Theory Quotes

Quotes tagged as "theory" Showing 1-30 of 381
Arthur Conan Doyle
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Winston S. Churchill
“I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.”
Winston Churchill, The Story of the Malakand Field Force

Alan W. Watts
“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money ... but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth ... In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are "coins" for real things.”
Alan Wilson Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

John Wilmot
“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
John Wilmot

Criss Jami
“I imagine that the intelligent people are the ones so intelligent that they don't even need or want to look 'intelligent' anymore.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”
Benjamin Brewster

Karl Popper
“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
Karl Popper

H.G. Wells
“Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough---as most wrong theories are!”
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

Thomas A. Edison
“Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory?

Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power...

Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that.

Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells.

There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural.

[Columbian Magazine interview]”
Thomas A. Edison

Richard P. Feynman
“It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”
Richard P. Feynman

Bret Easton Ellis
“It strikes me profoundly that the world is more often than not a bad and cruel place.”
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Criss Jami
“Absurdity is the ecstasy of intellectualism.”
Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Meryl Streep
“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”
Meryl Streep

Criss Jami
“Love is without a doubt the laziest theory for the meaning of life, but when it actually comes a time to do it we find just enough energy to over-complicate life again. Any devil can love, whom he himself sees as, a good person who has treated him well, but to love also the polar opposite is what separates love from fickle emotions.”
Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

Agatha Christie
“It often seems to me that's all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again."

"Yes, it is very true, that. And it is just what some people will not do. They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant.”
Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile

John Rawls
“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.”
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

H.L. Mencken
“The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.”
H.L. Mencken

Benjamin Franklin
“The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary.”
Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

Criss Jami
“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Madeleine L'Engle
“It is ... through the world of the imagination which takes us beyond the restrictions of provable fact, that we touch the hem of truth.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

Criss Jami
“An exceedingly confident student would in theory make a terrible student. Why would he take school seriously when he feels that he can outwit his teachers?”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Ernst F. Schumacher
“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.”
E F Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered

Criss Jami
“If I were to vote, I would intentionally vote for the goofiest candidate. It is my theory that when the people can outwit the leader, the more respected their voices will be.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Stuart Hall
“Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in God's name is the point of cultural studies?...At that point, I think anybody who is into cultural studies seriously as an intellectual practice, must feel, on their pulse, its ephemerality, its insubstantiality, how little it registers, how little we've been able to change anything or get anybody to do anything. If you don't feel that as one tension in the work that you are doing, theory has let you off the hook.”
Stuart Hall

Mark Twain
“How empty is theory in the presence of fact!”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Gilles Deleuze
“Philosophy is not in a state of external reflection on other domains, but in a state of active and internal alliance with them, and it is neither more abstract nor more difficult.”
Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image

Gilles Deleuze
“It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. What a mistake to have ever said the id.”
Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Immanuel Kant
“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”
Immanuel Kant

William  James
“But it is the bane of psychology to suppose that where results are similar, processes must be the same. Psychologists are too apt to reason as geometers would, if the latter were to say that the diameter of a circle is the same thing as its semi-circumference, because, forsooth, they terminate in the same two points.”
William James, The Principles of Psychology: Volume 1

Philip Plait
“I am using the word theory as a scientist means it: a set of ideas so well established by observations and physical models that it is essentially indistinguishable from fact. That is different from the colloquial use that means "guess." To a scientist, you can bet your life on a theory. Remember, gravity is "just a theory" too.”
Philip C. Plait, Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End...

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