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Edwin Abbott Abbott

Data de nascimento: 20. Dezembro 1838
Data de falecimento: 12. Outubro 1926

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Edwin Abbott Abbott foi um escritor e erudito inglês.

Foi sucessivamente professor em Birmingham, director da Escola da City, em Londres, professor na universidade de Cambridge e pregador na universidade de Oxford em 1877. Entre as obras que fizeram a sua reputação, cita-se a Gramática shakespeariana publicada em 1870; Bacon, e Essex editado em 1877; Sobre a natureza de Cristo publicado em; etc. Devem-se-lhe também dois romances anónimos: Filocristo e Onesimo . Uma de suas grandes obras é Flatland - A Romance of Many Dimensions.

Com 51 anos, em 1889, Abbott se afastou de todas as suas outras atividades, dedicando-se apenas a uma vida acadêmica, produzindo, a partir de então, numerosas obras: Silanus, the Christian , Apologia: An Explanation and Defense , Message of the Son of Man , Light on the Gospel from an Ancient Poet , de 1913.

Citações Edwin Abbott Abbott

„All beings in Flatland, animate or inanimate, no matter what their form, present TO OUR VIEW the same, or nearly the same, appearance, viz. that of a straight Line. How then can one be distinguished from another, where all appear the same?“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>You, who are blessed with shade as well as light, you, who are gifted with two eyes, endowed with a knowledge of perspective, and charmed with the enjoyment of various colours, you, who can actually SEE an angle, and contemplate the complete circumference of a circle in the happy region of the Three Dimensions — how shall I make clear to you the extreme difficulty which we in Flatland experience in recognizing one another's configuration?Recall what I told you above. All beings in Flatland, animate or inanimate, no matter what their form, present TO OUR VIEW the same, or nearly the same, appearance, viz. that of a straight Line. How then can one be distinguished from another, where all appear the same?</p Chapter 5. Of Our Methods of Recognizing One Another

„The commonest utterances of the commonest citizens in the time of the Colour Revolt seem to have been suffused with a richer tinge of word or thought; and to that era we are even now indebted for our finest poetry and for whatever rhythm still remains in the more scientific utterance of these modern days.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: An illustrious Circle, overcome by the artistic beauty of the forces under his command, threw aside his marshal's baton and his royal crown, exclaiming that he henceforth exchanged them for the artist's pencil. How great and glorious the sensuous development of these days must have been is in part indicated by the very language and vocabulary of the period. The commonest utterances of the commonest citizens in the time of the Colour Revolt seem to have been suffused with a richer tinge of word or thought; and to that era we are even now indebted for our finest poetry and for whatever rhythm still remains in the more scientific utterance of these modern days. Chapter 8. Of the Ancient Practice of Painting

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„The Art of Sight Recognition, being no longer needed, was no longer practised; and the studies of Geometry, Statics, Kinetics, and other kindred subjects, came soon to be considered superfluous, and fell into disrespect and neglect even at our University. The inferior Art of Feeling speedily experienced the same fate at our Elementary Schools....“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: The Art of Sight Recognition, being no longer needed, was no longer practised; and the studies of Geometry, Statics, Kinetics, and other kindred subjects, came soon to be considered superfluous, and fell into disrespect and neglect even at our University. The inferior Art of Feeling speedily experienced the same fate at our Elementary Schools.... Year by year the Soldiers and Artisans began more vehemently to assert — and with increasing truth — that there was no great difference between them and the very highest class of Polygons, now that they were raised to an equality with the latter, and enabled to grapple with all the difficulties and solve all the problems of life, whether Statical or Kinetical, by the simple process of Colour Recognition. Not content with the natural neglect into which Sight Recognition was falling, they began boldly to demand the legal prohibition of all "monopolizing and aristocratic Arts" and the consequent abolition of all endowments for the studies of Sight Recognition, Mathematics, and Feeling. Soon, they began to insist that inasmuch as Colour, which was a second Nature, had destroyed the need of aristocratic distinctions, the Law should follow in the same path, and that henceforth all individuals and all classes should be recognized as absolutely equal and entitled to equal rights. Chapter 9. Of the Universal Colour Bill

„Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: "Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy. Now listen."He ceased; and there arose from the little buzzing creature a tiny, low, monotonous, but distinct tinkling, as from one of your Spaceland phonographs, from which I caught these words, "Infinite beatitude of existence! It is; and there is none else beside It." Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision

„I despair not that, even here, in this region of Three Dimensions, your Lordship's art may make the Fourth Dimension visible to me; just as in the Land of Two Dimensions my Teacher's skill would fain have opened the eyes of his blind servant to the invisible presence of a Third Dimension, though I saw it not.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I despair not that, even here, in this region of Three Dimensions, your Lordship's art may make the Fourth Dimension visible to me; just as in the Land of Two Dimensions my Teacher's skill would fain have opened the eyes of his blind servant to the invisible presence of a Third Dimension, though I saw it not.Let me recall the past. Was I not taught below that when I saw a Line and inferred a Plane, I in reality saw a Third unrecognized Dimension, not the same as brightness, called "height"? And does it not now follow that, in this region, when I see a Plane and infer a Solid, I really see a Fourth unrecognized Dimension, not the same as colour, but existent, though infinitesimal and incapable of measurement? Chapter 19. How, Though the Sphere Showed Me Other Mysteries of Spaceland, I Still Desired More; and What Came of It

„Besotted Being! You think yourself the perfection of existence, while you are in reality the most imperfect and imbecile. You profess to see, whereas you can see nothing but a Point!“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Besotted Being! You think yourself the perfection of existence, while you are in reality the most imperfect and imbecile. You profess to see, whereas you can see nothing but a Point! You plume yourself on inferring the existence of a Straight Line; but I CAN SEE Straight Lines, and infer the existence of Angles, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and even Circles. Why waste more words? Suffice it that I am the completion of your incomplete self. You are a Line, but I am a Line of Lines, called in my country a Square: and even I, infinitely superior though I am to you, am of little account among the great nobles of Flatland, whence I have come to visit you, in the hope of enlightening your ignorance. Chapter 14. How I Vainly Tried to Explain the Nature of Flatland

„Never shall we apprehend the nature of true divinity nor the true divineness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter's Son, till we learn to moralize our theology, training ourselves to lay less stress on "Almighty"“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Never shall we apprehend the nature of true divinity nor the true divineness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter's Son, till we learn to moralize our theology, training ourselves to lay less stress on "Almighty" — an epithet characteristic of the silver age of Hebrew literature and of our Anglican Prayer Book, but never once used as an epithet of God by Him who knew Him as He is. By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good." Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 7

„As the number of the sides increases, a Polygon approximates to a Circle; and, when the number is very great indeed, say for example three or four hundred, it is extremely difficult for the most delicate touch to feel any polygonal angles. Let me say rather, it WOULD be difficult: for, as I have shown above, Recognition by Feeling is unknown among the highest society, and to FEEL a Circle would be considered a most audacious insult. This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>With us, our Priests are Administrators of all Business, Art, and Science; Directors of Trade, Commerce, Generalship, Architecture, Engineering, Education, Statesmanship, Legislature, Morality, Theology; doing nothing themselves, they are the Causes of everything worth doing, that is done by others.Although popularly everyone called a Circle is deemed a Circle, yet among the better educated Classes it is known that no Circle is really a Circle, but only a Polygon with a very large number of very small sides. As the number of the sides increases, a Polygon approximates to a Circle; and, when the number is very great indeed, say for example three or four hundred, it is extremely difficult for the most delicate touch to feel any polygonal angles. Let me say rather, it WOULD be difficult: for, as I have shown above, Recognition by Feeling is unknown among the highest society, and to FEEL a Circle would be considered a most audacious insult. This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference.</p Chapter 11. Concerning our Priests

