„Knowledge is a potential for a certain type of action, by which we mean that the action would occur if certain tests were run. For example, a library plus its user has knowledge if a certain type of response will be evoked under a given set of stipulations.“

—  Charles West Churchman, 1960s - 1970s, The Design of Inquiring Systems (1971), p. 11

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Michael Crichton photo

„Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge.“

—  Michael Crichton American author, screenwriter, film producer 1942 - 2008
Environmentalism as a Religion (2003), Context: The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge.

Lupe Fiasco photo
Ralph Steadman photo
Albert Einstein photo

„Science, in the immediate, produces knowledge and, indirectly, means of action. It leads to methodical action if definite goals are set up in advance. For the function of setting up goals and passing statements of value transcends its domain.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
1940s, Religion and Science: Irreconcilable? (1948), Context: Science, in the immediate, produces knowledge and, indirectly, means of action. It leads to methodical action if definite goals are set up in advance. For the function of setting up goals and passing statements of value transcends its domain. While it is true that science, to the extent of its grasp of causative connections, may reach important conclusions as to the compatibility and incompatibility of goals and evaluations, the independent and fundamental definitions regarding goals and values remain beyond science's reach. As regards religion, on the other hand, one is generally agreed that it deals with goals and evaluations and, in general, with the emotional foundation of human thinking and acting, as far as these are not predetermined by the inalterable hereditary disposition of the human species. Religion is concerned with man's attitude toward nature at large, with the establishing of ideals for the individual and communal life, and with mutual human relationship. These ideals religion attempts to attain by exerting an educational influence on tradition and through the development and promulgation of certain easily accessible thoughts and narratives (epics and myths) which are apt to influence evaluation and action along the lines of the accepted ideals.

Bertrand Russell photo
Baruch Spinoza photo

„Spinoza avers that blessedness comes only from a certain kind of knowledge—specifically, the "knowledge of the union that the mind has with the whole of Nature."“

—  Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher 1632 - 1677
Context: Like Socrates, Spinoza avers that blessedness comes only from a certain kind of knowledge—specifically, the "knowledge of the union that the mind has with the whole of Nature." ... the life of contemplation is also a life within a certain type of community—specifically, a fellowship of the mind. Like Socrates with his circle of debating partners, or Epicurus in his garden with his intellectual companions, Spinoza imagines a philosophical future... upon achieving blessedness for himself, he announces in his first treatise, his first step is "to form a society... so that as many as possible may attain it as easily and as surely as possible." For, "the highest good," he claims, is to achieve salvation together with other individuals "if possible." Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic (2006)

Colin Wilson photo

„No artist can develop without increasing his self-knowledge; but self-knowledge supposes a certain preoccupation with the meaning of human life and the destiny of man.“

—  Colin Wilson author 1931 - 2013
The Strength To Dream (1961), Context: No artist can develop without increasing his self-knowledge; but self-knowledge supposes a certain preoccupation with the meaning of human life and the destiny of man. A definite set of beliefs — Methodist Christianity, for example — may only be a hindrance to development; but it is not more so than Beckett's refusal to think at all. Shaw says somewhere that all intelligent men must be preoccupied with either religion, politics, or sex. (He seems to attribute T. E. Lawrence's tragedy to his refusal to come to grips with any of them.) It is hard to see how an artist could hope to achieve any degree of self-knowledge without being deeply concerned with at least one of the three. p. 197

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Abu Hamid al-Ghazali photo
Charles Caleb Colton photo
Wilhelm Von Humboldt photo

„There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge that must be of a general nature and, more importantly, a certain cultivation of the mind and character that nobody can afford to be without.“

—  Wilhelm Von Humboldt German (Prussian) philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin 1767 - 1835
Context: There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge that must be of a general nature and, more importantly, a certain cultivation of the mind and character that nobody can afford to be without. People obviously cannot be good craftworkers, merchants, soldiers or businessmen unless, regardless of their occupation, they are good, upstanding and – according to their condition – well-informed human beings and citizens. If this basis is laid through schooling, vocational skills are easily acquired later on, and a person is always free to move from one occupation to another, as so often happens in life. As quoted in Wilhelm von Humboldt (1970), by P. Berglar, p. 87, and "Profiles of Educators: Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835)" by Karl-Heinz Günther, in Prospects, Vol. 18, Issue 1 (March 1988)

Fernando Botero photo

„A great artist is born from a profound knowledge of the tradition and problems of painting. However, there are many works in which freshness and audacity surprise, as can be seen in popular art and in certain examples of modern art.“

—  Fernando Botero Colombian artist 1932
On the influence of culture on an artist in “Interview With Fernando Botero” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/interview-with-fernando-botero_b_6795782 in HuffPost (2017 Dec 6)

W. Edwards Deming photo
Plutarch photo
Claude Adrien Helvétius photo

„Most events spring from causes equally small: we are unacquainted with them because most historians have been themselves ignorant of them, or have not had eyes capable of perceiving them. It is true, that, in this respect, the mind may repair their omissions; for the knowledge of certain principles easily compensates the lack of knowledge of certain facts.“

—  Claude Adrien Helvétius French philosopher 1715 - 1771
De l'esprit or, Essays on the Mind, and Its Several Faculties (1758), La plupart des évènements ont des causes aussi petites. Nous les ignorons, parce que la plupart des historiens les ont ignorées eux-mêmes, ou parce qu’ils n’ont pas eu d’yeux pour les appercevoir. Il est vrai qu’à cet égard l’esprit peut réparer leurs omissions : la connoissance de certains principes supplée facilement à la connoissance de certains faits. Essay III, Chapter I

Johann Gottlieb Fichte photo
William Stanley Jevons photo

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