Descartes Quotes

Quotes tagged as "descartes" Showing 1-30 of 50
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

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 In the world of science, Jehovah was superseded by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blaise Pascal
“Descartes useless and unnecessary.”
Blaise Pascal

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
“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

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

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

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

“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

“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

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

René Descartes
“For the mind depends so much on the temperament and disposition of the bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a means of rendering men wiser and cleverer than they have hitherto been, I believe that it is in medicine that it must be sought. It is true that the medicine which is now in vogue contains little of which the utility is remarkable; but, without having any intention of decrying it, I am sure that there is no one, even among those who make its study a profession, who does not confess that all that men know is almost nothing in comparison with what remains to be known; and that we could be free of an infinitude of maladies both of body and mind, and even also possibly of the infirmities of age, if we had sufficient knowledge of their causes, and of all the remedies with which nature has provided us.”
René Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

William Barrett
“Modern philosophy from Descartes onward has asked itself the question: How can the subject really know the object?”
William Barrett

“Thought about the world is prior to thought about how to change the world. Accordingly, knowing-that is prior to knowing-how. Descartes was right and Ryle was wrong. Why, after all these years, does one still have to say these things?”
Jerry Fodor

René Descartes
“¿hay acaso algo más íntimo o más interior que el dolor?”
René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

John Green
“Eres tan real como cualquiera, y tus dudas te hacen más real, no menos”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

John Green
“I think therefore I am, right?"
"No, not really. A fuller formation of Descartes's philosophy would be Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. 'I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.' Descartes wanted to know if you could really know that anything was real, but he believed his ability to doubt reality proved that, while it might not be real, he was.”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

“Philosophy is one of those subjects, like astrophysics and neurosurgery, that are not for the fainthearted. To delve into the absolutes of the human experience, to seek to advance the progress of enlightenment first expounded by the likes of the revered Aristotle and Plato, to search for the answers to the profound questions of the universe, often at the risk of deadly reprisal from entrenched powers, requires not only brilliance and tenacity but a deep sense of purpose. But even among this select fraternity, [René] Descartes stands out. From him did we get practical discoveries like coordinates in geometry and the law of refraction of light. But what he really did was to shake loose the human mind from the shackles of centuries of stultifying religious orthodoxy by creating an entirely original approach to reasoning: the Cartesian method.”
Nancy Goldstone, Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

John Green
“You're imprisoned within a self that doesn't feel wholly yours...But also, to you that self often feels deeply contaminated."
I nodded.
"But you give your thoughts too much power, Aza. Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don't."
"But your thoughts are you. I think therefore I am, right?"
"No, not really. A fuller formation of Descartes's philosophy would be Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. 'I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.' Descartes wanted to know if you could really know that anything was real, but he believed his ability to doubt reality proved that, while it might not be real, he was. You are as real as anyone, and your doubts make you more real, not less.”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Douglas R. Hofstadter
“To paraphrase Descartes again: "I think; therefore I have no access to the level where I sum.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Milan Kundera
“Tereza keeps appearing before my eyes. I see her sitting on the stump petting Karenin’s head and ruminating on mankind’s debacles. Another image also comes to mind: Nietzsche leaving his hotel in Turin. Seeing a horse and a coachman beating it with a whip, Nietzsche went up to the horse and, before the coachman’s very eyes, put his arms around the horse’s neck and burst into tears.

That took place in 1889, when Nietzsche, too, had removed himself from the world of people. In other words, it was at the time when his mental illness had just erupted. But for that very reason I feel his gesture has broad implications: Nietzsche was trying to apologize to the horse for Descartes. His lunacy (that is, his final break with mankind) began at the very moment he burst into tears over the horse.

And that is the Nietzsche I love, just as I love Tereza with the mortally ill dog resting his head on her lap. I see them one next to the other: both stepping down from the road along which mankind, “the master and proprietor of nature,” marches onward.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

« previous 1