„Philosophical questions are not by their nature insoluble. They are, indeed, radically different from scientific questions, because they concern the implications and other interrelations of ideas, not the order of physical events; their answers are interpretations instead of factual reports, and their function is to increase not our knowledge of nature, but our understanding of what we know.“

—  Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form, ch. 1, Scribner (1953)
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Susanne K. Langer2
1895 - 1985
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Erwin Schrödinger photo
Werner Heisenberg photo

„We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.“

—  Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
Physics and Philosophy (1958), This has also appeared in the alternate form: "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

„Perhaps the central question in our understanding of nationalism is the role of the past in the creation of the present. … For nationalists themselves, the role of the past is clear and unproblematic. The nation was always there, indeed it is part of the natural order, even when it was submerged in the hearts of its members.“

—  Anthony D. Smith British academic 1939 - 2016
Gastronomy or Geology? The Role of Nationalism in the Reconstruction of Nations. (1994), p. 18: As cited in: Öktem, Kerem. "Creating the Turk’s Homeland: Modernization, Nationalism and Geography in Southeast Turkey in the late 19 th and 20 th Centuries." Socrates Kokkalis Graduate Workshop. The City: Urban Culture, Architecture and Society. 2003.

Ted Chiang photo
William John Macquorn Rankine photo

„The objects of instruction in purely scientific mechanics and physics are, first, to produce in the student that improvement of the understanding which results from the cultivation of natural knowledge, and that elevation of mind which flows from the contemplation of the order of the universe“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine civil engineer 1820 - 1872
"On the Harmony of Theory and Practice in Mechanics" (Jan. 3, 1856), Context: The objects of instruction in purely scientific mechanics and physics are, first, to produce in the student that improvement of the understanding which results from the cultivation of natural knowledge, and that elevation of mind which flows from the contemplation of the order of the universe; and secondly, if possible, to qualify him to become a scientific discoverer.<!--p. 176

Roger Penrose photo

„How relevant, indeed, is our present lack of understanding of physics at the quantum/classical boundary? Or is consciousness really “no big deal,” as has sometimes been expressed?
It would be too optimistic to expect to find definitive answers to all these questions, at our present state of knowledge, but there is much scope for healthy debate…“

—  Roger Penrose English mathematical physicist, recreational mathematician and philosopher 1931
Context: Does life in some way make use of the potentiality for vast quantum superpositions, as would be required for serious quantum computation? How important are the quantum aspects of DNA molecules? Are cellular microtubules performing some essential quantum roles? Are the subtleties of quantum field theory important to biology? Shall we gain needed insights from the study of quantum toy models? Do we really need to move forward to radical new theories of physical reality, as I myself believe, before the more subtle issues of biology — most importantly conscious mentality — can be understood in physical terms? How relevant, indeed, is our present lack of understanding of physics at the quantum/classical boundary? Or is consciousness really “no big deal,” as has sometimes been expressed? It would be too optimistic to expect to find definitive answers to all these questions, at our present state of knowledge, but there is much scope for healthy debate... Foreword (March 2007) to Quantum Aspects of Life (2008), by Derek Abbott.

Leo Tolstoy photo

„Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important for us: 'what shall we do and how shall we live“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Quoted by Max Weber in his lecture "Science as a Vocation"; in Lynda Walsh (2013), Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy (2013), Oxford University Press, p. 90

Josef Pieper photo
Niklas Luhmann photo
Josef Pieper photo
Jerry Coyne photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“