Quotes About Descartes

Quotes tagged as "descartes" (showing 1-30 of 40)
George Carlin
“I think I am, therefore, I am... I think.”
George Carlin

Bertrand Russell
“Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as the real table, and does not seem to have that absolute, convincing certainty that belongs to particular experiences.”
Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

Steven Kotler
“When people say that animal rescuers are crazy, what they really mean is that animal rescuers share a number of fundamental beliefs that makes them easy to marginalize. Among those is the belief that Rene Descartes was a jackass.”
Steven Kotler, A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life

Benjamin Hoff
“I think, therefore I am... confused.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Robert G. Ingersoll
“If the people of Europe had known as much of astronomy and geology when the bible was introduced among them, as they do now, there never could have been one believer in the doctrine of inspiration. If the writers of the various parts of the bible had known as much about the sciences as is now known by every intelligent man, the book never could have been written. It was produced by ignorance, and has been believed and defended by its author. It has lost power in the proportion that man has gained knowledge. A few years ago, this book was appealed to in the settlement of all scientific questions; but now, even the clergy confess that in such matters, it has ceased to speak with the voice of authority. For the establishment of facts, the word of man is now considered far better than the word of God. In the world of science, Jehovah was superseded by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. All that God told Moses, admitting the entire account to be true, is dust and ashes compared to the discoveries of Descartes, Laplace, and Humboldt. In matters of fact, the bible has ceased to be regarded as a standard. Science has succeeded in breaking the chains of theology. A few years ago, Science endeavored to show that it was not inconsistent with the bible. The tables have been turned, and now, Religion is endeavoring to prove that the bible is not inconsistent with Science. The standard has been changed.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

Thomas Henry Huxley
“There are some men who are counted great because they represent the actuality of their own age, and mirror it as it is. Such an one was Voltaire, of whom it was epigrammatically said: 'he expressed everybody's thoughts better than anyone.' But there are other men who attain greatness because they embody the potentiality of their own day and magically reflect the future. They express the thoughts which will be everybody's two or three centuries after them. Such as one was Descartes.”
Thomas Henry Huxley

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Is it possible that the Pentateuch could not have been written by uninspired men? that the assistance of God was necessary to produce these books? Is it possible that Galilei ascertained the mechanical principles of 'Virtual Velocity,' the laws of falling bodies and of all motion; that Copernicus ascertained the true position of the earth and accounted for all celestial phenomena; that Kepler discovered his three laws—discoveries of such importance that the 8th of May, 1618, may be called the birth-day of modern science; that Newton gave to the world the Method of Fluxions, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, and the Decomposition of Light; that Euclid, Cavalieri, Descartes, and Leibniz, almost completed the science of mathematics; that all the discoveries in optics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and chemistry, the experiments, discoveries, and inventions of Galvani, Volta, Franklin and Morse, of Trevithick, Watt and Fulton and of all the pioneers of progress—that all this was accomplished by uninspired men, while the writer of the Pentateuch was directed and inspired by an infinite God? Is it possible that the codes of China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome were made by man, and that the laws recorded in the Pentateuch were alone given by God? Is it possible that Æschylus and Shakespeare, Burns, and Beranger, Goethe and Schiller, and all the poets of the world, and all their wondrous tragedies and songs are but the work of men, while no intelligence except the infinite God could be the author of the Pentateuch? Is it possible that of all the books that crowd the libraries of the world, the books of science, fiction, history and song, that all save only one, have been produced by man? Is it possible that of all these, the bible only is the work of God?”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

Benjamin Franklin
“What Comfort can the Vortices of Descartes give to a Man who has Whirlwinds in his bowels!”
Benjamin Franklin, Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School

Thomas Henry Huxley
“With the growth of civilisation in Europe, and with the revival of letters and of science in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the ethical and intellectual criticism of theology once more recommenced, and arrived at a temporary resting-place in the confessions of the various reformed Protestant sects in the sixteenth century; almost all of which, as soon as they were strong enough, began to persecute those who carried criticism beyond their own limit. But the movement was not arrested by these ecclesiastical barriers, as their constructors fondly imagined it would be; it was continued, tacitly or openly, by Galileo, by Hobbes, by Descartes, and especially by Spinoza, in the seventeenth century; by the English Freethinkers, by Rousseau, by the French Encyclopaedists, and by the German Rationalists, among whom Lessing stands out a head and shoulders taller than the rest, throughout the eighteenth century; by the historians, the philologers, the Biblical critics, the geologists, and the biologists in the nineteenth century, until it is obvious to all who can see that the moral sense and the really scientific method of seeking for truth are once more predominating over false science. Once more ethics and theology are parting company.”
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study

