Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index L > Category: Logic

Logic Quotes (132 quotes)

Dilbert: Evolution must be true because it is a logical conclusion of the scientific method.
Dogbert: But science is based on the irrational belief that because we cannot perceive reality all at once, things called "time" and "cause and effect" exist.
Dilbert: That's what I was taught and that's what I believe.
Dogbert: Sounds cultish.
Dilbert comic strip (8 Feb 1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Cause And Effect (4)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Existence (150)  |  Irrational (2)  |  Perception (21)  |  Reality (67)  |  Science (875)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Time (170)  |  Truth (450)

I believe in logic, the sequence of cause and effect, and in science its only begotten son our law, which was conceived by the ancient Greeks, thrived under Isaac Newton, suffered under Albert Einstein…
That fragment of a 'creed for materialism' which a friend in college had once shown him rose through Donald's confused mind.
Stand on Zanzibar (1969)
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (122)  |  Albert Einstein (174)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)  |  Science (875)

Ockham's Razor:
Frustra fit per plura, quod fieri potest per pauciora.

It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.
Summa logicae (The Sum of All Logic)(prior to 1324), Part I, Chap. 12. [The village of Ockham is in Surrey. The saying (which was applied for diminishing the number of religious truths that can be proved by reason) is not Ockham's own. As given in Joseph Rickaby, Scholasticism (1908), 54, footnote, it is found a generation before Ockham in Petrus Aureolus, The Eloquent Doctor, 2 Sent. dist. 12, q.1.]
Science quotes on:  |  Necessity (78)  |  French Saying (51)

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
Editorial comment Peter added under a quotation in his Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Times (1993), 308.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (5)  |  Armor (2)  |  Ignorance (110)

Among all the liberal arts, the first is logic, and specifically that part of logic which gives initial instruction about words. ... [T]he word “logic” has a broad meaning, and is not restricted exclusively to the science of argumentative reasoning. [It includes] Grammar [which] is “the science of speaking and writing correctly—the starting point of all liberal studies.”
In John of Salisbury and Daniel D. McGarry (trans.), 'Whence grammar gets its name', The Metalogicon (2009), 37. It is footnoted: Isidore, Etym., i, 5, §1.
Science quotes on:  |  Grammar (5)  |  Instruction (13)  |  Speaking (30)  |  Start (25)  |  Study (157)  |  Word (97)  |  Writing (50)

Anyone who has had actual contact with the making of the inventions that built the radio art knows that these inventions have been the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning, rather than on the mathematicians' calculations and formulae. Precisely the opposite impression is obtained from many of our present day text books and publications.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Invention (174)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Publication (75)  |  Radio (16)

Aristotle... a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless.
Rerum Novarum (1605)
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (101)

As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice—there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community... this issue of paradigm choice can never be unequivocally settled by logic and experiment alone.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Assent (2)  |  Choice (40)  |  Community (27)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Paradigm (10)  |  Standard (15)

Both the physicist and the mystic want to communicate their knowledge, and when they do so with words their statements are paradoxical and full of logical contradictions.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (37)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mystic (3)  |  Paradoxical (2)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Statement (28)  |  Word (97)

But nature is remarkably obstinate against purely logical operations; she likes not schoolmasters nor scholastic procedures. As though she took a particular satisfaction in mocking at our intelligence, she very often shows us the phantom of an apparently general law, represented by scattered fragments, which are entirely inconsistent. Logic asks for the union of these fragments; the resolute dogmatist, therefore, does not hesitate to go straight on to supply, by logical conclusions, the fragments he wants, and to flatter himself that he has mastered nature by his victorious intelligence.
'On the Principles of Animal Morphology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2 Apr 1888), 15, 289. Original as Letter to Mr John Murray, communicated to the Society by Professor Sir William Turner. Page given as in collected volume published 1889.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (2)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Dogmatist (2)  |  Fragment (13)  |  General (26)  |  Hesitate (2)  |  Inconsistent (3)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Law (273)  |  Like (14)  |  Master (19)  |  Mocking (2)  |  Nature (534)  |  Obstinate (2)  |  Operation (53)  |  Phantom (4)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Satisfaction (31)  |  Scattered (2)  |  Schoolmaster (2)  |  Union (6)

But, indeed, the science of logic and the whole framework of philosophical thought men have kept since the days of Plato and Aristotle, has no more essential permanence as a final expression of the human mind, than the Scottish Longer Catechism.
A Modern Utopia (1904, 2006), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Catechism (2)  |  Permanence (10)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Plato (29)  |  Science (875)  |  Scottish (2)  |  Thought (170)

Catastrophe Theory is—quite likely—the first coherent attempt (since Aristotelian logic) to give a theory on analogy. When narrow-minded scientists object to Catastrophe Theory that it gives no more than analogies, or metaphors, they do not realise that they are stating the proper aim of Catastrophe Theory, which is to classify all possible types of analogous situations.
From 'La Théorie des catastrophes État présent et perspective', as quoted in Erick Christopher Zeeman, (ed.), Catastrophe Theory: Selected Papers, 1972-1977 (1977), 637, as cited in Martin Krampe (ed.), Classics of Semiotics (1987), 214.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Attempt (41)  |  Catastrophe Theory (2)  |  Classify (2)  |  Coherent (4)  |  First (42)  |  Likely (4)  |  Metaphor (9)  |  Narrow-Minded (3)  |  Object (47)  |  Possible (19)  |  Realise (3)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Situation (21)  |  Type (15)

Common sense is science exactly in so far as it fulfills the ideal of common sense; that is, sees facts as they are, or at any rate, without the distortion of prejudice, and reasons from them in accordance with the dictates of sound judgment. And science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.
The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoölogy (1880), 2. Excerpted in Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 789.
Science quotes on:  |  Accordance (4)  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Best (42)  |  Common Sense (34)  |  Dictate (3)  |  Distortion (4)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fallacy (9)  |  Fulfillment (6)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Observation (264)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Reason (173)  |  Rigidity (3)  |  Science (875)

Descartes' immortal conclusion cogito ergo sum was recently subjected to destruction testing by a group of graduate researchers at Princeton led by Professors Montjuic and Lauterbrunnen, and now reads, in the Shorter Harvard Orthodoxy:
(a) I think, therefore I am; or
(b) Perhaps I thought, therefore I was; but
(c) These days, I tend to leave that side of things to my wife.
Tom Holt
Ye Gods! (1992), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  René Descartes (32)

Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion, one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made these steps. The astonishing thing is that these discoveries were made at all.
Letter to J. S. Switzer, 23 Apr 1953, Einstein Archive 61-381. Quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Quotable Einstein (1996), 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (122)  |  Enquiry (72)

Every new theory as it arises believes in the flush of youth that it has the long sought goal; it sees no limits to its applicability, and believes that at last it is the fortunate theory to achieve the 'right' answer. This was true of electron theory—perhaps some readers will remember a book called The Electrical Theory of the Universe by de Tunzelman. It is true of general relativity theory with its belief that we can formulate a mathematical scheme that will extrapolate to all past and future time and the unfathomed depths of space. It has been true of wave mechanics, with its first enthusiastic claim a brief ten years ago that no problem had successfully resisted its attack provided the attack was properly made, and now the disillusionment of age when confronted by the problems of the proton and the neutron. When will we learn that logic, mathematics, physical theory, are all only inventions for formulating in compact and manageable form what we already know, like all inventions do not achieve complete success in accomplishing what they were designed to do, much less complete success in fields beyond the scope of the original design, and that our only justification for hoping to penetrate at all into the unknown with these inventions is our past experience that sometimes we have been fortunate enough to be able to push on a short distance by acquired momentum.
The Nature of Physical Theory (1936), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Neutron (7)  |  Proton (7)  |  Quantum Theory (36)  |  Theory (353)