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„My resolution was taken. It seemed intolerable that I should endure existence subject to the arbitrary visitations of a Magician who could thus play tricks with one's very stomach. If only I could in any way manage to pin him against the wall till help came!“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: "Now I shall come back to you. And, as a crowning proof, what do you say to my giving you a touch, just the least touch, in your stomach? It will not seriously injure you, and the slight pain you may suffer cannot be compared with the mental benefit you will receive."Before I could utter a word of remonstrance, I felt a shooting pain in my inside, and a demoniacal laugh seemed to issue from within me. A moment afterwards the sharp agony had ceased, leaving nothing but a dull ache behind, and the Stranger began to reappear, saying, as he gradually increased in size, "There, I have not hurt you much, have I? If you are not convinced now, I don't know what will convince you. What say you?"My resolution was taken. It seemed intolerable that I should endure existence subject to the arbitrary visitations of a Magician who could thus play tricks with one's very stomach. If only I could in any way manage to pin him against the wall till help came! Chapter 17. How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds

„By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good."“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Never shall we apprehend the nature of true divinity nor the true divineness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter's Son, till we learn to moralize our theology, training ourselves to lay less stress on "Almighty" — an epithet characteristic of the silver age of Hebrew literature and of our Anglican Prayer Book, but never once used as an epithet of God by Him who knew Him as He is. By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good." Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 7

„Immoral, licentious, anarchical, unscientific — call them by what names you will — yet, from an aesthetic point of view, those ancient days of the Colour Revolt were the glorious childhood of Art in Flatland — a childhood, alas, that never ripened into manhood, nor even reached the blossom of youth. To live was then in itself a delight, because living implied seeing.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: When all others had succumbed to the fascinations of corporal decoration, the Priests and the Women alone still remained pure from the pollution of paint. Immoral, licentious, anarchical, unscientific — call them by what names you will — yet, from an aesthetic point of view, those ancient days of the Colour Revolt were the glorious childhood of Art in Flatland — a childhood, alas, that never ripened into manhood, nor even reached the blossom of youth. To live was then in itself a delight, because living implied seeing. Chapter 8. Of the Ancient Practice of Painting

„I resumed my seat, again exclaiming, "The boy is a fool, I say; 3&sup3; can have no meaning in Geometry." At once there came a distinctly audible reply, "The boy is not a fool; and 3&sup3; has an obvious Geometrical meaning."“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: There I sat by my Wife's side, endeavouring to form a retrospect of the year 1999 and of the possibilities of the year 2000, but not quite able to shake off the thoughts suggested by the prattle of my bright little Hexagon. Only a few sands now remained in the half-hour glass. Rousing myself from my reverie I turned the glass Northward for the last time in the old Millennium; and in the act, I exclaimed aloud, "The boy is a fool."Straightway I became conscious of a Presence in the room, and a chilling breath thrilled through my very being. "He is no such thing," cried my Wife, "and you are breaking the Commandments in thus dishonouring your own Grandson." But I took no notice of her. Looking round in every direction I could see nothing; yet still I FELT a Presence, and shivered as the cold whisper came again. I started up. "What is the matter?" said my Wife, "there is no draught; what are you looking for? There is nothing." There was nothing; and I resumed my seat, again exclaiming, "The boy is a fool, I say; 3&sup3; can have no meaning in Geometry." At once there came a distinctly audible reply, "The boy is not a fool; and 3&sup3; has an obvious Geometrical meaning." Chapter 15. Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland

