Philosophy Of Science Quotes

Quotes tagged as "philosophy-of-science" Showing 1-30 of 154
Richard Feynman
“Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”
Richard Feynman

Terry Pratchett
“It's daft, locking us up," said Nanny. "I'd have had us killed."
"That's because you're basically good," said Magrat. "The good are innocent and create justice. The bad are guilty, which is why they invent mercy.”
Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

John N. Gray
“Humans think they are free, conscious beings, when in truth they are deluded animals. At the same time they never cease trying to escape from what they imagine themselves to be. Their religions are attempts to be rid of a freedom they have never possessed. In the twentieth century, the utopias of Right and Left served the same function. Today, when politics is unconvincing even as entertainment, science has taken on the role of mankind's deliverer.”
John Gray, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

Albert Einstein
“I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today - and even professional scientists - seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
[Correspondance to Robert Thorton in 1944]”
Albert Einstein

John N. Gray
“It is a strange fancy to suppose that science can bring reason to an irrational world, when all it can ever do is give another twist to a normal madness.”
John Gray, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

Paul Karl Feyerabend
“Science is essentially an anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives.”
Paul Karl Feyerabend, Against Method

“Love is a chemical reaction,
But it cannot be fully understood or defined by science.
And though a body cannot exist without a soul,
It too cannot be fully understood or defined by science.
Love is the most powerful form of energy,
But science cannot decipher its elements.
Yet the best cure for a sick soul is love,
But even the most advanced physician
Cannot prescribe it as medicine.


INCOMPLETE SCIENCE by Suzy Kassem”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Lois McMaster Bujold
“In mysticism, knowledge cannot be separated from a certain way of life which becomes its living manifestation. To acquire mystical knowledge means to undergo a transformation; one could even say that the knowledge is the transformation. Scientific knowledge, on the other hand, can often stay abstract and theoretical. Thus most of today’s physicists do not seem to realize the philosophical, cultural and spiritual implications of their theories.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion

Nelson Goodman
“We make versions, and true versions make worlds.”
Nelson Goodman

David Bentley Hart
“Physics explains everything, which we know because anything physics cannot explain does not exist, which we know because whatever exists must be explicable by physics, which we know because physics explains everything. There is something here of the mystical.”
David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

Bertrand Russell
“Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover.”
Bertrand Russell

Lee Smolin
“On the way, I shared the backseat of Feyerabend's little sports car with the inflatable raft he kept there in case an 8-point earthquake came while he was on the Bay Bridge.”
Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next

Peter Høeg
“We all live our lives blindly believing in the people who make the decisions. Believing in science. Because the world is inscrutable and all information is hazy. We accept the existence of a round globe, of an atom's nucleus that sticks together like drops, of a shrinking universe -- and the necessity of interfering with genetic material. Not because we know these things are true, but because we believe the people who tell us so. we are all proselytes of science. And, in contrast to the followers of other religions, we can no longer bridge the gap between ourselves and the priests. Problems arise when we stumble on an outright lie. And it affects our own lives....that of a child who for the first time catches his parents in a lie he had always suspected.”
Peter Hoeg

Ray Kurzweil
“Fredkin [...] praat over een interessant kenmerk van computerprogramma's, waaronder cellulaire automaten: er is geen kortere route mogelijk naar wat de uitkomst wordt. Dit is het wezenlijke verschil tussen de 'analytische' benadering van de traditionele wiskunde, inclusief differentiële vergelijkingen, en de 'computer'-benadering met algoritmes. Je kunt een toekomstige toestand van een systeem voorspellen zonder alle tussenstappen te kennen als je de analytische methode gebruikt. Maar bij cellulaire automaten moet je alle tussenstappen doorrekenen om te weten hoe de uitkomst zal zijn: je kunt de toekomst niet voorspellen, behalve door de toekomst af te wachten. [...] Fredkin legt uit: 'je kunt het antwoord op een vraag niet sneller kennen dan wanneer je volgt wat er gebeurt.' [...] Fredkin gelooft dat het universum letterlijk een computer is en dat het gebruikt wordt door iets of iemand om een probleem op te lossen. Het klinkt als een grap met goed en slecht nieuws: het goede nieuws is dat onze levens een doel hebben; het slechte nieuws is dat onze levens het doel zijn van een of andere hacker ver weg die pi wil uitrekenen met een oneindig groot getal achter de komma.”
Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Albert Einstein
“[...] and I think (like you, by the way) that theory cannot be fabricated out of the results of observation, but that it can only be invented.
[Letter to Karl Popper; 11 Sep 1939]”
Albert Einstein

Abhijit Naskar
“The sign of wisdom is to have more questions than answers.”
Abhijit Naskar, Build Bridges not Walls: In the name of Americana

“Variety of opinion is necessary for objective knowledge.”
Feyerabend Paul K.

