Descartes Quotes

Quotes tagged as "descartes" Showing 1-30 of 67
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 In the world of science, Jehovah was superseded by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler.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

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

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

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

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

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Those whom nature destined to make her disciples have no need of teachers. Bacon, Descartes, Newton — these tutors of the human race had no need of tutors themselves, and what guides could have led them to those places where their vast genius carried them? Ordinary teachers could only have limited their understanding by confining it to their own narrow capabilities. With the first obstacles, they learned to exert themselves and made the effort to traverse the immense space they moved through. If it is necessary to permit some men to devote themselves to the study of the sciences and the arts, that should be only for those who feel in themselves the power to walk alone in those men's footsteps and to move beyond them. It is the task of this small number of people to raise monuments to the glory of the human mind.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics

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

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

“Vinculum alius ergo sum - Another bond, therfore I am.”
Rayvern White

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

Wolfgang Smith
“It is difficult, almost impossible, in fact, for the scientific community to recognize the fact that Cartesian bifurcation is a philosophic postulate, for which there is absolutely no scientific basis [...] It is not that they can conceive or imagine a scientific proof of that hypothesis; it is rather that they are unable to conceive that it might not be true.”
Wolfgang Smith

“God is not simply other than our knowledge of Him. It is through God and God alone that we know God. Descartes elaborates this in this way: We know God because he left a mark of Himself in us; this mark is nothing other than our self-consciousness. Knowing God through this mark of His, we know God in every act of reason.”
Sebastian Rödl, Self-Consciousness and Objectivity

Étienne Gilson
“There is more than one excuse for being a Descartes, but there is no excuse whatsoever for being a Cartesian”
Étienne Gilson, The Unity of Philosophical Experience

“Vinculum alius ergo sum - Another bond, therefore I am.”
Rayvern White

Stephen Christian
“i've come to realize that if we dictate our thoughts we can ordain and direct our lives. there was once a philosopher names descartes who said 'i think therefore i am' he was speaking of existence but i believe he could have expounded on his idea and said 'what i think therefore i am' because it is not what we are but what we believe we are that molds us into reality.”
stephen christian, The Orphaned Anything's: Memoir of a Lesser Known

“Commenting on the return of Descartes’ remains to his native France, Jacobi remarks that “It is often more convenient to possess the ashes of great men than to possess the men themselves during their lifetime.”
Eric Temple Bell, Men of Mathematics

“There is certainly something to the thought that certain classic papers of Putnam and Quine offer perhaps the closest thing to be found in twentieth-century philosophy to an attempt to rehabilitate Descartes's claim that it would be hubris for us to assert of an omnipotent God that He would be inexorably bound by the laws of logic - those laws which happen to bind our finite minds. In a move which is characteristic of much of contemporary naturalistic thought (both in and out of the academy), science is substituted for God. Cartesianism in the philosophy of logic, freed of its theological trappings, becomes the view that it would be hubris for us to assert of the ongoing activity of scientific inquiry that it will be forever bound by the laws of classical logic - those principles which happen to be most fundamental to our present conceptual scheme. The contrast is now no longer, as in Descartes, between the infinite powers of man and the infinite powers of God, but rather between the limits of present scientific thought and the infinite possibilities latent in the future of science as such ... If Descartes is led by a sense of theological piety to insist that God can do anything - no matter how inconceivably it may be to us - the contemporary ultra-empiricist is led by an equally fervent sense of naturalistic piety to insist that the science of the future might require a revision of any of our present axioms of thought - no matter how unacceptable such a revision might seem by our present lights. The exploration of the contours of possibility belongs to the business of the physicists. In this regard, we philosophers must issue them a blank check - it would compromise our standing as underlaborers to put a ceiling on how much they can spend. To paraphrase Descartes on God: we must not conclude that there is a positive limit to the power of science on the basis of the limits of our own (present) powers of conception. All of its hostility to theology notwithstanding, this contemporary form of piety is, in a sense, no less religious (in its unconditional deference to a higher authority) than Descartes's - it has simply exchanged one Godhead for another. But, unlike Descartes, precisely because it is overly hostile to theology, it is able easily to blind itself to the fact that it is a form of piety.”
James Conant, The Logical Alien: Conant and His Critics