Every science that has thriven has thriven upon its own symbols: logic, the only science which is admitted to have made no improvements in century after century, is the only one which has grown no symbols.
Transactions Cambridge Philosophical Society, vol. X, 1864, p.184
Science quotes on:  |  Symbol (23)

Every work of science great enough to be well remembered for a few generations affords some exemplification of the defective state of the art of reasoning of the time when it was written; and each chief step in science has been a lesson in logic.
'The Fixation of Belief (1877). In Justus Buchler, The Philosophy of Pierce (1940), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Affording (2)  |  Art (80)  |  Chief (9)  |  Defect (8)  |  Few (7)  |  Generation (56)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Lesson (14)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Science (875)  |  State (43)  |  Step (26)  |  Time (170)  |  Work (198)  |  Writing (50)

Experience, the only logic sure to convince a diseased imagination and restore it to rugged health.
Written in 1892. In The American Claimant (1896), 203. In Mark Twain and Brian Collins (ed.), When in Doubt, Tell the Truth: and Other Quotations from Mark Twain (1996), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Convince (7)  |  Disease (170)  |  Experience (132)  |  Health (93)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Restore (3)  |  Rugged (3)

Frege has the merit of ... finding a third assertion by recognising the world of logic which is neither mental nor physical.
Our Knowledge of the External World (1914), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Assertion (16)  |  Find (50)  |  Mental (16)  |  Merit (14)  |  Physical (28)  |  Recognition (38)

Gates is the ultimate programming machine. He believes everything can be defined, examined, reduced to essentials, and rearranged into a logical sequence that will achieve a particular goal.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (4)  |  Belief (139)  |  Define (3)  |  Examine (4)  |  Bill Gates (4)  |  Goal (36)  |  Machine (56)  |  Programming (2)  |  Sequence (15)  |  Ultimate (27)

Gradually, at various points in our childhoods, we discover different forms of conviction. There’s the rock-hard certainty of personal experience (“I put my finger in the fire and it hurt,”), which is probably the earliest kind we learn. Then there’s the logically convincing, which we probably come to first through maths, in the context of Pythagoras’s theorem or something similar, and which, if we first encounter it at exactly the right moment, bursts on our minds like sunrise with the whole universe playing a great chord of C Major.
In short essay, 'Dawkins, Fairy Tales, and Evidence', 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Bursting (2)  |  Childhood (6)  |  Chord (2)  |  Conviction (26)  |  Convincing (6)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Experience (132)  |  Finger (14)  |  Fire (59)  |  Learning (130)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Mind (272)  |  Music (26)  |  Playing (3)  |  Pythagoras (17)  |  Sunrise (4)  |  Theorem (34)  |  Universe (291)

Here I most violently want you to
Avoid one fearful error, a vicious flaw.
Don't think that our bright eyes were made that we
Might look ahead; that hips and knees and ankles
So intricately bend that we might take
Big strides, and the arms are strapped to the sturdy shoulders
And hands are given for servants to each side
That we might use them to support our lives.
All other explanations of this sort
Are twisted, topsy-turvy logic, for
Nothing what is born produces its own use.
Sight was not born before the light of the eyes,
Nor were words and pleas created before the tongue
Rather the tongue's appearance long preceded
Speech, and the ears were formed far earlier than
The sound first heard. To sum up, all the members Existed, I should think, before their use, So use has not caused them to have grown.
On the Nature of Things, trans. Anthony M. Esolen (1995), Book 4, lines 820-8, 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Existence (150)  |  Flaw (5)  |  Sound (21)  |  Speech (19)

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
'L. Of Studies,' Essays (1597). In Francis Bacon and Basil Montagu, The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England (1852), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Science (875)

I am opposed to looking upon logic as a kind of game. … One might think that it is a matter of choice or convention which logic one adopts. I disagree with this view.
Objective Knowledge: an Evolutionary Approach (1972), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Adoption (5)  |  Choice (40)  |  Convention (5)  |  Disagreement (7)  |  Game (28)  |  View (48)

I approached the bulk of my schoolwork as a chore rather than an intellectual adventure. The tedium was relieved by a few courses that seem to be qualitatively different. Geometry was the first exciting course I remember. Instead of memorizing facts, we were asked to think in clear, logical steps. Beginning from a few intuitive postulates, far reaching consequences could be derived, and I took immediately to the sport of proving theorems.
Autobiography in Gösta Ekspong (ed.), Nobel Lectures: Physics 1996-2000 (2002), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)  |  Fact (325)  |  Geometry (68)  |  Proof (136)  |  School (36)  |  Theorem (34)

I believed that, instead of the multiplicity of rules that comprise logic, I would have enough in the following four, as long as I made a firm and steadfast resolution never to fail to observe them.
The first was never to accept anything as true if I did not know clearly that it was so; that is, carefully to avoid prejudice and jumping to conclusions, and to include nothing in my judgments apart from whatever appeared so clearly and distinctly to my mind that I had no opportunity to cast doubt upon it.
The second was to subdivide each on the problems I was about to examine: into as many parts as would be possible and necessary to resolve them better.
The third was to guide my thoughts in an orderly way by beginning, as if by steps, to knowledge of the most complex, and even by assuming an order of the most complex, and even by assuming an order among objects in! cases where there is no natural order among them.
And the final rule was: in all cases, to make such comprehensive enumerations and such general review that I was certain not to omit anything.
The long chains of inferences, all of them simple and easy, that geometers normally use to construct their most difficult demonstrations had given me an opportunity to think that all the things that can fall within the scope of human knowledge follow from each other 'in a similar way, and as long as one avoids accepting something as true which is not so, and as long as one always observes the order required to deduce them from each other, there cannot be anything so remote that it cannot be reached nor anything so hidden that it cannot be uncovered.
Discourse on Method in Discourse on Method and Related Writings (1637), trans. Desmond M. Clarke, Penguin edition (1999), Part 2, 16.

