— Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 v.Chr
— Robert A. Heinlein, buch Starman Jones
Chapter 11, “Through the Cargo Hatch” (p. 115)
Starman Jones (1953)
„A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it.“
— H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956
„[blind_man] A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there.“
— Charles Darwin British naturalist, author of "On the origin of species, by means of natural selection" 1809 - 1882
This is attributed, with an expression of doubt as to its correctness, in Mathematics, Our Great Heritage: Essays on the Nature and Cultural Significance of Mathematics (1948) by William Leonard Schaaf, p. 163; also attributed in Pi in the Sky : Counting, Thinking and Being (1992) by John D. Barrow. There are a number of similar expressions to this with various attributions, but the earliest published variants seem to be quotations of Lord Bowen:
When I hear of an 'equity' in a case like this, I am reminded of a blind man in a dark room — looking for a black hat — which isn't there.
Lord Bowen, as quoted in "Pie Powder", Being Dust from the Law Courts, Collected and Recollected on the Western Circuit, by a Circuit Tramp (1911) by John Alderson Foote; this seems to be the earliest account of any similar expression. It is mentioned by the author that this expression has become misquoted as a "black cat" rather than "black hat."
An earlier example with "hat" as a learned judge is said to have defined the metaphysician, namely, as a blind man looking for a black hat in a dark room, the hat in question not being there Edinburgh Medical Journal, Volume 3 (1898)
With his obscure and uncertain speculations as to the intimate nature and causes of things, the philosopher is likened to a 'blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that is not there.'
William James, himself apparently quoting someone else's expression, in Some Problems of Philosophy : A Beginning of an Introduction to Philosophy (1911) Ch. 1 : Philosophy and its Critics
A blind man in a dark room seeking for a black cat — which is not there.
A definition of metaphysics attributed to Lord Bowen, as quoted in Science from an Easy Chair (1913) by Edwin Ray Lankester, p. 99
A blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there.
A definition of metaphysics attributed to Lord Balfour, as quoted in God in Our Work: Religious Addresses (1949) by Richard Stafford Cripps, p. 72
A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it.
H. L. Mencken, as quoted in Peter's Quotations : Ideas for Our Time (1977) by Laurence J. Peter, p. 427
A metaphysician is like a blind man in a dark room, looking for a black cat — which isn't there.
Variant published in Smiles and Chuckles (1952) by B. Hagspiel
„The moods of the dark night skies are variously represented like soft black velvet, like the shining black of a scarab beetle, like the patina-ed surface of Indian-inked paper, soft blotting-paper soaked in dark blue ink for forty days, like a black cat's fur shining in moonlight…“
— Peter Greenaway British film director 1942
„All of us can be influenced through psychological techniques. For example, if I say “don’t think of a black cat” what do you do? You think of a black cat because the command ‘think of a black cat’ was there in the sentence. Techniques like this can be used to influence people’s thoughts, behaviour, even their memory.“
— Derren Brown British illusionist 1971
TV Series and Specials (Includes DVDs), Mind Control (1999–2000) or Inside Your Mind on DVD
„Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn't there, and finding it.“
— Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
This quote was instead first mentioned in a 1931 book titled “Since Calvary: An Interpretation of Christian History” by the comparative religion specialist Lewis Browne.
„With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black cat chaped holes in the universe.“
— Arundhati Roy, buch Der Gott der kleinen Dinge
Quelle: The God of Small Things
— Groucho Marx American comedian 1890 - 1977
— Deng Xiaoping Chinese politician, Paramount leader of China 1904 - 1997
Quoted in Hung Li China's Political Situation and the Power Struggle in Peking (1977), p. 107
According to Chambers Dictionary of Quotations (1993), p. 315, this quote is from a speech at the Communist Youth League conference in July 1962.
— Henry James American novelist, short story author, and literary critic 1843 - 1916
The Madonna of the Future http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2460/2460-h/2460-h.htm (1879)
The Atlantic Monthly, March 1873 http://books.google.com/books?id=T4cGAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Cats+and+monkeys+monkeys+and+cats+all+human+life+is+there%22&pg=PA293#v=onepage
— Hatake Kakashi fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that's all, just
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good
— Charles Bukowski, buch Betting on the Muse: Poems and Stories
Quelle: Betting on the Muse: Poems and Stories
— Lynn Margulis American evolutionary biologist 1938 - 2011
— Shirley Jackson, buch We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Quelle: We Have Always Lived in the Castle