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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > Lionel Trilling Quotes

Lionel Trilling
(4 Jul 1905 - 5 Nov 1975)

American writer and literary critic who wrote novels, collections of essays and contributions to numerous periodicals. He taught at Columbia University (1931-75).

Science Quotes by Lionel Trilling (2 quotes)

It is told of Faraday that he refused to be called a physicist; he very much disliked the new name as being too special and particular and insisted on the old one, philosopher, in all its spacious generality: we may suppose that this was his way of saying that he had not over-ridden the limiting conditions of class only to submit to the limitation of a profession.
— Lionel Trilling
Commentary (Jun 1962), 33, 461-77. Cited by Sydney Ross in Nineteenth-Century Attitudes: Men of Science (1991), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Called (7)  |  Class (64)  |  Condition (119)  |  Dislike (11)  |  Michael Faraday (74)  |  Generality (22)  |  Insist (13)  |  Limit (86)  |  Name (118)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Particular (54)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Preference (18)  |  Profession (54)  |  Refusal (20)  |  Special (51)  |  Submit (12)

Now Freud may be right or he may be wrong in the place he gives to biology in human fate, but I think we must stop to consider whether this emphasis on biology, whether correct or incorrect, is not so far from being a reactionary idea that it is actually a liberating idea. It proposes to us that culture is not all-powerful. It suggests that there is a residue of human quality beyond the reach of cultural control, and that this residue of human quality, elemental as it may be, serves to bring culture itself under criticism and keeps it from being absolute.
— Lionel Trilling
In Freud and the Crisis of our Culture (1955), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  All-Powerful (2)  |  Biology (150)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Culture (85)  |  Fate (38)  |  Sigmund Freud (66)  |  Human (445)  |  Idea (440)  |  Incorrect (6)  |  Propose (11)  |  Quality (65)  |  Reactionary (3)  |  Residue (6)  |  Right (144)  |  Wrong (116)


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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