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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > Alfred Tarski Quotes

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Alfred Tarski
(14 Jan 1902 - 26 Oct 1983)

Polish-American mathematician and logician.


Science Quotes by Alfred Tarski (3 quotes)

... semantics ... is a sober and modest discipline which has no pretensions of being a universal patent-medicine for all the ills and diseases of mankind, whether imaginary or real. You will not find in semantics any remedy for decayed teeth or illusions of grandeur or class conflict. Nor is semantics a device for establishing that everyone except the speaker and his friends is speaking nonsense
— Alfred Tarski
In 'The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics', collected in Leonard Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language: A Collection of Readings (1952), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Being (1278)  |  Class (164)  |  Conflict (74)  |  Decay (53)  |  Device (70)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Disease (332)  |  Establishing (7)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Find (999)  |  Friend (168)  |  Grandeur (31)  |  Ill (12)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Imaginary (16)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Modest (15)  |  Nonsense (48)  |  Patent (33)  |  Patent Medicine (2)  |  Pretension (6)  |  Real (149)  |  Remedy (62)  |  Semantics (3)  |  Sober (9)  |  Speaker (6)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Universal (189)  |  Will (2354)

If a mathematician wishes to disparage the work of one of his colleagues, say, A, the most effective method he finds for doing this is to ask where the results can be applied. The hard pressed man, with his back against the wall, finally unearths the researches of another mathematician B as the locus of the application of his own results. If next B is plagued with a similar question, he will refer to another mathematician C. After a few steps of this kind we find ourselves referred back to the researches of A, and in this way the chain closes.
— Alfred Tarski
From final remarks in 'The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics' (1944), collected in Leonard Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language: A Collection of Readings (1952), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Application (242)  |  Applied (176)  |  Ask (411)  |  Back (391)  |  Chain (50)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Disparage (5)  |  Doing (280)  |  Effective (59)  |  Find (999)  |  Hard (243)  |  Kind (557)  |  Locus (5)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Method (506)  |  Most (1729)  |  Next (236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Question (622)  |  Research (677)  |  Result (678)  |  Say (984)  |  Step (231)  |  Wall (67)  |  Way (1216)  |  Will (2354)  |  Work (1351)

It may be unpopular and out-of-date to say—but I do not think that a scientific result which gives us a better understanding of the world and makes it more harmonious in our eyes should be held in lower esteem than, say, an invention which reduces the cost of paving roads, or improves household plumbing.
— Alfred Tarski
From final remarks in 'The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics' (1944), collected in Leonard Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language: A Collection of Readings (1952), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (488)  |  Cost (87)  |  Do (1908)  |  Esteem (15)  |  Eye (423)  |  Harmonious (18)  |  Household (8)  |  Improve (58)  |  Invention (377)  |  Lower (11)  |  More (2559)  |  Paving (2)  |  Plumbing (5)  |  Reduce (95)  |  Result (678)  |  Road (64)  |  Say (984)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Think (1086)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Unpopular (4)  |  World (1778)


See also:
  • 14 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Tarski's birth.
  • Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic, by Anita Burdman Feferman. - book suggestion.

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)

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