I end with a word on the new symbols which I have employed. Most writers on logic strongly object to all symbols. ... I should advise the reader not to make up his mind on this point until he has well weighed two facts which nobody disputes, both separately and in connexion. First, logic is the only science which has made no progress since the revival of letters; secondly, logic is the only science which has produced no growth of symbols.
Science quotes on:  |  Symbol (23)

I have just received copies of “To-day” containing criticisms of my letter. I am in no way surprised to find that these criticisms are not only unfair and misleading in the extreme. They are misleading in so far that anyone reading them would be led to believe the exact opposite of the truth. It is quite possible that I, an old and trained engineer and chronic experimenter, should put an undue value upon truth; but it is common to all scientific men. As nothing but the truth is of any value to them, they naturally dislike things that are not true. ... While my training has, perhaps, warped my mind so that I put an undue value upon truth, their training has been such as to cause them to abhor exact truth and logic.
[Replying to criticism by Colonel Acklom and other religious parties attacking Maxim's earlier contribution to the controversy about the modern position of Christianity.]
In G.K. Chesterton, 'The Maxims of Maxim', Daily News (25 Feb 1905). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Abhorrence (6)  |  Belief (139)  |  Cause (122)  |  Chronic (4)  |  Content (17)  |  Copy (6)  |  Criticism (34)  |  Dislike (9)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Experimenter (9)  |  Leading (8)  |  Letter (16)  |  Mind (272)  |  Misleading (5)  |  Naturally (3)  |  Old (23)  |  Opposite (21)  |  Reading (25)  |  Receiving (2)  |  Surprise (19)  |  Today (24)  |  Training (21)  |  Truth (450)  |  Undue (3)  |  Unfair (3)  |  Value (63)

I have said that science is impossible without faith. … Inductive logic, the logic of Bacon, is rather something on which we can act than something which we can prove, and to act on it is a supreme assertion of faith … Science is a way of life which can only fluorish when men are free to have faith.
In Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao, Statistics and Truth (1997), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Francis Bacon (127)  |  Faith (73)  |  Science (875)

I never guess. It is a shocking habit—destructive to the logical faculty.
Spoken by fictitious character Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four (1890), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Faculty (21)  |  Guess (14)  |  Habit (42)  |  Shocking (2)

I once knew an otherwise excellent teacher who compelled his students to perform all their demonstrations with incorrect figures, on the theory that it was the logical connection of the concepts, not the figure, that was essential.
In Ernst Mach and Thomas Joseph McCormack, Space and Geometry (1906), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Compel (4)  |  Concept (38)  |  Connection (39)  |  Demonstration (29)  |  Essential (41)  |  Excellent (5)  |  Incorrect (4)  |  Perform (7)  |  Student (54)  |  Teacher (54)  |  Theory (353)

I presume that few who have paid any attention to the history of the Mathematical Analysis, will doubt that it has been developed in a certain order, or that that order has been, to a great extent, necessary—being determined, either by steps of logical deduction, or by the successive introduction of new ideas and conceptions, when the time for their evolution had arrived. And these are the causes that operate in perfect harmony. Each new scientific conception gives occasion to new applications of deductive reasoning; but those applications may be only possible through the methods and the processes which belong to an earlier stage.
Explaining his choice for the exposition in historical order of the topics in A Treatise on Differential Equations (1859), Preface, v-vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Application (72)  |  Cause (122)  |  Conception (29)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Development (122)  |  Earlier (8)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Harmony (27)  |  History (156)  |  Idea (226)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Necessity (78)  |  New (107)  |  Occasion (7)  |  Order (60)  |  Process (97)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Successive (5)

I took biology in high school and didn't like it at all. It was focused on memorization. ... I didn't appreciate that biology also had principles and logic ... [rather than dealing with a] messy thing called life. It just wasn't organized, and I wanted to stick with the nice pristine sciences of chemistry and physics, where everything made sense. I wish I had learned sooner that biology could be fun as well.
Interview (23 May 1998), 'Creating the Code to Life', Academy of Achievement web site.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciation (12)  |  Biology (83)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Everything (38)  |  Focus (6)  |  Fun (15)  |  High School (2)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  Like (14)  |  Making (18)  |  Nice (4)  |  Organization (51)  |  Physics (156)  |  Principle (97)  |  Pristine (2)  |  Science (875)  |  Sense (104)  |  Soon (4)  |  Thing (27)  |  Want (32)  |  Wish (18)

I was pretty good in science. But again, because of the small budget, in science class we couldn't do experiments in order to prove theories. We just believed everything. Actually I think that class was call Religion. Religion was always an easy class. All you had to do was suspend the logic and reasoning you were taught in all the other classes.
In autobiography, Brain Droppings (1998), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Biography (199)  |  Class (27)  |  Easiness (2)  |  Everything (38)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Good (81)  |  Proof (136)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  School (36)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Suspension (4)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Theory (353)

If everything in chemistry is explained in a satisfactory manner without the help of phlogiston, it is by that reason alone infinitely probable that the principle does not exist; that it is a hypothetical body, a gratuitous supposition; indeed, it is in the principles of good logic, not to multiply bodies without necessity.
'Reflexions sur le phlogistique', Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, 1783, 505-38. Reprinted in Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1864), Vol. 2, 623, trans. M. P. Crosland.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Phlogiston (9)  |  Principle (97)  |  Probability (56)  |  Reason (173)  |  Supposition (25)

If human thought is a growth, like all other growths, its logic is without foundation of its own, and is only the adjusting constructiveness of all other growing things. A tree cannot find out, as it were, how to blossom, until comes blossom-time. A social growth cannot find out the use of steam engines, until comes steam-engine-time.
Lo! (1931, 1941), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Invention (174)  |  Progress (200)  |  Steam Engine (21)  |  Thought (170)

If I go out into nature, into the unknown, to the fringes of knowledge, everything seems mixed up and contradictory, illogical, and incoherent. This is what research does; it smooths out contradictions and makes things simple, logical, and coherent.
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Coherence (4)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Fringe (3)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mix (5)  |  Nature (534)  |  Research (360)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Smoothness (2)  |  Unknown (40)

If materialism is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not those of logic.
The Inequality of Man (1932), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (106)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Materialism (4)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Result (129)  |  Truth (450)

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.
Endless Horizons (1946), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (38)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Physical World (3)  |  Probability (56)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Understanding (231)

If you plan it out, and it seems logical to you, then you can do it. I discovered the power of a plan.
Quoted in biography on website of the National Geographic Channel, Australia.
Science quotes on:  |  Plan (40)

In every enterprise ... the mind is always reasoning, and, even when we seem to act without a motive, an instinctive logic still directs the mind. Only we are not aware of it, because we begin by reasoning before we know or say that we are reasoning, just as we begin by speaking before we observe that we are speaking, and just as we begin by seeing and hearing before we know what we see or what we hear.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), trans. Henry Copley Green (1957), 158-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Reasoning (56)

In formal logic a contradiction is the signal of a defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.
In 'Religion and Science', The Atlantic (Aug 1925).
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Progress (200)

In my own view, some advice about what should be known, about what technical education should be acquired, about the intense motivation needed to succeed, and about the carelessness and inclination toward bias that must be avoided is far more useful than all the rules and warnings of theoretical logic.
In Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Neely Swanson (trans.) and Larry W. Swanson (trans.), Advice for a Young Investigator (2004), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Advice (22)  |  Avoidance (6)  |  Bias (8)  |  Carelessness (3)  |  Education (177)  |  Inclination (10)  |  Intensity (15)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Motivation (16)  |  Rule (52)  |  Technology (98)  |  Theory (353)  |  Usefulness (54)  |  View (48)  |  Warning (4)

Intelligence is an extremely subtle concept. It’s a kind of understanding that flourishes if it's combined with a good memory, but exists anyway even in the absence of good memory. It’s the ability to draw consequences from causes, to make correct inferences, to foresee what might be the result, to work out logical problems, to be reasonable, rational, to have the ability to understand the solution from perhaps insufficient information. You know when a person is intelligent, but you can be easily fooled if you are not yourself intelligent.
In Irv Broughton (ed.), The Writer's Mind: Interviews with American Authors (1990), Vol. 2, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (37)  |  Absence (5)  |  Cause (122)  |  Concept (38)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Correct (14)  |  Flourish (6)  |  Fool (32)  |  Foresee (5)  |  Inference (16)  |  Information (56)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Memory (42)  |  Problem (180)  |  Rational (18)  |  Reasonable (4)  |  Result (129)  |  Solution (109)  |  Subtle (6)  |  Understanding (231)

