„Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions.“

— Eric Temple Bell, Context: Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions. Then, in the alleged proof, be alert for inexplicit assumptions. Euclid's notorious oversights drove this lesson home. Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 23-24. (1949), p. 161
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Eric Temple Bell
1883 - 1960
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„Now, if any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable.“

— Robert H. Jackson American judge 1892 - 1954
Context: Korematsu was born on our soil, of parents born in Japan. The Constitution makes him a citizen of the United States by nativity and a citizen of California by residence. No claim is made that he is not loyal to this country. There is no suggestion that apart from the matter involved here he is not law abiding and well disposed. Korematsu, however, has been convicted of an act not commonly a crime. It consists merely of being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and where all his life he has lived. A citizen's presence in this locality, however, was made a crime only if his parents were of Japanese birth. Had Korematsu been one of four - the others being, say, a German alien enemy, an Italian alien enemy, and a citizen of American-born ancestors, convicted of treason, but on parole - only Korematsu's presence would have violated the order. The difference between their innocence and his crime would result, not from anything he did, said, or thought, different than they, but only in that he was born of different racial stock. Now, if any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable. Even if all of one's antecedents had been convicted of treason, the Constitution forbids its penalties to be visited upon him. But here is an attempt to make an otherwise innocent act a crime merely because this prisoner is the son of parents as to whom he had no choice, and belongs to a race from which there is no way to resign. If Congress in peace-time legislation should enact such a criminal law, I should suppose this Court would refuse to enforce it. Dissenting in Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 242-45 (1944)

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„But it is a fallacy, if one is examining the methods by which security can be attained, to start upon the assumption, as so many hon. Members do, that we get security by an increase of air armaments or an increase of any other form of armaments.“

— Stafford Cripps British politician 1889 - 1952
Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 292, col. 2425. Speech in the House of Commons opposing the National Government's decision to expand the Royal Air Force, 30 July, 1934.

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„These are the assumptions we must make to give the questions the polemical force they are supposed to have. Not a single one of them stands up to closer examination.“

— Paul Karl Feyerabend Austrian-born philosopher of science 1924 - 1994
Context: Is it not a fact that a learned physician is better equipped to diagnose and to cure an illness than a layman or the medicine-man of a primitive society? Is it not a fact that epidemics and dangerous individual diseases have disappeared only with the beginning of modern medicine? Must we not admit that technology has made tremendous advances since the rise of modern science? And are not the moon-shots a most and undeniable proof of its excellence? These are some of the questions which are thrown at the impudent wretch who dares to criticize the special positions of the sciences. The questions reach their polemical aim only if one assumes that the results of science which no one will deny have arisen without any help from non-scientific elements, and that they cannot be improved by an admixture of such elements either. "Unscientific" procedures such as the herbal lore of witches and cunning men, the astronomy of mystics, the treatment of the ill in primitive societies are totally without merit. Science alone gives us a useful astronomy, an effective medicine, a trustworthy technology. One must also assume that science owes its success to the correct method and not merely to a lucky accident. It was not a fortunate cosmological guess that led to progress, but the correct and cosmologically neutral handling of data. These are the assumptions we must make to give the questions the polemical force they are supposed to have. Not a single one of them stands up to closer examination. Pg. 304.

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„Assumptions are the termites of relationships.“

— Henry Winkler American actor, director and writer 1945

„A central assumption of this book“

— Peter Farb American academic and writer 1929 - 1980
Context: A central assumption of this book has been that to examine the experience of humans throughout their 25,000 years on this continent is to hold up a mirror to the culture of Modern America.<!-- p. 274

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