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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Simone Weil Quotes

Simone Weil
(3 Feb 1909 - 24 Aug 1943)

French philosopher and social activist.

Science Quotes by Simone Weil (7 quotes)

A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless.
— Simone Weil
In Gravity and Grace, (1947, 1952), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Nearer (8)  |  Science And God (5)  |  Worthless (15)

In all that has to do with the relations between man and the supernatural, we have to seek for a more than mathematical precision; this should be more exact than science.
— Simone Weil
In Gravity and Grace, (1947, 1952), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Exact (40)  |  Man (348)  |  Mathematics (597)  |  Precision (39)  |  Relation (98)  |  Science And Religion (271)  |  Supernatural (19)

Science only offers three kinds of interest: 1. Technical applications. 2. A game of chess. 3. A road to God. (Attractions are added to the game of chess in the shape of competitions, prizes, and medals.
— Simone Weil
In Gravity and Grace, (1947, 1952), 186-187.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (119)  |  Attraction (32)  |  Chess (18)  |  Competition (28)  |  Game (48)  |  Interest (182)  |  Medal (3)  |  Prize (9)  |  Road (53)  |  Science And God (5)  |  Technology (205)

Science today will either have to seek a source of inspiration higher than itself or perish.
— Simone Weil
In Gravity and Grace, (1947, 1952), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Inspiration (52)  |  Perish (25)  |  Science (1741)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Source (75)  |  Today (100)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. [p.222]
— Simone Weil
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (70)  |  Abstract (45)  |  Abstraction (30)  |  Accord (22)  |  Act (86)  |  Action (163)  |  Actual (35)  |  Age (146)  |  Apply (40)  |  Area (22)  |  Authority (51)  |  Battle (30)  |  Beyond (88)  |  Capacity (51)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (6)  |  Change (324)  |  Communism (9)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Complex (81)  |  Concrete (22)  |  Condition (130)  |  Contain (42)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (32)  |  Degree (54)  |  Democracy (21)  |  Device (25)  |  Element (137)  |  Elementary (32)  |  End (161)  |  Entire (34)  |  Entity (25)  |  Evil (69)  |  Exclusively (8)  |  Expression (85)  |  Extent (34)  |  External (45)  |  Fact (628)  |  Far (106)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (40)  |  Fill (41)  |  Fix (15)  |  Greek (46)  |  Idea (457)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Incapable (11)  |  Independent (44)  |  Intellectual (85)  |  Intelligence (144)  |  Interdependence (2)  |  Interrelation (6)  |  Invade (4)  |  Isolate (12)  |  Keep (70)  |  Know (394)  |  Level (57)  |  Limit (97)  |  Live (230)  |  Lose (73)  |  Mean (76)  |  Means (119)  |  Measure (76)  |  Method (159)  |  Mind (576)  |  Modify (13)  |  Monster (21)  |  Myth (43)  |  Mythology (12)  |  Nation (114)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Objective (51)  |  Order (173)  |  Ourselves (45)  |  P (2)  |  People (316)  |  Phrase (22)  |  Play (74)  |  Political (34)  |  Possibly (13)  |  Principle (232)  |  Problem (382)  |  Property (96)  |  Proportion (51)  |  Rational (44)  |  Reality (155)  |  Realm (45)  |  Reference (20)  |  Relate (7)  |  Relation (98)  |  Represent (28)  |  Reserve (8)  |  Revenge (7)  |  Sacrifice (27)  |  Same (107)  |  Science (1741)  |  Security (28)  |  Seem (109)  |  Simultaneous (13)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Social (95)  |  Solve (45)  |  Specific (32)  |  Sphere (44)  |  Store (17)  |  Strive (38)  |  Subject (133)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Superstition (51)  |  Technician (6)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Thought (400)  |  Time (491)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (615)  |  Vary (15)  |  Vocabulary (3)  |  Whatsoever (7)  |  Windmill (4)  |  Word (235)

To us, men of the West, a very strange thing happened at the turn of the century; without noticing it, we lost science, or at least the thing that had been called by that name for the last four centuries. What we now have in place of it is something different, radically different, and we don’t know what it is. Nobody knows what it is.
— Simone Weil
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Call (76)  |  Century (103)  |  Different (132)  |  Happen (68)  |  Know (394)  |  Least (50)  |  Lose (73)  |  Name (124)  |  Nobody (40)  |  Notice (21)  |  Place (133)  |  Radically (5)  |  Science (1741)  |  Strange (67)  |  Turn (93)  |  West (15)

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality, they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man’s name live for thousands of years. But above this level, far above, separated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous.
— Simone Weil
In Simone Weil and Siβn Miles (ed.), 'Human Personality', Simone Weil: An Anthology (2000), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (21)  |  Achievement (132)  |  Anonymous (464)  |  Art (217)  |  Dazzling (11)  |  Literature (64)  |  Manifestation (31)  |  Name (124)  |  Personality (42)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Possible (112)  |  Science (1741)


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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