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„I looked, and, behold, a new world! There stood before me, visibly incorporate, all that I had before inferred, conjectured, dreamed, of perfect Circular beauty. What seemed the centre of the Stranger's form lay open to my view: yet I could see no heart, nor lungs, nor arteries, only a beautiful harmonious Something — for which I had no words; but you, my Readers in Spaceland, would call it the surface of the Sphere.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: An unspeakable horror seized me. There was a darkness; then a dizzy, sickening sensation of sight that was not like seeing; I saw a Line that was no Line; Space that was not Space: I was myself, and not myself. When I could find voice, I shrieked aloud in agony, "Either this is madness or it is Hell." "It is neither," calmly replied the voice of the Sphere, "it is Knowledge; it is Three Dimensions: open your eye once again and try to look steadily."I looked, and, behold, a new world! There stood before me, visibly incorporate, all that I had before inferred, conjectured, dreamed, of perfect Circular beauty. What seemed the centre of the Stranger's form lay open to my view: yet I could see no heart, nor lungs, nor arteries, only a beautiful harmonious Something — for which I had no words; but you, my Readers in Spaceland, would call it the surface of the Sphere. Chapter 18. How I came to Spaceland, and What I Saw There

„Alas, how strong a family likeness runs through blind and persecuting humanity in all Dimensions! Points, Lines, Squares, Cubes, Extra-Cubes — we are all liable to the same errors, all alike the Slaves of our respective Dimensional prejudices, as one of your Spaceland poets has said —“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>Suppose a person of the Fourth Dimension, condescending to visit you, were to say, 'Whenever you open your eyes, you see a Plane (which is of Two Dimensions) and you INFER a Solid (which is of Three); but in reality you also see (though you do not recognize) a Fourth Dimension, which is not colour nor brightness nor anything of the kind, but a true Dimension, although I cannot point out to you its direction, nor can you possibly measure it.' What would you say to such a visitor? Would not you have him locked up? Well, that is my fate: and it is as natural for us Flatlanders to lock up a Square for preaching the Third Dimension, as it is for you Spacelanders to lock up a Cube for preaching the Fourth. Alas, how strong a family likeness runs through blind and persecuting humanity in all Dimensions! Points, Lines, Squares, Cubes, Extra-Cubes — we are all liable to the same errors, all alike the Slaves of our respective Dimensional prejudices, as one of your Spaceland poets has said — 'One touch of Nature makes all worlds akin.' </p Preface to the Second and Revised Edition (1884)

„Desperate with fear, I rushed forward with an unceremonious, "You must permit me, Sir — " and felt him. My Wife was right. There was not the trace of an angle, not the slightest roughness or inequality: never in my life had I met with a more perfect Circle.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Desperate with fear, I rushed forward with an unceremonious, "You must permit me, Sir — " and felt him. My Wife was right. There was not the trace of an angle, not the slightest roughness or inequality: never in my life had I met with a more perfect Circle. He remained motionless while I walked round him, beginning from his eye and returning to it again. Circular he was throughout, a perfectly satisfactory Circle; there could not be a doubt of it. Then followed a dialogue, which I will endeavour to set down as near as I can recollect it, omitting only some of my profuse apologies — for I was covered with shame and humiliation that I, a Square, should have been guilty of the impertinence of feeling a Circle. It was commenced by the Stranger with some impatience at the lengthiness of my introductory process.STRANGER. Have you felt me enough by this time? Are you not introduced to me yet? Chapter 16. How the Stranger Vainly Endeavoured to Reveal to Me in Words the Mysteries of Spaceland

„It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts:It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it. Though he had heard my voice when I first addressed him, the sounds had come to him in a manner so contrary to his experience that he had made no answer, "seeing no man", as he expressed it, "and hearing a voice as it were from my own intestines." Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent.His subjects — of whom the small Lines were men and the Points Women — were all alike confined in motion and eye-sight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing — each was a Point to the eye of a Linelander. Only by the sound of the voice could sex or age be distinguished. Moreover, as each individual occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours. Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us. Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part.Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was surprised to note the vivacity and cheerfulness of the King. Chapter 13. How I had a Vision of Lineland

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