René Descartes
“No hay nada repartido de modo más equitativo en el mundo que la razón: todo el mundo está convencido de tener suficiente.”
René Descartes

Milan Kundera
“I thought of the fate of Descartes’ famous formulation: man as ‘master and proprietor of nature.’ Having brought off miracles in science and technology, this ‘master and proprietor’ is suddenly realizing that he owns nothing and is master neither of nature (it is vanishing, little by little, from the planet), nor of History (it has escaped him), nor of himself (he is led by the irrational forces of his soul). But if God is gone and man is no longer master, then who is master? The planet is moving through the void without any master. There it is, the unbearable lightness of being.”
Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel

Charles Sanders Peirce
Kepler’s discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler—such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal—were abandoning the study of geometry ... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien régime.”
Charles Sanders Peirce, Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Volumes V and VI, Pragmatism and Pragmaticism and Scientific Metaphysics

Blaise Pascal
“Descartes useless and unnecessary.”
Blaise Pascal

William Irwin
“The computer-simulated dreamworld of the Matrix trilogy is a technological version of Descartes’s evil demon. In essence it represents the idea of a mind (the Architect) more powerful than our own that is intent on deceiving us whenever, and however, it sees fit.”
William Irwin, Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, Hume to House

René Descartes
“One of the first of the considerations that occurred to me was that there is very often less perfection in works composed of several portions, and carried out by the hands of various masters, than in those on which one individual alone has worked. Thus we see that buildings planned and carried out by one architect alone are usually more beautiful and better proportioned than those which many have tried to put in order and improve, making use of old walls which were built with other ends in view.”
René Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

René Descartes
“I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.”
René Descartes

Isaac Asimov
“I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection," said Cutie, "and the results have been most interesting. I began at the one sure assumption I felt permitted to make.I, myself, exist, because I think-"
Powell groaned, "Oh, Jupiter, a robot Descartes!"
"Who's Descartes?" demanded Donovan. "Listen, do we have to sit here and listen to this metal maniac-"
"Keep quiet, Mike!"
Cutie continued imperturbably, "And the question that immediately arose was: Just what is the cause of my existence?"
Powell's jaw set lumpily. "You're being foolish. I told you already that we made you."
"And if you don't believe us," added Donovan, "we'll gladly take you apart!"
The robot spread his strong hands in a deprecatory gesture, "I accept nothing on authority. A hypothesis must be backed by reason, or else it is worthless - and it goes against all the dictates of logic to suppose that you made me."
Powell dropped a restraining arm upon Donovan's suddenly unched fist. "Just why do you say that?"
Cutie laughed. It was a very inhuman laugh - the most machine-like utterance he had yet given vent to. It was sharp and explosive, as regular as a metronome and as uninflected.
"Look at you," he said finally. "I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material - like that." He pointed a disapproving finger at what remained of Donovan's sandwich. "Periodically you pass into a coma and the least variation in temperature, air ressure, humidity, or radiation intensity impairs your efficiency. You are _makeshift_.
"I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious, and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.”
Isaac Asimov

René Descartes
“Suppose [a person] had a basket full of apples and, being worried that some of the apples were rotten, wanted to take out the rotten ones to prevent the rot spreading. How would he proceed? Would he not begin by tipping the whole lot out of the basket? And would not the next step be to cast his eye over each apple in turn, and pick up and put back in the basket only those he saw to be sound, leaving the others? In just the same way, those who have never philosophized correctly have various opinions in their minds which they have begun to store up since childhood, and which they therefore have reason to believe may in many cases be false. They then attempt to separate the false beliefs from the others, so as to prevent their contaminating the rest and making the whole lot uncertain. Now the best way they can accomplish this is to reject all their beliefs together in one go, as if they were all uncertain and false. They can then go over each belief in turn and re-adopt only those which they recognize to be true and indubitable.”
René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

İhsan Oktay Anar
“Ne var ki ben, kendimle ilgili bazı meseleleri hâlâ çözebilmiş değilim. Rendekâr düşünüyor olmasından varolduğu sonucunu çıkarıyor. Ben de düşünüyorum, dolayısıyla varım, ama kimim? ...Hangimiz düş ve hangimiz gerçek? Düşünüyorum, o halde ben varım. Düşünen bir adamı düşünüyorum ve onun, kendisinin düşündüğünü bildiğini düşlüyorum. Bu adam düşünüyor olmasından varolduğu sonucunu çıkarıyor. Ve ben, onun çıkarımının doğru olduğunu biliyorum. Çünkü o, benim düşüm. Varolduğunu böylece haklı olarak ileri süren bu adamın beni düşlediğini düşünüyorum. Öyleyse, gerçek olan biri beni düşlüyor. O gerçek, ben ise bir düş oluyorum.”
İhsan Oktay Anar, Puslu Kıtalar Atlası

René Descartes
“Gratitude is a species of love, excited in us by some action of the person for whom we have it, and by which we believe that he has done some good to us, or at least that he has had the intention of doing so.