“The Lorentz transformations, when properly understood, are revealing a mathematical relation between mind and matter. Descartes argued that mind is unextended and matter extended, yet can interact with each other. The Lorentz transformations show how this actually works. Light is unextended, and matter is extended, yet matter is wholly defined relative to light, and cannot exist without light. Because light is absolute, it is eternal and necessary. Because matter is relative, it is temporal and contingent. It’s all in the math. The Lorentz transformations mathematically prove that idealism is true and materialism false. Idealism is absolute, and materialism relative (dependent, derived, created, caused)”
Thomas Stark, The Language of Reality: The Answer to Existence

“The ground of the spacetime domain is the frequency domain. What exists beyond spacetime isn’t anything mysterious and unknowable, it’s just frequency, i.e. the domain of pure mind, of pure light, the photonic domain: immaterial, massless, maximally length contracted (it does not experience space) and time dilated (it does not experience time), unextended and dimensionless; everything that matter is not. The photonic domain of mind is simply Leibniz’s world of pure monads, Descartes’ world of thinking substance, and Hegel’s world of the Absolute Idea. It is the inside of reality.”
Thomas Stark, Inside Reality: The Inner View of Existence

“The great rationalist Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” The religious mystic the Buddha said, “I think, therefore I am not.” Why is the Buddha much more popular than Descartes? Because the average person barely thinks at all.”
Thomas Stark, The Sheldrake Shift: A Critical Evaluation of Morphic Resonance

“No one need ever again be embarrassed when they mention religion. It’s not some mad, deluded flight from reality. On the contrary it is ABSOLUTE reality, thanks to mathematics. Had mathematics not had any religious elements, we would be atheists. That’s not how it turned out. The soul is the basis of mathematics – exactly as Leibniz, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, stated. Descartes, Plato and Pythagoras – three other towering mathematicians and philosophers – would have had no difficulty in agreeing with him. Join Team Logos, Team Mathematics. Mathematics is the one, true, divine subject.”
Mike Hockney, The Last Man Who Knew Everything

“A soul is immortal because it is a dimensionless monad that has no parts hence it cannot decay or perish. There is no part of it that can break down. An unextended entity is, as Descartes said, a thinking entity. It thinks eternally. That’s exactly what a soul is: an immortal thinking system. A soul has eternal energy because its overall energy is ZERO. It can never run out of energy since there’s no resultant energy to run out of. In any case, energy can be neither created nor destroyed, so any energy in the monadic ensemble can never be lost. Moreover, the extremely strict laws of energy conservation require that all monads permanently have a perfect balance of energy, i.e. zero. Life is eternal, dimensionless, thinking energy that is balanced between positive and negative energy, real and imaginary and always stays at zero. A soul is mathematically guaranteed. It is an absolute product of mathematics, and can be defined only mathematically. There is no such thing as a soul without mathematics. Mathematics is keeping you alive and keeping you thinking, and it will do so FOREVER. You owe everything to mathematics.”
Mike Hockney

Graham Greene
“The cabin-passenger wrote in his diary a parody of Descartes: 'I feel discomfort, therefore I am alive.”
Graham Greene, A Burnt-Out Case

Martin Michael Driessen
“Wie kent zichzelf? Ik niet. Ooit dacht ik dat ik mezelf kende, maar in feite was ik alleen verleid door de verlokking van het feit dat ik bestond. Elk middel om dat steeds opnieuw te ervaren kwam me te pas, en als ik een ander was geweest had ik andere dingen gedaan om datzelfde gevoel te ondervinden. Zelfs de vreugdeloze filosoof Descartes dacht dat hij was.”
Martin Michael Driessen, De heilige

Sarina Samaya
“Es geht um das Ab- und Aufwerten von Handlungen und Eigenschaften, die als maskulin oder feminin bezeichnet werden und Menschen zugeordnet werden, die in dualistischen Kategorien als Mann* oder Frau* angerufen werden.”
Sarina Samaya, Radikal verbunden: Über traumatisierende Herrschaft und den spirituellen Aktivismus als Brücke zwischen sozio-politischem Aufdecken und mitfühlender Bezogenheit

Sarina Samaya
“Die Qualitäten des Geistes, der hierarchisch aufgewertet und mit Maskulinität assoziiert wurde, wurden als die menschlichen definiert. Dahingegen bleibt die feminine Na-tur das Andere. Beispielsweise wird die Beschäftigung mit der eigenen Spiritualität als feminin devaluiert und aus den politischen Entscheidungsräumen ausgeschlossen”
Sarina Samaya, Radikal verbunden: Über traumatisierende Herrschaft und den spirituellen Aktivismus als Brücke zwischen sozio-politischem Aufdecken und mitfühlender Bezogenheit

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