„We suppose, it would seem, that concepts grow in the individual mind like leaves on a tree, and we think to discover their nature by studying their growth; we seek to define them psychologically, in terms of the human mind. But this account makes everything subjective, and if we follow it through to the end, does away with truth. What is known as the history of concepts is really a history either of our knowledge of concepts or of the meanings of words.“

—  Gottlob Frege, Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, 1893 and 1903, Translation J. L. Austin (Oxford, 1950) as quoted by Stephen Toulmin, Human Understanding: The Collective Use and Evolution of Concepts (1972) Vol. 1, p. 56.
Gottlob Frege Foto
Gottlob Frege5
deutscher Mathematiker, Logiker und Philosoph 1848 - 1925
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„We define a semantic network as "the collection of all the relationships that concepts have to other concepts, to percepts, to procedures, and to motor mechanisms" of the knowledge."“

—  John F. Sowa artificial intelligence researcher 1940
Conceptual Structures, 1984, p. 76 as cited in: Jacques Demongeot (1988) Artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences. p. 179

Derek Parfit Foto
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Karl Barth Foto

„We must be clear that whatever we say of God in such human concepts can never be more than an indication of Him; no such concept can really conceive the nature of God. God is inconceivable.“

—  Karl Barth Swiss Protestant theologian 1886 - 1968
Dogmatics in Outline (1949), Context: When attempts were later made to speak systematically about God and to describe His nature, men became more talkative. They spoke of God's aseity, His being grounded in Himself; they spoke of God's infinity in space and time, and therefore of God's eternity. And men spoke on the other hand of God's holiness and righteousness, mercifulness and patience. We must be clear that whatever we say of God in such human concepts can never be more than an indication of Him; no such concept can really conceive the nature of God. God is inconceivable. <!-- p. 46

Friedrich Nietzsche Foto
Wallace Stevens Foto

„The truth seems to be that we live in concepts of the imagination before the reason has established them.“

—  Wallace Stevens American poet 1879 - 1955
The Necessary Angel (1951), Imagination as Value, Context: The truth seems to be that we live in concepts of the imagination before the reason has established them. If this is true, then reason is simply the methodizer of the imagination.

Eugen Drewermann Foto
Jacques Derrida Foto
Sören Kierkegaard Foto

„Concepts, like individuals, have their histories, and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time as are individuals.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855
1840s, On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates (1841)

Witold Doroszewski Foto
Bhakti Tirtha Swami Foto
Thomas Jefferson Foto

„These could not be inventions of the groveling authors who relate them. They are far beyond the powers of their feeble minds. They shew that there was a character, the subject of their history, whose splendid conceptions were above all suspicion of being interpolations from their hands.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
1820s, Context: My aim in that was, to justify the character of Jesus against the fictions of his pseudo-followers, which have exposed him to the inference of being an impostor. For if we could believe that he really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind, that he was an impostor. I give no credit to their falsifications of his actions and doctrines, and to rescue his character, the postulate in my letter asked only what is granted in reading every other historian. … I say, that this free exercise of reason is all I ask for the vindication of the character of Jesus. We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications. Intermixed with these, again, are sublime ideas of the Supreme Being, aphorisms and precepts of the purest morality and benevolence, sanctioned by a life of humility, innocence and simplicity of manners, neglect of riches, absence of worldly ambition and honors, with an eloquence and persuasiveness which have not been surpassed. These could not be inventions of the groveling authors who relate them. They are far beyond the powers of their feeble minds. They shew that there was a character, the subject of their history, whose splendid conceptions were above all suspicion of being interpolations from their hands. Can we be at a loss in separating such materials, and ascribing each to its genuine author? The difference is obvious to the eye and to the understanding, and we may read as we run to each his part; and I will venture to affirm, that he who, as I have done, will undertake to winnow this grain from its chaff, will find it not to require a moment's consideration. The parts fall asunder of themselves, as would those of an image of metal and clay. … There are, I acknowledge, passages not free from objection, which we may, with probability, ascribe to Jesus himself; but claiming indulgence from the circumstances under which he acted. His object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust. Jesus, taking for his type the best qualities of the human head and heart, wisdom, justice, goodness, and adding to them power, ascribed all of these, but in infinite perfection, to the Supreme Being, and formed him really worthy of their adoration. Moses had either not believed in a future state of existence, or had not thought it essential to be explicitly taught to his people. Jesus inculcated that doctrine with emphasis and precision. Moses had bound the Jews to many idle ceremonies, mummeries and observances, of no effect towards producing the social utilities which constitute the essence of virtue; Jesus exposed their futility and insignificance. The one instilled into his people the most anti-social spirit towards other nations; the other preached philanthropy and universal charity and benevolence. The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever dangerous. Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a blood thirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. They were constantly laying snares, too, to entangle him in the web of the law. He was justifiable, therefore, in avoiding these by evasions, by sophisms, by misconstructions and misapplications of scraps of the prophets, and in defending himself with these their own weapons, as sufficient, ad homines, at least. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore. But that he might conscientiously believe himself inspired from above, is very possible. Letter to William Short (4 August 1820) http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/jefferson_jesus.html on his reason for composing a Syllabus of an Estimate of the Merit of the Doctrines of Jesus and referring to Jesus’ biographers, the Gospel writers. Published in Thomas Jefferson: Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed., New York: Library of America, 1994, pp. 1435–1440

Georges Clemenceau Foto

„For you a hundred years is a very long time; for us it does not amount to much. I knew men who had seen Napoleon with their own eyes. We have our conception of history and it cannot be the same as yours.“

—  Georges Clemenceau French politician 1841 - 1929
Prime Minister, Remarks to Woodrow Wilson (28 March 1919), quoted in Anthony Adamthwaite, Grandeur and Misery: France's Bid for Power in Europe 1914-1940 (London: Arnold, 1995), p. 49.

Ursula Goodenough Foto

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“