hint (11)  |  Human (550)  |  Impair (3)  |  Improbable (12)  |  Industrial (13)  |  Inherently (5)  |  Insistent (2)  |  Institution (39)  |  Intense (19)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Normal (28)  |  Operation (121)  |  Opportunity (63)  |  Present (176)  |  Profoundly (13)  |  Seduction (2)  |  Serious (52)  |  Sing (25)  |  System (191)  |  Television (29)  |  Think (347)  |  Trivial (41)  |  Urge (16)  |  Voice (51)

There's a tendency these days to use science as a religion, and to see geneticists as the high priests of that religion. But, the irony is that, as geneticists know more, they get less and less confident.
Quoted by Sean O'Hagan, in 'End of sperm report', The Observer (14 Sep 2002).
Science quotes on:  |  Confident (9)  |  Day (41)  |  Geneticist (11)  |  High (153)  |  Irony (8)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Less (102)  |  Priest (21)  |  Religion (239)  |  Science (2067)

Those who love fairy-tales do not like it when people speak of the innate tendencies in mankind toward aggression, destruction, and, in addition, cruelty.
In Sigmund Freud and Joan Riviere (trans.), Civilization and Its Discontents (1930, 1994), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggression (6)  |  Cruelty (16)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Fairy Tale (7)  |  Innate (9)  |  Love (224)  |  Mankind (241)  |  People (390)  |  Sociology (43)  |  Speak (92)

We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think–in fact they do so.
In The ABC of Relativity (1925), 166. A paraphrase from this quote is often seen as, “Most people would rather die than think; many do.”
Science quotes on:  |  Conform (11)  |  Die (82)  |  Effort (144)  |  Involve (48)  |  Opposite (50)  |  People (390)  |  Prefer (25)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Think (347)  |  Thought (546)  |  View (171)  |  World (898)

We regard as 'scientific' a method based on deep analysis of facts, theories, and views, presupposing unprejudiced, unfearing open discussion and conclusions. The complexity and diversity of all the phenomena of modern life, the great possibilities and dangers linked with the scientific-technical revolution and with a number of social tendencies demand precisely such an approach, as has been acknowledged in a number of official statements.
Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom (1968), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgment (11)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Approach (54)  |  Danger (78)  |  Demand (76)  |  Fact (733)  |  Life (1131)  |  Method (239)  |  Modern (162)  |  Official (6)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Revolution (69)  |  Science (2067)  |  Society (228)  |  Statement (76)  |  Technology (222)  |  Theory (696)  |  View (171)

We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a crowd. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.
From Psychologie des Foules (1895), 20. English text in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1897), Book 1, Chap. 1, 12. Original French text: “Donc, évanouissement de la personnalité consciente, prédominance de la personnalité inconsciente, orientation par voie de suggestion et de contagion des sentiments et des idées dans un même sens, tendance a transformer immédiatement en actes les idée suggérées, tels sont les principaux caractères de l’individu en foule. II n’est plus lui-même, il est devenu un automate que sa volonté ne guide plus.”
Science quotes on:  |  Act (117)  |  Automaton (10)  |  Become (172)  |  Cease (39)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Contagion (5)  |  Crowd (22)  |  Direction (76)  |  Disappearance (22)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Forming (7)  |  Guided (3)  |  Idea (580)  |  Identical (19)  |  Immediately (23)  |  Individual (221)  |  Means (176)  |  Part (222)  |  Personality (47)  |  Predominance (3)  |  Principal (28)  |  Suggested (2)  |  Suggestion (30)  |  Transform (35)  |  Turn (118)  |  Unconscious (20)  |  Will (31)