It always bothers me that according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space and no matter how tiny a region of time ... I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple. ... But this speculation is of the same nature as those other people make - 'I like it','I don't like it' - and it is not good to be too prejudiced about these things.
The Character of Physical Law (1965), 57. Quoted in Brian Rotman, Mathematics as Sign (2000), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (51)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Law (273)  |  Machinery (11)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Physics (156)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Reveal (5)  |  Simple (25)  |  Space (68)  |  Speculation (44)  |  Time (170)

It hath been an old remark, that Geometry is an excellent Logic. And it must be owned that when the definitions are clear; when the postulata cannot be refused, nor the axioms denied; when from the distinct contemplation and comparison of figures, their properties are derived, by a perpetual well-connected chain of consequences, the objects being still kept in view, and the attention ever fixed upon them; there is acquired a habit of reasoning, close and exact and methodical; which habit strengthens and sharpens the mind, and being transferred to other subjects is of general use in the inquiry after truth.
'The Analyst', in The Works of George Berkeley (1898), Vol. 3, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (11)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Definition (86)  |  Deny (7)  |  Exact (16)  |  Excellent (5)  |  Geometry (68)  |  Habit (42)  |  Mind (272)  |  Postulate (19)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Refuse (4)  |  Sharpen (5)  |  Strengthen (2)  |  Truth (450)  |  Value Of Mathematics (2)

It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover.
In Science and Method (1908) translated by Francis Maitland (1914, 2007), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (360)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Proof (136)

It is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician demonstrative proofs.
Aristotle
Nicomachean Ethics, 1094b, 25-7. In Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 2, 1730.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (110)

It is perplexing to see the flexibility of the so-called 'exact sciences' which by cast-iron laws of logic and by the infallible help of mathematics can lead to conclusions which are diametrically opposite to one another.
In The Nature of Light: an Historical Survey (1970), 229
Science quotes on:  |  Flexibility (3)  |  Infallibility (4)  |  Law (273)  |  Mathematics (367)

It is rigid dogma that destroys truth; and, please notice, my emphasis is not on the dogma, but on the rigidity. When men say of any question, “This is all there is to be known or said of the subject; investigation ends here,” that is death. It may be that the mischief comes not from the thinker but for the use made of his thinking by late-comers. Aristotle, for example, gave us out scientific technique ... yet his logical propositions, his instruction in sound reasoning which was bequeathed to Europe, are valid only within the limited framework of formal logic, and, as used in Europe, they stultified the minds of whole generations of mediaeval Schoolmen. Aristotle invented science, but destroyed philosophy.
Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, as recorded by Lucien Price (1954, 2001), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Dogma (13)  |  Instruction (13)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Question (159)  |  Rigidity (3)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Thought (170)

It is time, therefore, to abandon the superstition that natural science cannot be regarded as logically respectable until philosophers have solved the problem of induction. The problem of induction is, roughly speaking, the problem of finding a way to prove that certain empirical generalizations which are derived from past experience will hold good also in the future.
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 49.

It is true that physics gives a wonderful training in precise, logical thinking-about physics. It really does depend upon accurate reproducible experiments, and upon framing hypotheses with the greatest possible freedom from dogmatic prejudice. And if these were the really important things in life, physics would be an essential study for everybody.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 90-91.
Science quotes on:  |  Dependence (21)  |  Dogmatism (5)  |  Essential (41)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Importance (106)  |  Life (460)  |  Physics (156)  |  Precision (19)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Reproducibility (2)  |  Study (157)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Training (21)

It must be granted that in every syllogism, considered as an argument to prove the conclusion, there is a petitio principii. When we say, All men are mortal Socrates is a man therefore Socrates is mortal; it is unanswerably urged by the adversaries of the syllogistic theory, that the proposition, Socrates is mortal.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (1858), 122.
Science quotes on:  |  Syllogism (3)

It really is worth the trouble to invent a new symbol if we can thus remove not a few logical difficulties and ensure the rigour of the proofs. But many mathematicians seem to have so little feeling for logical purity and accuracy that they will use a word to mean three or four different things, sooner than make the frightful decision to invent a new word.
Grundgesetz der Arithmetik(1893), Vol. 2, Section 60, In P. Greach and M. Black (eds., Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege (1952), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Proof (136)  |  Symbol (23)

I’m supposed to be a scientific person but I use intuition more than logic in making basic decisions.
In transcript of a video history interview with Seymour Cray by David K. Allison at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, (9 May 1995), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (30)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Scientist (237)

Like Molière’s M. Jourdain, who spoke prose all his life without knowing it, mathematicians have been reasoning for at least two millennia without being aware of all the principles underlying what they were doing. The real nature of the tools of their craft has become evident only within recent times A renaissance of logical studies in modern times begins with the publication in 1847 of George Boole’s The Mathematical Analysis of Logic.
Co-authored with James R. Newman in Gödel's Proof (1986, 2005), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Aware (4)  |  Begin (5)  |  George Boole (9)  |  Craft (3)  |  Evident (2)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Modern (44)  |  Nature (534)  |  Principle (97)  |  Prose (5)  |  Publication (75)  |  Real (28)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Recent (14)  |  Renaissance (5)  |  Study (157)  |  Time (170)  |  Tool (30)

Logic is a wonderful thing but doesn't always beat actual thought.
The Last Continent (1998)
Science quotes on:  |  Thought (170)

Logic is like the sword—those who appeal to it shall perish by it.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (8)  |  Perish (11)  |  Sword (7)

Logic is neither a science nor an art, but a dodge.
Quoted in Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell, The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett, M.A., Master of Balliol College, Oxford (1897), Vol. 1, 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Dodge (2)  |  Science (875)

Logic is not concerned with human behavior in the same sense that physiology, psychology, and social sciences are concerned with it. These sciences formulate laws or universal statements which have as their subject matter human activities as processes in time. Logic, on the contrary, is concerned with relations between factual sentences (or thoughts). If logic ever discusses the truth of factual sentences it does so only conditionally, somewhat as follows: if such-and-such a sentence is true, then such-and-such another sentence is true. Logic itself does not decide whether the first sentence is true, but surrenders that question to one or the other of the empirical sciences.
Logic (1937). In The Language of Wisdom and Folly: Background Readings in Semantics (1967), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Concern (30)  |  Decision (30)  |  Discuss (3)  |  Empirical Science (4)  |  Fact (325)  |  Formulation (14)  |  Human Behavior (2)  |  Law (273)  |  Physiology (41)  |  Process (97)  |  Psychology (69)  |  Question (159)  |  Relation (35)  |  Sense (104)  |  Sentence (10)  |  Social Science (17)  |  Statement (28)  |  Subject (51)  |  Surrender (4)  |  Thought (170)  |  Time (170)  |  True (29)  |  Universal (26)

Logic is only the art of going wrong with confidence.
This is a slightly reworded version of part of a quote by Joseph Wood Krutch (see herein beginning “Metaphysics...”.) This note is included here to help readers identify that it is incorrectly cited when found attributed to Morris Kline, John Ralston Saul or W.H. Auden. In fact, the quote is identified as simply by Anonymous by Kline in his Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1980), 197; and as an “old conundrum” in Saul's On Equilibrium: The Six Qualities of the New Humanism (2004), 124.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Confidence (16)  |  Going (5)  |  Wrong (50)

