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Philosophers

Little girls can be the nicest things that happen to people. [With Allan Beck]

Don't laugh out loud at something that appears absurd or ridiculous - it could have been said by some philosopher earlier. [With Oliver Goldsmith]

It is quite true what Philosophy says: Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget that it must be lived forwards somehow. [With Soren Kierkegaard]

You can forgive people who do not follow you through a philosophical disquisition; but to find your wife laughing when you had tears in your eyes . . . would go some way towards a dissolution of the marriage. [Robert Louis Stevenson]

One's inner, guiding light supports or destroys life. [TK]

On Hawks and Chickens and Some Arts

"If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning." [Carl Rogers]

Some art galleries contain works of much independent guys. Some of these guys were considered insane and devilish at first. Pablo Picasso was called that by critics the first decade, at any rate. The art of Munch and Matisse was too different from ruling tastes of critics too - at first.

If you value sane and enough independence in life and important things to express, try not to rest on the acclaim of chickens and too set critics. One has to be bold to be braver than what chickens love and grow up to become. One has to be bold within to grab truths and live them out. In the end the results of your efforts may be hung up in some gallery of art (figurative or not) - which is not home.

It's a mistake to judge the artist mainly by his clothes and the book wholly by its cover. He may study hard and walk about in jeans and look shabby for it. Inside there may be greatness and purity all along all the same. He shows a side to not depending so very much. Able scientists manifest something similar. Compare:

  • "The great men of science are supreme artists [Martin H. Fischer]."
  • "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing [Werner von Braun]."
  • "A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? [Albert Einstein]."

Science and Scientists

Not fact-finding, but attainment to philosophy is the aim of science. [Martin H. Fischer]

Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced. [Alfred North Whitehead]

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either. [Albert Einstein]

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. [Albert Einstein]

In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they 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. [Carl Sagan, 1987]

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it. [Albert Einstein]

The priest persuades a humble people to endure their hard lot, and a scientist thinks of a method that does away with the hard lot altogether. [Max Percy, abr.]

I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy. [Bertrand Russell, Icarus, or the Future of Science, 1925]

The doubter is a true man of science; he doubts only himself and his interpretations, but he believes in science. [Claude Bernard]

There is no gravity. The earth sucks. [Graffito]

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. [H.L. Mencken, "Minority Report," Notebooks, 1956]

Further Words

Venus
Venus from Milo
On a visit to Paris, the US comedian Will Rogers (1879-1935) sent a picture postcard of the Venus de Milo to his young niece and wrote on the back:

"See what will happen to you if you don't stop biting your fingernails."

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