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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > J. W. N. Sullivan Quotes

J. W. N. Sullivan
(22 Jan 1886 - 11 Aug 1937)

English science writer and journalist who wrote on modern topics of science, including relativity, and also Beethoven: His Spiritual Development.

Science Quotes by J. W. N. Sullivan (2 quotes)

Mr. Bertrand Russell tells us that it can be shown that a mathematical web of some kind can be woven about any universe containing several objects. If this be so, then the fact that our universe lends itself to mathematical treatment is not a fact of any great philosophical significance.
— J. W. N. Sullivan
In The Limitations of Science (1933), 229. [Notice that there are no quotation marks in the narrative statement by Sullivan. Therefore, Webmaster believes they are not necessarily, and likely not, the verbatim words from Russell. The first sentence is more likely to be Sullivan expressing in his own words an idea from Russell, and most likely the second sentence is Sullivan’s comment on that idea. (Be cautioned that quotation marks, perhaps spurious, have appeared when re-stated in later publications by other authors.) Webmaster has so far been unable to identify a primary source for these words in a text by Russell. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.]
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On all questions where his passions are strongly engaged, man prizes certitude and fears knowledge. Dispassionate inquiry is welcomed only when the result is indifferent.
— J. W. N. Sullivan
In Aspects of Science (1925), 9.
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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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