Logic is the last scientific ingredient of Philosophy; its extraction leaves behind only a confusion of non-scientific, pseudo problems.
The Unity of Science, trans. Max Black (1934), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Confusion (22)  |  Extraction (5)  |  Ingredient (6)  |  Leave (5)  |  Non-Scientific (3)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Scientific (55)

Logic issues in tautologies, mathematics in identities, philosophy in definitions; all trivial, but all part of the vital work of clarifying and organising our thought.
'Last Papers: Philosophy' (1929), in The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays (1931), 264.
Science quotes on:  |  Clarification (4)  |  Definition (86)  |  Identity (7)  |  Issue (14)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Organization (51)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Tautology (2)  |  Thought (170)  |  Vital (10)  |  Work (198)

LOGIC, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. The basic of logic is the syllogism, consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion—thus:
Major Premise: Sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as quickly as one man.
Minor Premise: One man can dig a post-hole in sixty seconds; therefore—
Conclusion: Sixty men can dig a post-hole in one second.
This may be called the syllogism arithmetical, in which, by combining logic and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty and are twice blessed.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  196.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (96)

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.
Spoken by character Dr. Spock in movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1992), screenwriters Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn. As cited in Gary Westfahl (ed.), The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (2005), Vol. 2, 892.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (71)  |  End (51)  |  Wisdom (91)

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
'On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata', The Fortnightly (1874), 22, 577.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (44)  |  Fool (32)  |  Men (12)  |  Wisdom (91)

Mathematicians deal with possible worlds, with an infinite number of logically consistent systems. Observers explore the one particular world we inhabit. Between the two stands the theorist. He studies possible worlds but only those which are compatible with the information furnished by observers. In other words, theory attempts to segregate the minimum number of possible worlds which must include the actual world we inhabit. Then the observer, with new factual information, attempts to reduce the list further. And so it goes, observation and theory advancing together toward the common goal of science, knowledge of the structure and observation of the universe.
Lecture to Sigma Xi, 'The Problem of the Expanding Universe' (1941), printed in Sigma Xi Quarterly (1942), 30, 104-105. Reprinted in Smithsonian Institution Report of the Board of Regents (1943), 97, 123. As cited by Norriss S. Hetherington in 'Philosophical Values and Observation in Edwin Hubble's Choice of a Model of the Universe', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1982), 13, No. 1, 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (7)  |  Advance (52)  |  Attempt (41)  |  Common (44)  |  Compatibility (3)  |  Consistency (14)  |  Exploration (48)  |  Fact (325)  |  Goal (36)  |  Inclusion (2)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Information (56)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Minimum (7)  |  Number (90)  |  Observation (264)  |  Observer (10)  |  Reduction (22)  |  Science (875)  |  Segregation (2)  |  Structure (104)  |  Study (157)  |  System (66)  |  Theorist (7)  |  Theory (353)  |  Universe (291)  |  World (231)

Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that the danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
Orthodoxy (1908, 2007), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (19)  |  Creativity (45)  |  Danger (32)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Mad (7)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Seldom (10)

Mathematics as an expression of the human mind reflects the active will, the contemplative reason, and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Its basic elements are logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality. Though different traditions may emphasize different aspects, it is only the interplay of these antithetic forces and the struggle for their synthesis that constitute the life, usefulness, and supreme value of mathematical science.
In Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins, What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods (1941, 1996), x.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Aesthetics (3)  |  Analysis (82)  |  Antithesis (3)  |  Aspect (16)  |  Basic (18)  |  Constitution (12)  |  Construction (36)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Desire (46)  |  Difference (135)  |  Element (68)  |  Emphasis (9)  |  Expression (44)  |  Force (75)  |  Generality (14)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Individuality (4)  |  Interplay (2)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Reason (173)  |  Reflection (26)  |  Struggle (18)  |  Supreme (8)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Tradition (17)  |  Usefulness (54)  |  Value (63)  |  Will (22)

Mathematics had never had more than a secondary interest for him [her husband, George Boole]; and even logic he cared for chiefly as a means of clearing the ground of doctrines imagined to be proved, by showing that the evidence on which they were supposed to give rest had no tendency to prove them. But he had been endeavoring to give a more active and positive help than this to the cause of what he deemed pure religion.
In Eleanor Meredith Cobham, Mary Everest Boole: Collected Works (1931), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  George Boole (9)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Interest (82)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Proof (136)  |  Pure (14)  |  Religion (120)  |  Secondary (6)

Men are rather beholden ... generally to chance or anything else, than to logic, for the invention of arts and sciences.
The Advancement of Learning (1605) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 3, 386.
Science quotes on:  |  Invention (174)

Metaphysics may be, after all, only the art of being sure of something that is not so and logic only the art of going wrong with confidence.
In The Modern Temper (1956), 154. The second part of Krutch's quote is often seen as a sentence by itself, and a number of authors cite it incorrectly. For those invalid attributions, see note herein for quote beginning “Logic is the art...”.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Confidence (16)  |  Going (5)  |  Metaphysics (24)  |  Sure (12)  |  Wrong (50)

Of science and logic he chatters,
As fine and as fast as he can;
Though I am no judge of such matters,
I’m sure he’s a talented man.
'The Talented Man.' In Winthrop Mackworth Praed, Ferris Greenslet, The Poems of Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1909), 122. by - 1909
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)  |  Talent (19)

One of the principal obstacles to the rapid diffusion of a new idea lies in the difficulty of finding suitable expression to convey its essential point to other minds. Words may have to be strained into a new sense, and scientific controversies constantly resolve themselves into differences about the meaning of words. On the other hand, a happy nomenclature has sometimes been more powerful than rigorous logic in allowing a new train of thought to be quickly and generally accepted.
Opening Address to the Annual Meeting of the British Association by Prof. Arthur Schuster, in Nature (4 Aug 1892), 46, 325.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (31)  |  Controversy (13)  |  Convey (2)  |  Difficulty (76)  |  Diffusion (3)  |  Essential (41)  |  Expression (44)  |  Finding (19)  |  Idea (226)  |  Meaning (52)  |  New (107)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Obstacle (9)  |  Point (29)  |  Power (103)  |  Principal (6)  |  Resolution (10)  |  Rigour (9)  |  Sense (104)  |  Suitability (9)  |  Thought (170)  |  Word (97)

Only mathematics and mathematical logic can say as little as the physicist means to say. (1931)
In The Scientific Outlook (1931, 2009), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Physicist (74)

Ordinarily logic is divided into the examination of ideas, judgments, arguments, and methods. The two latter are generally reduced to judgments, that is, arguments are reduced to apodictic judgments that such and such conclusions follow from such and such premises, and method is reduced to judgments that prescribe the procedure that should be followed in the search for truth.
Ampére expresses how arguments have a logical structure which he expected should be applied to relate scientific theories to experimental evidence. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 158. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, École Normale lecture 15 notes, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (26)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Division (19)  |  Examination (47)  |  Following (12)  |  Generality (14)  |  Idea (226)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Latter (2)  |  Method (73)  |  Ordinary (19)  |  Premise (7)  |  Prescription (10)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Reduction (22)  |  Search (40)  |  Truth (450)

