„The truth is that the phenomena of artistic production are still so obscure, so baffling, we are still so far from an accurate scientific and psychological knowledge of their genesis or meaning, that we are forced to accept them as empirical facts; and empirical and non-explanatory names are the names that suit them best.“

—  Logan Pearsall Smith, Context: The truth is that the phenomena of artistic production are still so obscure, so baffling, we are still so far from an accurate scientific and psychological knowledge of their genesis or meaning, that we are forced to accept them as empirical facts; and empirical and non-explanatory names are the names that suit them best. The complete explanation of any fact is the very last step in human thought; and it is reached, as I have said, if indeed it is ever reached, by the preliminary processes of recognition, designation, and definition. It is with these preliminary processes that our aesthetic criticism is still occupied. "Four Romantic Words" in Words and Idioms : Studies in the English Language (1925), § VI
Logan Pearsall Smith Foto
Logan Pearsall Smith
britisch-amerikanischer Schriftsteller, Aphoristiker und ... 1865 - 1946
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„There are three Empires. First there is the Empire which was founded on the tree of knowledge. Then there is the Empire founded on the tree of the Cross. The third is still a secret Empire which will be founded on the tree of knowledge and the tree of the Cross — brought together.“

—  Henrik Ibsen Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet 1828 - 1906
Emperor and Galilean (1873), as quoted by Lester B. Pearson in his address on accepting the Nobel Peace Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway (10 December 1957) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1957/pearson-acceptance.html

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„Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.“

—  Blaise Pascal French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher 1623 - 1662

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„The truths which we seek so far afield only become valid when we have separated them from this dross.“

—  Claude Lévi-Strauss French anthropologist and ethnologist 1908 - 2009
Context: I hate travelling and explorers. Yet here I am proposing to tell the story of my expeditions. But how long it has taken me to make up my mind to do so! It is now fifteen years since I left Brazil for the last time and all during this period I have often planned to undertake the present work but on each occasion a sort of shame and repugnance prevented me from making a start. Why, I asked myself, should I give a detailed account of so many trivial circumstances and insignificant happenings? Adventure has no place in the anthropologists profession; it is merely one of those unavoidable drawbacks, which detract from his effective work through the incidental loss of weeks or months; there are hours of inaction when the informant is not available; periods of hunger, exhaustion, sickness perhaps; and always the thousand and one dreary tasks which eat away the days to no purpose and reduce dangerous living in the heart of the virgin forest to an imitation of military service … The fact that so much effort and expenditure has to be wasted on reaching the object of our studies bestows no value on that aspect of our profession, and should be seen rather as its negative side. The truths which we seek so far afield only become valid when we have separated them from this dross. Ch. 1 : Setting Out, p. 17

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„As knowledge advances and scientific disciplines change, so do the disciplines impinging on them.“

—  Eric R. Kandel American neuropsychiatrist 1929
Context: As knowledge advances and scientific disciplines change, so do the disciplines impinging on them. Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind (2008)

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„Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut American writer 1922 - 2007
Context: I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty — and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine. Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.

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„Most students of nature sooner or later pass through a process of writing off a large percentage of their supposed capital of knowledge as a merely illusory asset. As we trace more accurately certain familiar sequences of phenomena we begin to realize how closely these sequences, or laws, as we call them, are hemmed round by still other laws of which we can form no notion.“

—  William Crookes British chemist and physicist 1832 - 1919
Context: The most helpful quality which has aided me in psychical problems and has made me lucky in physical discoveries (sometimes of rather unexpected kinds) has simply been my knowledge — my vital knowledge, if I may so term it — of my own ignorance. Most students of nature sooner or later pass through a process of writing off a large percentage of their supposed capital of knowledge as a merely illusory asset. As we trace more accurately certain familiar sequences of phenomena we begin to realize how closely these sequences, or laws, as we call them, are hemmed round by still other laws of which we can form no notion. With myself this writing off of illusory assets has gone rather far and the cobweb of supposed knowledge has been pinched (as some one has phrased) into a particularly small pill.

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„We should be very careful to distinguish between our knowledge of phenomena and our interpretations of them.“

—  Alfred Stillé American physician, educator, and writer 1813 - 1900
The Essentials of the Art of Medicine. 1897. p 26.

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„One of the principal reasons that diverts those who are entering upon this knowledge so much from the true path which they should follow, is the fancy that they take at the outset that good things are inaccessible, giving them the name great, lofty, elevated, sublime. This destroys everything. I would call them low, common, familiar“

—  Blaise Pascal French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher 1623 - 1662
Context: One of the principal reasons that diverts those who are entering upon this knowledge so much from the true path which they should follow, is the fancy that they take at the outset that good things are inaccessible, giving them the name great, lofty, elevated, sublime. This destroys everything. I would call them low, common, familiar: these names suit it better; I hate such inflated expressions.

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