„The rise of experimental science has not made the Great Conversation irrelevant. … Science itself is part of the Great Conversation.“

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Robert Maynard Hutchins37
philosopher and university president 1899 - 1977
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Kurt Vonnegut photo

„A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut American writer 1922 - 2007
Context: A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.

Edward O. Wilson photo
Marie Curie photo

„I am among those who think that science has great beauty.“

—  Marie Curie French-Polish physicist and chemist 1867 - 1934
Context: I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery also has its beauty. Neither do I believe that the spirit of adventure runs any risk of disappearing in our world. If I see anything vital around me, it is precisely that spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity. As quoted in Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, as translated by Vincent Sheean, p. 341 Variant translation: A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.

John Dewey photo

„Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.“

—  John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action
The Quest for Certainty (1929), Ch. XI

Kurt Vonnegut photo

„People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut American writer 1922 - 2007
Context: A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.

Roger Bacon photo

„And this [experimental] science verifies all natural and man-made things in particular, and in their appropriate discipline, by the experimental perfection, not by arguments of the still purely speculative sciences, nor through the weak, and imperfect experiences of practical knowledge. And therefore, this is the matron of all preceding sciences, and the final end of all speculation.“

—  Roger Bacon medieval philosopher and theologian 1220 - 1292
Et hæc scientia certificat omnia naturalia et artificialia in particulari et in propria disciplina, per experientiam perfectam; non per argumenta, ut scientiæ pure speculativae, nec per debiles et imperfecta experientias ut scientiae operativæ. Et ideo hæc est domina omnium scientiarum præcedentium, et finis totius speculationis. Ch 13 ed. J. S. Brewer Opera quadam hactenus inedita (1859) p. 46

Jacob Bronowski photo

„The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself.“

—  Jacob Bronowski Polish-born British mathematician 1908 - 1974
Context: The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself. The discovery must be compared in importance with the invention of cave-painting and of writing. Like these earlier human creations, science is an attempt to control our surroundings by entering into them and understanding them from inside. And like them, science has surely made a critical step in human development which cannot be reversed. We cannot conceive a future society without science. I have used three words to describe these far - reaching changes : discovery, invention and creation. There are contexts in which one of these words is more appropriate than the others. p. 97 Partly cited in: Daniel C. Schlenof. " 50 Years Ago: Greatest Scientific Discovery is Science Itself http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/50-100-150-scientific-creativity/," in Scientific American, Aug. 18, 2008.

Maria Montessori photo

„To prepare teachers in the method of the experimental sciences is not an easy matter.“

—  Maria Montessori Italian pedagogue, philosopher and physician 1870 - 1952
Context: To prepare teachers in the method of the experimental sciences is not an easy matter. When we shall have instructed them in anthropometry and psychometry in the most minute manner possible, we shall have only created machines, whose usefulness will be most doubtful. Indeed, if it is after this fashion that we are to initiate our teachers into experiment, we shall remain forever in the field of theory. The teachers of the old school, prepared according to the principles of metaphysical philosophy, understood the ideas of certain men regarded as authorities, and moved the muscles of speech in talking of them, and the muscles of the eye in reading their theories. Our scientific teachers, instead, are familiar with certain instruments and know how to move the muscles of the hand and arm in order to use these instruments; besides this, they have an intellectual preparation which consists of a series of typical tests, which they have, in a barren and mechanical way, learned how to apply. The difference is not substantial, for profound differences cannot exist in exterior technique alone, but lie rather within the inner man. Not with all our initiation into scientific experiment have we prepared new masters, for, after all, we have left them standing without the door of real experimental science; we have not admitted them to the noblest and most profound phase of such study, — to that experience which makes real scientists. Ch. 1 : A Critical Consideration of the New Pedagogy in its Relation to Modern Science, p. 7.

Alan Moore photo

„Mind has come up with this brilliant way of looking at the world — science — but it can’t look at itself. Science has no place for the mind.“

—  Alan Moore English writer primarily known for his work in comic books 1953
Context: Mind has come up with this brilliant way of looking at the world — science — but it can’t look at itself. Science has no place for the mind. The whole of our science is based upon empirical, repeatable experiments. Whereas thought is not in that category, you can’t take thought into a laboratory. The essential fact of our existence, perhaps the only fact of our existence – our own thought and perception is ruled off-side by the science it has invented. Science looks at the universe, doesn’t see itself there, doesn’t see mind there, so you have a world in which mind has no place. We are still no nearer to coming to terms with the actual dynamics of what consciousness is.

William H. McNeill photo

„The great contribution of science is to say that this second theory is nonsense.“

—  Edwin H. Land American scientist and inventor 1909 - 1991
Context: I believe there are two opposing theories of history, and you have to make your choice. Either you believe that this kind of individual greatness does exist and can be nurtured and developed, that such great individuals can be part of a cooperative community while they continue to be their happy, flourishing, contributing selves — or else you believe that there is some mystical, cyclical, overriding, predetermined, cultural law — a historic determinism. The great contribution of science is to say that this second theory is nonsense. The great contribution of science is to demonstrate that a person can regard the world as chaos, but can find in himself a method of perceiving, within that chaos, small arrangements of order, that out of himself, and out of the order that previous scientists have generated, he can make things that are exciting and thrilling to make, that are deeply spiritual contributions to himself and to his friends. The scientist comes to the world and says, "I do not understand the divine source, but I know, in a way that I don't understand, that out of chaos I can make order, out of loneliness I can make friendship, out of ugliness I can make beauty." I believe that men are born this way — that all men are born this way. I know that each of the undergraduates with whom I talked shares this belief. Each of these men felt secretly — it was his very special secret and his deepest secret — that he could be great. But not many undergraduates come through our present educational system retaining this hope. Our young people, for the most part — unless they are geniuses — after a very short time in college give up any hope of being individually great. They plan, instead, to be good. They plan to be effective, They plan to do their job. They plan to take their healthy place in the community. We might say that today it takes a genius to come out great, and a great man, a merely great man, cannot survive. It has become our habit, therefore, to think that the age of greatness has passed, that the age of the great man is gone, that this is the day of group research, that this is the day of community progress. Yet the very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength.

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