Poincaré was a vigorous opponent of the theory that all mathematics can be rewritten in terms of the most elementary notions of classical logic; something more than logic, he believed, makes mathematics what it is.
Quoted in Thomson Gale, Online, 'Jules Henri Poincaré', World of Mathematics (2006).
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Henri Poincaré (41)

Professor [Max] Planck, of Berlin, the famous originator of the Quantum Theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult! Professor Planck could easily master the whole corpus of mathematical economics in a few days. He did not mean that! But the amalgam of logic and intuition and the wide knowledge of facts, most of which are not precise, which is required for economic interpretation in its highest form is, quite truly, overwhelmingly difficult for those whose gift mainly consists in the power to imagine and pursue to their furthest points the implications and prior conditions of comparatively simple facts which are known with a high degree of precision.
'Alfred Marshall: 1842-1924' (1924). In Geoffrey Keynes (ed.), Essays in Biography (1933), 191-2
Science quotes on:  |  Economics (19)  |  Fact (325)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Interpretation (38)  |  Intution (2)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Max Planck (54)  |  Precision (19)  |  Quantum Theory (36)

Science attempts to find logic and simplicity in nature. Mathematics attempts to establish order and simplicity in human thought.
The Pursuit of Simplicity (1980), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (41)  |  Nature (534)  |  Science (875)  |  Simplicity (92)

Science has hitherto been proceeding without the guidance of any rational theory of logic, and has certainly made good progress. It is like a computer who is pursuing some method of arithmetical approximation. Even if he occasionally makes mistakes in his ciphering, yet if the process is a good one they will rectify themselves. But then he would approximate much more rapidly if he did not commit these errors; and in my opinion, the time has come when science ought to be provided with a logic. My theory satisfies me; I can see no flaw in it. According to that theory universality, necessity, exactitude, in the absolute sense of these words, are unattainable by us, and do not exist in nature. There is an ideal law to which nature approximates; but to express it would require an endless series of modifications, like the decimals expressing surd. Only when you have asked a question in so crude a shape that continuity is not involved, is a perfectly true answer attainable.
Letter to G. F. Becker, 11 June 1893. Merrill Collection, Library of Congress. Quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History (1966), 231-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (32)  |  Answer (96)  |  Approximation (8)  |  Arithmetic (38)  |  Attainment (23)  |  Commitment (8)  |  Computer (51)  |  Crudity (2)  |  Decimal (8)  |  Endless (12)  |  Error (152)  |  Exactitude (3)  |  Existence (150)  |  Flaw (5)  |  Good (81)  |  Guidance (6)  |  Hitherto (2)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Method (73)  |  Modification (22)  |  Nature (534)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Proceeding (10)  |  Progress (200)  |  Provision (10)  |  Pursuit (34)  |  Question (159)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Rationality (4)  |  Satisfaction (31)  |  Science (875)  |  Sense (104)  |  Series (18)  |  Theory (353)  |  Time (170)  |  Truth (450)  |  Universality (9)  |  Word (97)

Science has taught us to think the unthinkable. Because when nature is the guide—rather than a priori prejudices, hopes, fears or desires—we are forced out of our comfort zone. One by one, pillars of classical logic have fallen by the wayside as science progressed in the 20th century, from Einstein's realization that measurements of space and time were not absolute but observer-dependent, to quantum mechanics, which not only put fundamental limits on what we can empirically know but also demonstrated that elementary particles and the atoms they form are doing a million seemingly impossible things at once.
In op-ed, 'A Universe Without Purpose', Los Angeles Times (1 Apr 2012).
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (11)  |  A Priori (8)  |  Absolute (32)  |  Atom (164)  |  Classical (7)  |  Dependence (21)  |  Desire (46)  |  Albert Einstein (174)  |  Falling (3)  |  Fear (53)  |  Guide (17)  |  Hope (50)  |  Impossibility (32)  |  Measurement (112)  |  Nature (534)  |  Observer (10)  |  Pillar (2)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Progress (200)  |  Quantum Mechanics (15)  |  Realization (22)  |  Science (875)  |  Space And Time (4)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Unthinkable (2)  |  Wayside (2)

Science is a method of logical analysis of nature’s operations. It has lessened human anxiety about the cosmos by demonstrating the materiality of nature’s forces, and their frequent predictability.
In Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Anxiety (7)  |  Cosmos (23)  |  Force (75)  |  Frequent (6)  |  Human (168)  |  Lessen (2)  |  Materiality (2)  |  Method (73)  |  Nature (534)  |  Operation (53)  |  Predictability (5)  |  Science (875)

Scientists are the easiest to fool. ... They think in straight, predictable, directable, and therefore misdirectable, lines. The only world they know is the one where everything has a logical explanation and things are what they appear to be. Children and conjurors—they terrify me. Scientists are no problem; against them I feel quite confident.
Code of the Lifemaker (1983, 2000),Chapter 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (47)  |  Child (90)  |  Confidence (16)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Fool (32)  |  Predictability (5)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Terrify (3)  |  Thinking (166)

Simple molecules combine to make powerful chemicals. Simple cells combine to make powerful life-forms. Simple electronics combine to make powerful computers. Logically, all things are created by a combination of simpler, less capable components. Therefore, a supreme being must be in our future, not our origin. What if "God" is the consciousness that will be created when enough of us are connected by the Internet?!!
Thoughts by character Dogbert in Dilbert cartoon strip (11 Feb 1996).
Science quotes on:  |  Capability (27)  |  Cell (90)  |  Chemical (38)  |  Combination (37)  |  Component (6)  |  Computer (51)  |  Connection (39)  |  Consciousness (36)  |  Creation (129)  |  Electronics (6)  |  Future (110)  |  God (234)  |  Internet (7)  |  Life (460)  |  Life-Form (4)  |  Molecule (82)  |  Origin (36)  |  Power (103)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Simplicity (92)

Since my logic aims to teach and instruct the understanding, not that it may with the slender tendrils of the mind snatch at and lay hold of abstract notions (as the common logic does), but that it may in very truth dissect nature, and discover the virtues and actions of bodies, with their laws as determined in matter; so that this science flows not merely from the nature of the mind, but also from the nature of things.
Aphorism 42,' Novum Organum, Book II (1620)
Science quotes on:  |  Law (273)

Sir Hiram Maxim is a genuine and typical example of the man of science, romantic, excitable, full of real but somewhat obvious poetry, a little hazy in logic and philosophy, but full of hearty enthusiasm and an honorable simplicity. He is, as he expresses it, “an old and trained engineer,” and is like all of the old and trained engineers I have happened to come across, a man who indemnifies himself for the superhuman or inhuman concentration required for physical science by a vague and dangerous romanticism about everything else.
In G.K. Chesterton, 'The Maxims of Maxim', Daily News (25 Feb 1905). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)  |  Concentration (6)  |  Danger (32)  |  Else (4)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Enthusiasm (20)  |  Everything (38)  |  Example (21)  |  Excitement (20)  |  Expression (44)  |  Full (10)  |  Genuine (9)  |  Honour (20)  |  Sir Hiram Maxim (4)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Old (23)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Poetry (63)  |  Real (28)  |  Requirement (27)  |  Romance (6)  |  Romanticism (3)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Somewhat (2)  |  Superhuman (2)  |  Training (21)  |  Typical (6)  |  Vagueness (8)