Passions, III, 193. XI, 473-474. Trans. John Morris”
René Descartes, Passions of the Soul

Joan Fuster
“Aneu amb compte amb els qui malparlen de Descartes! Acabaran fent-vos propaganda de Pascal, i ja sabeu això que vol dir.”
Joan Fuster, Consells, proverbis i insolències

Sabina Berman
“Como los humanos viven así, creyendo que primero piensan y luego existen, piensan que todo aquello que no piensa no existe del todo.”
Sabina Berman, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World

“La "mécanisation du raisonnement" et du coup son transfert possible à des êtres différents de l'homme trouva un singulier renfort dans les nouvelles conceptions produites par les XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles et développées en France par Descartes (1596-1650) et plus tard La Mettrie (1709-1751) dans L'Homme-Machine, ouvrage qui influencera profondément les philosophes matérialistes des Lumières. L'homme y est désormais tout entier décrit comme un automate. Descartes avait lui-même construit un automate à figure humaine, qu'il appelait "sa fille Francine" et qui fut détruit lors d'un voyage en mer par le capitaine du bateau qui pensait avoir affaire à une figure diabolique.”
Philippe Breton, Une Histoire De L'informatique

Walker Percy
“My laps-meter, the first caliper of the soul and the first hope of bridging the dread chasm that has rent the soul of Western man ever since the famous philosopher Descartes ripped body loose from mind and turned the very soul into a ghost that haunts its own house.”
Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins

Thomas Merton
“Modern man, in so far as he is still Cartesian (he is of course going far beyond Descartes in many respects), is a subject for whom his own self-awareness as a thinking, observing, measuring and estimating "self" is absolutely primary. It is for him the one indubitable "reality," and all truth starts here. The more he is able to develop his consciousness as a subject over against objects, the more he can understand things in their relations to him and one another, the more he can manipulate these objects for his own interests, but also, at the same time, the more he tends to isolate himself in his own subjective prison, to become a detached observer cut off from everything else in a kind of impenetrable alienated and transparent bubble which contains all reality in the form of purely subjective experience. Modern consciousness then tends to create this solipsistic bubble of awareness - an ego-self imprisoned in its own consciousness, isolated and out of touch with other such selves in so far as they are all "things" rather than persons.”
Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite

Thomas Merton
“It is this kind of consciousness, exacerbated to an extreme, which has made inevitable the so called "death of God." Cartesian thought began with an attempt to reach God as object by starting from the thinking self. But when God becomes object, he sooner or later "dies," because God as object is ultimately unthinkable. God as object is not only a mere abstract concept, but one which contains so many internal contradictions that it becomes entirely nonnegotiable except when it is hardened into an idol that is maintained in existence by a sheer act of will. For a long time man continued to be capable of this willfulness: but now the effort has become exhausting and many Christians have realised it to be futile. Relaxing the effort, they have let go the "God-object" which their fathers and grandfathers still hoped to manipulate for their own ends. Their weariness has accounted for the element of resentment which made this a conscious "murder" of the deity. Liberated from the strain of willfully maintaining an object-God in existence, the Cartesian consciousness remains none the less imprisoned in itself. Hence the need to break out of itself and to meet "the other" in "encounter," "openness," "fellowship," "communion".”
Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite

René Descartes
“La lectura de todos los buenos libros es como una conversación con los mejores ingenios de los pasados siglos que los han compuesto, y hasta una conversación estudiada en la que no nos descubren sino lo más selecto de sus pensamientos. [...] Es casi lo mismo conversar con gentes de otros siglos que viajar. Pero el que emplea demasiado tiempo en viajar acaba por tornarse extranjero en su propio país; y al que estudia con demasiada curiosidad lo que se hacía en los siglos pretéritos ocúrrele de ordinario que permanece ignorante de lo que se practica en el presente”
René Descartes, Discourse on Method

“Freud introduced the unconscious, which in effect dethroned man as the uncontested master of his own rational faculties. Instead , our lives and our decisions, our loves and our hates, are more often the result of forces working elsewhere than in our conscious mind, and we are the dupes of those forces, rather than their master. (...) Indeed, thinking, as Descartes conceived it, accounts for considerably less than half the story of our being in the world.”
Paul C. Vitz, The Self: Beyond the Postmodern Crisis

Brian Spellman
“I assume therefore I think I think yet still don't know a goddamn thing.”
Brian Spellman, Cartoonist's Book Camp

Richard L.  Ratliff
“As I think therefore I am
Am I more if I think more?”
Richard L. Ratliff

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