Abhijit Naskar
“Science in its truest form is and will always remain compatible with human rights and equality.”
Abhijit Naskar, Fabric of Humanity

Alan Lightman
“At the present time... we certainly do not know all the laws of nature, and it is a good bet that most of our current formulations of those laws will be revised in the future.

Yet the great majority of scientists believe that a complete and final set of laws governing all physical phenomena exists, and that we are making continual progress toward discovery of those laws.”
Alan Lightman, The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

Rachel Hartman
“Interpretation gives knowledge value, but it must evolve as new knowledge emerges. From a myriad incomplete truth, a greater whole.”
Rachel Hartman, Tess of the Road

Alan Lightman
“I will put my cards on the table. I am an atheist myself. I completely endorse the central doctrine of science.

I do not believe in the existence of a Being who lives beyond matter and energy, even if that Being refrains from entering the fray of the physical world.

However.... science is not the only avenue for arriving at knowledge... there are interesting and vital questions beyond the reach of test tubes and equations.

Obviously, vast territories of the arts concern inner experiences that cannot be analyzed by science. The humanities, such as history and philosophy, raise questions that do not have definite or unanimously accepted answers.”
Alan Lightman

Rochelle Forrester
“All our scientific instruments and our scientific experiments are just different ways of seeing the world. The world we perceive through our unaided sensory apparatus is just one view of the universe. Change the sensory apparatus and you change the world you live in. At present we have no way of knowing how the world really is, if it has some real form at all. All our knowledge of the world comes through our sensory apparatus and our scientific instruments and experiments and they give us views of the world conditioned and controlled by the nature of our sensory apparatus, scientific instruments and experiments. If anyone was able to get to a real world not controlled or conditioned by sensory apparatus, instruments and experiments, it may be the greatest intellectual achievement in human history.”
Rochelle Forrester

Massimo Pigliucci
“…the boundaries separating science, nonscience, and pseudoscience are much fuzzier and more permeable than Popper (or, for that matter, most scientists) would have us believe. There is, in other words, no litmus test.”
Massimo Pigliucci, Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

“The senses give both us and the animals access to the natural world, but we humans have superimposed a second world by internalizing a poem, thereby making the two worlds seem equally inescapable. Outside of the natural sciences, reason works within the second world, following paths that the imagination has cleared. But inside those sciences, nature itself shows the way,”
Rorty Richard

“If the nature of our world mirrors the nature of our universe then an alien race could be very vicious indeed… - Ska Martin, Aliens versus God Vol. 1”
Ska Martin

Stanisław Lem
“I will say that in the course of my work ... I began to suspect that the "letter from the stars" was, for us who attempted to decipher it, a kind of psychological association test, a particularly complex Rorschach test. For as a subject, believing he sees in the colored blotches angels or birds of ill omen, in reality fills in the vagueness of the thing shown with what is "on his mind," so did we attempt, behind the veil of incomprehensible signs, to discern the presence of what lay, first and foremost, within ourselves.”
Stanisław Lem, His Master's Voice

Leonard Susskind
“Unforeseen surprises are the rule in science, not the exception. Remember: Stuff happens.”
Leonard Susskind

Abhijit Naskar
“Science is the most influential tool of progress in the world, not one among many, but most, yet no scientist had tried to use it as a primary tool for harmony. And I desired to accomplish precisely that. I didn’t want to popularize science, for there were and are already tons of scientists doing it. I wanted to use science in a way that would have direct humanitarian consequences in interhuman relationships.”
Abhijit Naskar, Lives to Serve Before I Sleep

Abhijit Naskar
“I wanted to use science in a way that would have direct humanitarian consequences in interhuman relationships. And now even if I die, my works will keep on creating lion-hearted humanitarian torch-bearers of progress, for ages to come.”
Abhijit Naskar, Lives to Serve Before I Sleep

Thomas Szasz
“People may be constrained in two basic ways: physically, by confining them in jails, mental hospitals, and so forth; and symbolically, by confining them in occupations, social roles, and so forth. Actually, confinement of the second type is more common and pervasive in the day-to-day conduct of society’s business; as a rule, only when the symbolic, or socially informal, confinement of conduct fails or proves inadequate, is recourse taken to physical, or socially formal, confinement…. When people perform their social roles properly – in other words, when social expectations are adequately met – their behavior is considered normal. Though obvious, this deserves emphasis: a waiter must wait on tables; a secretary must type; a father must earn a living; a mother must cook and sew and take care of her children. Classic systems of psychiatric nosology had nothing to say about these people, so long as they remained neatly imprisoned in their respective social cells; or, as we say about the Negroes, so long as they “knew their place.” But when such persons broke out of “jail” and asserted their liberty, they became of interest to the psychiatrist.”
Thomas Szasz, Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man

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