SYLLOGISM, n. A logical formula consisting of a major and a minor assumption and an inconsequent. (See LOGIC.)
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  335.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (96)  |  Syllogism (3)

The arithmetic of life does not always have a logical answer.
Westfield State College
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (96)  |  Arithmetic (38)  |  Life (460)

The body of science is not, as it is sometimes thought, a huge coherent mass of facts, neatly arranged in sequence, each one attached to the next by a logical string. In truth, whenever we discover a new fact it involves the elimination of old ones. We are always, as it turns out, fundamentally in error.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980)
Science quotes on:  |  Always (5)  |  Attachment (3)  |  Body (88)  |  Coherent (4)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Elimination (14)  |  Error (152)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Huge (4)  |  Mass (23)  |  Neatness (3)  |  New (107)  |  Next (4)  |  Old (23)  |  Science (875)  |  Sequence (15)  |  String (11)  |  Truth (450)

The fact that all Mathematics is Symbolic Logic is one of the greatest discoveries of our age; and when this fact has been established, the remainder of the principles of mathematics consists of the analysis of Symbolic Logic itself.
In Bertrand Russell, The Principles of Mathematics (1903), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)

The faith of scientists in the power and truth of mathematics is so implicit that their work has gradually become less and less observation, and more and more calculation. The promiscuous collection and tabulation of data have given way to a process of assigning possible meanings, merely supposed real entities, to mathematical terms, working out the logical results, and then staging certain crucial experiments to check the hypothesis against the actual empirical results. But the facts which are accepted by virtue of these tests are not actually observed at all. With the advance of mathematical technique in physics, the tangible results of experiment have become less and less spectacular; on the other hand, their significance has grown in inverse proportion. The men in the laboratory have departed so far from the old forms of experimentation—typified by Galileo's weights and Franklin's kite—that they cannot be said to observe the actual objects of their curiosity at all; instead, they are watching index needles, revolving drums, and sensitive plates. No psychology of 'association' of sense-experiences can relate these data to the objects they signify, for in most cases the objects have never been experienced. Observation has become almost entirely indirect; and readings take the place of genuine witness.
Philosophy in a New Key; A Study in Inverse the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art (1942), 19-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (41)  |  Data (59)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Empiricism (13)  |  Experience (132)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fact (325)  |  Benjamin Franklin (65)  |  Galileo Galilei (64)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Meter (4)  |  Object (47)  |  Observation (264)  |  Physics (156)  |  Proportion (24)  |  Research (360)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Sense (104)  |  Significance (30)  |  Truth (450)

The functional validity of a working hypothesis is not a priori certain, because often it is initially based on intuition. However, logical deductions from such a hypothesis provide expectations (so-called prognoses) as to the circumstances under which certain phenomena will appear in nature. Such a postulate or working hypothesis can then be substantiated by additional observations ... The author calls such expectations and additional observations the prognosis-diagnosis method of research. Prognosis in science may be termed the prediction of the future finding of corroborative evidence of certain features or phenomena (diagnostic facts). This method of scientific research builds up and extends the relations between the subject and the object by means of a circuit of inductions and deductions.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 454-5.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (8)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Circuit (10)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Diagnosis (48)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Expectation (26)  |  Functional (4)  |  Future (110)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Induction (22)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Object (47)  |  Observation (264)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Postulate (19)  |  Prediction (48)  |  Prognosis (2)  |  Relation (35)  |  Research (360)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Subject (51)  |  Substantiate (2)  |  Validity (11)  |  Working (11)

The fundamental hypothesis of genetic epistemology is that there is a parallelism between the progress made in the logical and rational organization of knowledge and the corresponding formative psychological processes. With that hypothesis, the most fruitful, most obvious field of study would be the reconstituting of human history—the history of human thinking in prehistoric man. Unfortunately, we are not very well informed in the psychology of primitive man, but there are children all around us, and it is in studying children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.
'Genetic Epistemology', Columbia Forum (1969), 12, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (77)  |  Child (90)  |  Correspondence (6)  |  Development (122)  |  Epistemology (4)  |  Field (69)  |  Formation (34)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Genetics (79)  |  History (156)  |  Human (168)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Information (56)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Organization (51)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Prehistoric (2)  |  Process (97)  |  Progress (200)  |  Psychology (69)  |  Rational (18)  |  Study (157)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Unfortunately (5)

The general mental qualification necessary for scientific advancement is that which is usually denominated “common sense,” though added to this, imagination, induction, and trained logic, either of common language or of mathematics, are important adjuncts.
From presidential address (24 Nov 1877) to the Philosophical Society of Washington. As cited by L.A. Bauer in his retiring president address (5 Dec 1908), 'The Instruments and Methods of Research', published in Philosophical Society of Washington Bulletin, 15, 103. Reprinted in William Crookes (ed.) The Chemical News and Journal of Industrial Science (30 Jul 1909), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (4)  |  Advancement (26)  |  Common (44)  |  Common Sense (34)  |  General (26)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Importance (106)  |  Induction (22)  |  Language (71)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Mental (16)  |  Necessary (19)  |  Qualification (5)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Training (21)

The key to SETI is to guess the type of communication that an alien society would use. The best guesses so far have been that they would use radio waves, and that they would choose a frequency based on 'universal' knowledge—for instance, the 1420 MHz hydrogen frequency. But these are assumptions formulated by the human brain. Who knows what sort of logic a superadvanced nonhuman life form might use? ... Just 150 years ago, an eyeblink in history, radio waves themselves were inconceivable, and we were thinking of lighting fires to signal the Martians.
Quoted on PBS web page related to Nova TV program episode on 'Origins: Do Aliens Exist in the Milky Way'.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (16)  |  Brain (106)  |  Communication (37)  |  Extraterrestrial Life (16)  |  Fire (59)  |  Guess (14)  |  History (156)  |  Human (168)  |  Hydrogen (25)  |  Lifeform (2)  |  Mars (14)  |  Radio (16)  |  SETI (2)  |  Signal (5)  |  Society (84)

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good.
Aphorism 7,' Novum Organum, Book I (1620)
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Truth (450)

The logical feebleness of science is not sufficiently borne in mind. It keeps down the weed of superstition, not by logic but by slowly rendering the mental soil unfit for its cultivation.
In 'Science and Spirits', Fragments of Science for Unscientific People (1871), 409.
Science quotes on:  |  Cultivation (7)  |  Feebleness (2)  |  Mental (16)  |  Rendering (4)  |  Science (875)  |  Soil (24)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Unfit (4)  |  Weed (7)

The mathematician is entirely free, within the limits of his imagination, to construct what worlds he pleases. What he is to imagine is a matter for his own caprice; he is not thereby discovering the fundamental principles of the universe nor becoming acquainted with the ideas of God. If he can find, in experience, sets of entities which obey the same logical scheme as his mathematical entities, then he has applied his mathematics to the external world; he has created a branch of science.
Aspects of Science: Second Series (1926), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (6)  |  Branch (23)  |  Construction (36)  |  Creation (129)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Entity (7)  |  Experience (132)  |  External (18)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  God (234)  |  Idea (226)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Limit (34)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Principle (97)  |  Scheme (8)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Set (12)  |  Universe (291)  |  World (231)

