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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index U > Miguel de Unamuno Quotes

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Miguel de Unamuno
(29 Sep 1864 - 31 Dec 1936)

Spanish novelist and philosopher whose works included essays, novels, poetry and theatrical plays. He was a modernist and an intellectual.

Science Quotes by Miguel de Unamuno (11 quotes)

All knowledge has an ultimate goal. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is, say what you will, nothing but a dismal begging of the question.
— Miguel de Unamuno
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Goal (145)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Question (621)  |  Sake (58)  |  Say (984)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Will (2355)

Only one who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.
— Miguel de Unamuno
From the original Spanish, “Sσlo el que ensaya lo absurdo es capaz de conquistar lo imposible,” in Vida de D. Quijote y Sancho: Segϊn Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Explicada y Comentada por Miguel de Unamuno (1905), 175-176. Translated by J.E. Crawford Flitch in Miguel de Unamuno: Essays and Soliloquies (1925), 104-105. This predates the quote attributed (without a known primary source) to M.C. Escher: “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (59)  |  Achieve (66)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Capable (168)  |  Impossible (251)

Science is a cemetery of dead ideas, even though life may issue from them.
— Miguel de Unamuno
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (843)  |  Life (1795)  |  Science (3879)

Science robs men of wisdom and usually converts them into phantom beings loaded up with facts.
— Miguel de Unamuno
In Miguel de Unamuno and John Ernest Crawford Flitch (trans.), 'Arbitrary Reflections Upon Europeanization', Essays and Soliloquies, (1925), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Phantom (9)  |  Rob (6)  |  Science (3879)  |  Usually (176)  |  Wisdom (221)

Science says: “We must live,” and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable, wisdom says: “We must die,” and seeks how to make us die well.
— Miguel de Unamuno
'Arbitrary Reflections', Essays and Soliloquies, translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1925), 154. In Robert Andrews, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 844:9.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptable (13)  |  Death (388)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Making (300)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Must (1526)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Wisdom (221)

Science teaches us, in effect, to submit our reason to the truth and to know and judge of things as they are—that is to say, as they themselves choose to be and not as we would have them to be.
— Miguel de Unamuno
In Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Choose (112)  |  Effect (393)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)

The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. The one is the man who studies the problem and the other is the man who gives us a formula, correct or incorrect, as the solution of it.
— Miguel de Unamuno
'My Religion', Essays and Soliloquies, translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1925), 56. In Robert Andrews, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 844:9.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (66)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Formula (98)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Other (2236)  |  Problem (676)  |  Research (664)  |  Solution (267)  |  Think (1086)

True science teaches, above all, to doubt and to be ignorant.
— Miguel de Unamuno
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Science (3879)  |  True Science (23)  |  Truth (1057)

Was man made for science, or was science made for man?
— Miguel de Unamuno
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Man (2251)  |  Science (3879)

When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid—in which case all comment is superfluous—or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem.
— Miguel de Unamuno
In Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Problem (676)  |  Something (719)  |  Stupid (35)  |  Superfluous (21)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Worth (169)

While men believe themselves to be seeking truth for its own sake, they are in fact seeking life in truth.
— Miguel de Unamuno
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (1210)  |  Life (1795)  |  Sake (58)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Truth (1057)


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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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
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- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
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Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
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- 70 -
Samuel Morse
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Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
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- 60 -
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Avicenna
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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Nikola Tesla
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Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
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Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
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Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
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- 10 -
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