What is terrorism? Terrorism in some sense is a reaction against the creation of a type one [planet-wide advanced] civilization. Now most terrorists cannot articulate this. … What they’re reacting to is not modernism. What they’re reacting to is the fact that we’re headed toward a multicultural tolerant scientific society and that is what they don’t want. They don’t want science. They want a theocracy. They don’t want multiculturalism. They want monoculturalism. So instinctively they don’t like the march toward a type one civilization. Now which tendency will win? I don’t know, but I hope that we emerge as a type one civilization.
From transcript of online video interview (29 Sep 2010) with Paul Hoffman, 'What is the likelihood that mankind will destroy itself?', on bigthink.com website.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (11)  |  Articulate (7)  |  Civilization (175)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Hope (174)  |  Instinct (66)  |  Know (556)  |  March (23)  |  Planet (263)  |  React (7)  |  Reaction (62)  |  Science (2067)  |  Terrorism (3)  |  Tolerant (3)  |  Win (38)

Whenever there is a great deal of energy in one region and very little in a neighboring region, energy tends to travel from the one region to the other, until equality is established. This whole process may be described as a tendency towards democracy.
In 'Science and Religion', collected in Al Seckel (ed.), >Bertrand Russell on God and Religion (1986), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Democracy (26)  |  Energy (214)  |  Equality (22)  |  Establish (56)  |  Neighboring (5)  |  Process (267)  |  Region (36)  |  Travel (61)

Why do they [Americans] quarrel, why do they hate Negroes, Indians, even Germans, why do they not have science and poetry commensurate with themselves, why are there so many frauds and so much nonsense? I cannot soon give a solution to these questions ... It was clear that in the United States there was a development not of the best, but of the middle and worst sides of European civilization; the notorious general voting, the tendency to politics... all the same as in Europe. A new dawn is not to be seen on this side of the ocean.
The Oil Industry in the North American State of Pennsylvania and in the Caucasus (1877). Translated by H. M. Leicester, from the original in Russian, in 'Mendeleev's Visit to America', Journal of Chemical Education (1957), 34, 333.
Science quotes on:  |  America (87)  |  Best (173)  |  Civilization (175)  |  Commensurate (2)  |  Dawn (16)  |  Development (289)  |  Europe (43)  |  Fraud (14)  |  Germany (13)  |  India (16)  |  Middle (16)  |  Negro (4)  |  Nonsense (41)  |  Notorious (8)  |  Poetry (124)  |  Politics (96)  |  Question (404)  |  Science (2067)  |  Solution (216)  |  United States (31)  |  Vote (13)  |  Worst (18)

[Ignorance] of the principle of conservation of energy … does not prevent inventors without background from continually putting forward perpetual motion machines… Also, such persons undoubtedly have their exact counterparts in the fields of art, finance, education, and all other departments of human activity… persons who are unwilling to take the time and to make the effort required to find what the known facts are before they become the champions of unsupported opinions—people who take sides first and look up facts afterward when the tendency to distort the facts to conform to the opinions has become well-nigh irresistible.
From Evolution in Science and Religion (1927), 58-59. An excerpt from the book including this quote appears in 'New Truth and Old', Christian Education (Apr 1927), 10, No. 7, 394-395.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Art (294)  |  Background (30)  |  Conform (11)  |  Conservation Of Energy (27)  |  Continual (19)  |  Counterpart (6)  |  Department (47)  |  Distort (7)  |  Education (347)  |  Effort (144)  |  Fact (733)  |  Finance (2)  |  Human (550)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Inventor (56)  |  Machine (157)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Perpetual Motion (9)  |  Person (154)  |  Prevention (30)  |  Principle (292)  |  Time (595)  |  Unwilling (9)

