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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > George Santayana Quotes

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George Santayana
(6 Dec 1863 - 26 Sep 1952)

Spanish philosopher and writer of essays, a novel and poems, who is regarded as one of the most important thinkers of his era.

Science Quotes by George Santayana (16 quotes)

Depression is rage spread thin.
— George Santayana
In Ashton Applewhite, William R. Evans and Andrew Frothingham, And I Quote (2003)
Science quotes on:  |  Depression (25)  |  Spread (83)

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santayana
The Life of Reason, or the Phases of Human Progress (1954), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (146)  |  Being (1278)  |  Change (595)  |  Condemn (44)  |  Condemnation (15)  |  Depend (228)  |  Direction (175)  |  Experience (470)  |  Improvement (110)  |  Past (337)  |  Perpetual (57)  |  Possible (554)  |  Progress (468)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remember (179)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Retain (56)  |  Retention (5)  |  Set (394)

Proofs are the last thing looked for by a truly religious mind which feels the imaginative fitness of its faith.
— George Santayana
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Faith (203)  |  Feel (366)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Last (426)  |  Look (582)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Proof (289)  |  Religious (126)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truly (116)

Repetition is the only form of permanence that Nature can achieve.
— George Santayana
Soliloquies in England (1937), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Form (960)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Permanence (24)  |  Repetition (28)

Sanity is a madness put to good uses.
— George Santayana
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900, 1921), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Good (889)  |  Madness (33)  |  Sanity (9)  |  Use (766)

Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out, and minutely articulated.
— George Santayana
The Life of Reason: Reason in Science (1906), 307.
Science quotes on:  |  Articulation (2)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (424)  |  Intent (9)  |  Interpretation (86)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Perception (97)  |  Round (26)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sense (770)

Science, then, is the attentive consideration of common experience; it is common knowledge extended and refined. Its validity is of the same order as that of ordinary perception; memory, and understanding. Its test is found, like theirs, in actual intuition, which sometimes consists in perception and sometimes in intent. The flight of science is merely longer from perception to perception, and its deduction more accurate of meaning from meaning and purpose from purpose. It generates in the mind, for each vulgar observation, a whole brood of suggestions, hypotheses, and inferences. The sciences bestow, as is right and fitting, infinite pains upon that experience which in their absence would drift by unchallenged or misunderstood. They take note, infer, and prophesy. They compare prophesy with event, and altogether they supply—so intent are they on reality—every imaginable background and extension for the present dream.
— George Santayana
The Life of Reason, or the Phases of Human Progress (1954), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (87)  |  Actual (117)  |  Attention (191)  |  Attentive (14)  |  Background (43)  |  Bestow (18)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Common (436)  |  Compare (70)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Consist (223)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Dream (209)  |  Event (216)  |  Experience (470)  |  Extend (128)  |  Extension (59)  |  Flight (98)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Inference (45)  |  Infinite (233)  |  Intent (9)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Meaning (235)  |  Memory (134)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mind (1339)  |  More (2559)  |  Observation (560)  |  Order (632)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Pain (136)  |  Perception (97)  |  Present (620)  |  Prophesy (10)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reality (262)  |  Refinement (17)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3880)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Supply (93)  |  Test (212)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Validity (47)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Whole (738)

The empiricist ... thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing.
— George Santayana
Scepticism and Animal Faith: An Introduction to a System of Philosophy (1923), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Better (488)  |  Empiricist (3)  |  See (1082)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Think (1086)

The mathematician can afford to leave to his clients, the engineers, or perhaps the popular philosophers, the emotion of belief: for himself he keeps the lyrical pleasure of metre and of evolving equations: and it is a pleasant surprise to him and an added problem if he finds that the arts can use his calculations, or that the senses can verify them, much as if a composer found that sailors could heave better when singing his songs.
— George Santayana
In 'Revolution in Science', Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy (1933), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Belief (578)  |  Better (488)  |  Calculation (128)  |  Client (2)  |  Composer (7)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Engineer (123)  |  Equation (132)  |  Find (999)  |  Heave (3)  |  Himself (461)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Pleasure (179)  |  Problem (679)  |  Sailor (16)  |  Science And Art (186)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sing (26)  |  Singing (19)  |  Song (37)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Use (766)  |  Verify (23)

The scientific value of truth is not, however, ultimate or absolute. It rests partly on practical, partly on aesthetic interests. As our ideas are gradually brought into conformity with the facts by the painful process of selection,—for intuition runs equally into truth and into error, and can settle nothing if not controlled by experience,—we gain vastly in our command over our environment. This is the fundamental value of natural science
— George Santayana
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (146)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  Command (58)  |  Conformity (14)  |  Control (167)  |  Environment (216)  |  Equally (130)  |  Error (321)  |  Experience (470)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fundamental (251)  |  Gain (145)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Idea (845)  |  Interest (386)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Painful (11)  |  Practical (200)  |  Process (423)  |  Rest (281)  |  Run (174)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Selection (128)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Ultimate (146)  |  Value (368)

The tide of evolution carries everything before it, thoughts no less than bodies, and persons no less than nations.
— George Santayana
Little Essays (1920, 2008), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Everything (476)  |  Evolution (593)  |  Nation (194)  |  Person (363)  |  Thought (954)  |  Tide (34)

Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact.
— George Santayana
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (159)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Help (106)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Theory (972)

To most people, I fancy, the stars are beautiful; but if you asked why, they would be at a loss to reply, until they remembered what they had heard about astronomy, and the great size and distance and possible habitation of those orbs. ... [We] persuade ourselves that the power of the starry heavens lies in the suggestion of astronomical facts.
— George Santayana
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 100-101.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (411)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Beautiful (259)  |  Beauty (300)  |  Distance (163)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Great (1575)  |  Habitation (7)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Lie (364)  |  Loss (110)  |  Most (1729)  |  Orb (20)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  People (1005)  |  Possible (554)  |  Power (747)  |  Remember (179)  |  Reply (56)  |  Star (430)  |  Stars (304)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Why (491)

What is false in the science of facts may be true in the science of values.
— George Santayana
In Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900).
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Science (3880)  |  Value (368)

When all beliefs are challenged together, the just and necessary ones have a chance to step forward and to re-establish themselves alone.
— George Santayana
In The Life of Reason: Reasons in Science (1905-06).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Alone (312)  |  Belief (578)  |  Chance (239)  |  Forward (102)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Step (231)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Together (387)

Whoever it was who searched the heavens with a telescope and found no God would not have found the human mind if he had searched the brain with a microscope.
— George Santayana
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (270)  |  Find (999)  |  God (758)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Microscope (80)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Search (162)  |  Telescope (99)  |  Whoever (42)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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- 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


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