But as the work proceeded I was continually reminded of the fable about the elephant and the tortoise. Having constructed an elephant upon which the mathematical world could rest, I found the elephant tottering, and proceeded to construct a tortoise to keep the elephant from falling. But the tortois
All that passes for knowledge can be arranged in a hierarchy of degrees of certainty, with arithmetic and the facts of perception at the top.
While the dogmatist is harmful, the sceptic is useless ...; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance. Knowledge is not so precise a concept as is commonly thought. Instead of saying 'I know this', we ough
The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice. If you take your children for a picnic on a doubtful day, they will demand a dogmatic answer as to whether it will be fine or wet, and be disappointed in you when you cannot be sure.
I have throughout been curious about how much we can be said to know and with what degree of certainty or doubtfulness.
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, a
Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom.
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.
Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.
What men really want is not knowledge but certainty.
A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers.
The real danger in life is not death, but living an evil life.
Marry or marry not, in any either case you'll regret it
Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding onto.
If measure and symmetry are absent from any composition in any degree, ruin awaits both the ingredients and the composition... Measure and symmetry are beauty and virtue the world over.
It is never right to do wrong or to requite wrong with wrong, or when we suffer evil to defend ourselves by doing evil in return.
Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will
If thou continuous to take delight in idle argumentation thou mayest be qualified to combat with the sophists, but will never know how to live with men.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance
All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. Socrate
Wisdom is knowing when you don't know
You never know a line is crooked unless you have a straight one to put next to it.
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth
Be the kind of person that you want people to think you are.
Virtue does not come from wealth, but wealth, and every other good thing which men have comes from virtue.
A good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death.
An honest man is always a child.
If I can assign names as well as pictures to objects, the right assignment of them we may call truth, and the wrong assignment of them falsehood.
Happiness is unrepented pleasure.
The uninitiated are those who believe in nothing except what they can grasp in their hands, and who deny the existence of all that is invisible.