[The famous attack of Sir William Hamilton on the tendency of mathematical studies] affords the most express evidence of those fatal lacunae in the circle of his knowledge, which unfitted him for taking a comprehensive or even an accurate view of the processes of the human mind in the establishment of truth. If there is any pre-requisite which all must see to be indispensable in one who attempts to give laws to the human intellect, it is a thorough acquaintance with the modes by which human intellect has proceeded, in the case where, by universal acknowledgment, grounded on subsequent direct verification, it has succeeded in ascertaining the greatest number of important and recondite truths. This requisite Sir W. Hamilton had not, in any tolerable degree, fulfilled. Even of pure mathematics he apparently knew little but the rudiments. Of mathematics as applied to investigating the laws of physical nature; of the mode in which the properties of number, extension, and figure, are made instrumental to the ascertainment of truths other than arithmetical or geometrical—it is too much to say that he had even a superficial knowledge: there is not a line in his works which shows him to have had any knowledge at all.
In Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy (1878), 607.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (35)  |  Acknowledgment (11)  |  Acquaintance (23)  |  Afford (17)  |  Apparently (19)  |  Apply (77)  |  Arithmetical (11)  |  Ascertain (15)  |  Ascertainment (2)  |  Attack (41)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Case (99)  |  Comprehensive (17)  |  Degree (82)  |  Direct (84)  |  Establishment (35)  |  Evidence (183)  |  Express (65)  |  Extension (31)  |  Famous (9)  |  Figure (69)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Geometrical (10)  |  Give (201)  |  Great (534)  |  Ground (90)  |  Hamilton (2)  |  Hamilton_William (2)  |  Human Intellect (10)  |  Human Mind (82)  |  Important (205)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Instrumental (5)  |  Investigate (65)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Law (515)  |  Line (90)  |  Little (188)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mode (40)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Number (282)  |  Physical (134)  |  Prerequisite (7)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Process (267)  |  Property (126)  |  Pure Mathematics (65)  |  Recondite (5)  |  Requisite (11)  |  Rudiment (4)  |  Say (228)  |  See (369)  |  Show (93)  |  Study (476)  |  Subsequent (19)  |  Succeed (27)  |  Superficial (12)  |  Thorough (18)  |  Tolerable (2)  |  Truth (928)  |  Unfitted (3)  |  Universal (105)  |  Verification (27)  |  View (171)  |  Work (635)

[William Gull] sought to teach his students not to think they could cure disease. “The best of all remedies,” he would say, “is a warm bed.” “ I can tell you something of how you get ill, but I cannot tell you how you get well.” “ Healing is accomplished ‘By an operation more divine Than tongue or pen can give expression to.’” “Remedies act best when there is a tendency to get well.”
Stated in Sir William Withey Gull and Theodore Dyke Acland (ed.), A Collection of the Published Writings of William Withey Gull (1896), xxvi.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (80)  |  Bed (22)  |  Cure (96)  |  Disease (275)  |  Divine (61)  |  Sir William Withey Gull (39)  |  Healing (18)  |  Operation (121)  |  Pen (12)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Student (203)  |  Teach (188)  |  Tongue (19)  |  Warm (34)

[Young] was afterwards accustomed to say, that at no period of his life was he particularly fond of repeating experiments, or even of very frequently attempting to originate new ones; considering that, however necessary to the advancement of science, they demanded a great sacrifice of time, and that when the fact was once established, that time was better employed in considering the purposes to which it might be applied, or the principles which it might tend to elucidate.
Hudson Gurney, Memoir of the Life of Thomas Young, M.D. F.R.S. (1831), 12-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (40)  |  Application (170)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Demand (76)  |  Elucidation (6)  |  Establishment (35)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fond (12)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Life (1131)  |  Necessary (154)  |  New (496)  |  Origination (7)  |  Particular (76)  |  Period (66)  |  Principle (292)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Repeat (41)  |  Sacrifice (32)  |  Time (595)  |  Thomas Young (14)

“If there are two theories, one simpler man the other, the simpler one is to be preferred.” At first sight this does not seem quite so bad, but a little thought shows that our tendency to prefer the simpler possibility is psychological rather than scientific. It is less trouble to think that way. Experience invariably shows that the more correct a theory becomes, the more complex does it seem. … So this … interpretation of [Ockham’s Razor] is … worthless.
With co-author Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (1981), 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Complexity (91)  |  Correct (85)  |  Experience (342)  |  Interpretation (70)  |  Ockham’s Razor (2)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Prefer (25)  |  Psychological (12)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Simple (178)  |  Theory (696)  |  Thought (546)  |  Trouble (72)


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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.