The maxim is, that whatever can be affirmed (or denied) of a class, may be affirmed (or denied) of everything included in the class. This axiom, supposed to be the basis of the syllogistic theory, is termed by logicians the dictum de omni et nullo.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (1858), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Syllogism (3)

The most ordinary things are to philosophy a source of insoluble puzzles. In order to explain our perceptions it constructs the concept of matter and then finds matter quite useless either for itself having or for causing perceptions in a mind. With infinite ingenuity it constructs a concept of space or time and then finds it absolutely impossible that there be objects in this space or that processes occur during this time ... The source of this kind of logic lies in excessive confidence in the so-called laws of thought.
'On Statistical Mechanics' (1904), in Theoretical Physics and Philosophical Problems (1974), 164-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Space-Time (8)

The only hope [of science] ... is in genuine induction.
Aphorism 14. In Francis Bacon and Basil Montagu, The Works of Francis Bacon (1831), Vol. 14, 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Genuine (9)  |  Hope (50)  |  Induction (22)  |  Science (875)

The philosopher of science is not much interested in the thought processes which lead to scientific discoveries; he looks for a logical analysis of the completed theory, including the establishing its validity. That is, he is not interested in the context of discovery, but in the context of justification.
'The Philosophical Significance of the Theory of Relativity' (1938). Collected in P.A. Schillp (ed.). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1949, 1970), 292. Cited in G. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought (1973), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Completion (13)  |  Context (7)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Establishment (19)  |  Interest (82)  |  Justification (20)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Process (97)  |  Theory (353)  |  Validity (11)

The principles of logic and mathematics are true universally simply because we never allow them to be anything else. And the reason for this is that we cannot abandon them without contradicting ourselves, without sinning against the rules which govern the use of language, and so making our utterances self-stultifying. In other words, the truths of logic and mathematics are analytic propositions or tautologies.
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 77.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)

The scientific method is a potentiation of common sense, exercised with a specially firm determination not to persist in error if any exertion of hand or mind can deliver us from it. Like other exploratory processes, it can be resolved into a dialogue between fact and fancy, the actual and the possible; between what could be true and what is in fact the case. The purpose of scientific enquiry is not to compile an inventory of factual information, nor to build up a totalitarian world picture of Natural Laws in which every event that is not compulsory is forbidden. We should think of it rather as a logically articulated structure of justifiable beliefs about nature. It begins as a story about a Possible World—a story which we invent and criticise and modify as we go along, so that it ends by being, as nearly as we can make it, a story about real life.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (7)  |  Belief (139)  |  Common Sense (34)  |  Compulsory (2)  |  Criticism (34)  |  Determination (37)  |  Dialogue (4)  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Error (152)  |  Event (49)  |  Exertion (6)  |  Exploration (48)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fancy (10)  |  Forbidden (6)  |  Information (56)  |  Inventory (2)  |  Justification (20)  |  Mind (272)  |  Modify (3)  |  Natural Law (7)  |  Nature (534)  |  Persist (5)  |  Possible (19)  |  Process (97)  |  Real Life (2)  |  Resolve (7)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Story (16)  |  Structure (104)  |  Truth (450)

The scientist, if he is to be more than a plodding gatherer of bits of information, needs to exercise an active imagination. The scientists of the past whom we now recognize as great are those who were gifted with transcendental imaginative powers, and the part played by the imaginative faculty of his daily life is as least as important for the scientist as it is for the worker in any other field—much more important than for most. A good scientist thinks logically and accurately when conditions call for logical and accurate thinking—but so does any other good worker when he has a sufficient number of well-founded facts to serve as the basis for the accurate, logical induction of generalizations and the subsequent deduction of consequences.
‘Imagination in Science’, Tomorrow (Dec 1943), 38-9. Quoted In Barbara Marinacci (ed.), Linus Pauling In His Own Words: Selected Writings, Speeches, and Interviews (1995), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Active (6)  |  Basis (25)  |  Condition (68)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Daily (5)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Exercise (26)  |  Fact (325)  |  Faculty (21)  |  Field (69)  |  Generalization (16)  |  Gift (26)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Importance (106)  |  Induction (22)  |  Information (56)  |  Life (460)  |  Past (42)  |  Recognition (38)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Transcendental (2)  |  Worker (11)

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. The specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning... Such are the perversities of social logic.
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (1948), 477. Merton is credited with coining the modern use of the expression “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (71)  |  Cite (2)  |  Conception (29)  |  Error (152)  |  Event (49)  |  False (29)  |  Original (13)  |  Perpetuate (3)  |  Perversity (2)  |  Proof (136)  |  Prophecy (5)  |  Reign (5)  |  Situation (21)  |  Society (84)  |  Validity (11)

The strength of the computer lies in its being a logic machine. It does precisely what it is programed to do. This makes it fast and precise. It also makes it a total moron; for logic is essentially stupid.
In The Effective Executive (2006), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (51)  |  Fast (11)  |  Machine (56)  |  Moron (2)  |  Precision (19)  |  Program (7)  |  Strength (25)  |  Stupid (7)

The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.
Address (1918) for Max Planck's 60th birthday, at Physical Society, Berlin, 'Principles of Research' in Essays in Science (1934), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmos (23)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Elementary (11)  |  Experience (132)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Law (273)  |  Path (21)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Supreme (8)  |  Task (32)  |  Understanding (231)

The Syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (which is the root of the matter) are confused and over-hastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction.
The New Organon (1620) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 4, 49.

The theory that gravitational attraction is inversely proportional to the square of the distance leads by remorseless logic to the conclusion that the path of a planet should be an ellipse .... It is this logical thinking that is the real meat of the physical sciences. The social scientist keeps the skin and throws away the meat.... His theorems no more follow from his postulates than the hunches of a horse player follow logically from the latest racing news. The result is guesswork clad in long flowing robes of gobbledygook.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 149-50.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Gambler (3)  |  Gravitation (9)  |  Guesswork (4)  |  Horse (17)  |  Hunch (2)  |  Meat (5)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Postulate (19)  |  Skin (8)  |  Social Science (17)  |  Theorem (34)  |  Theory (353)

The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Reevaluation of some statements entails reevaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections—the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field.
'Two Dogmas of Experience,' in Philosophical Review (1951). Reprinted in From a Logical Point of View (1953), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Physics (4)  |  Belief (139)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Casual (3)  |  Condition (68)  |  Conflict (27)  |  Edge (4)  |  Experience (132)  |  Fabric (6)  |  Field (69)  |  Geography (14)  |  History (156)  |  Interconnection (4)  |  Interior (8)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Man-Made (3)  |  Periphery (2)  |  Pure Mathematics (6)  |  Reevaluation (2)  |  Statement (28)  |  Truth (450)  |  Value (63)

The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful. The surest way to end them is to establish beyond question what should be the purpose and method of a philosophical enquiry. And this is by no means so difficult a task as the history of philosophy would lead one to suppose. For if there are any questions which science leaves it to philosophy to answer, a straightforward process of elimination must lead to their discovery.
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Truth (450)

The true logic of this world is the calculus of probabilities.
In James Clerk Maxwell and Peter Michael Harman (ed.), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, Vol. 1, 1846-1862- (1990), 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Probability (56)

The understanding must not ... be allowed to jump and fly from particulars to axioms remote and of almost the highest generality (such as the first principles, as they are called, of arts and things), and taking stand upon them as truths that cannot be shaken, proceed to prove and frame the middle axioms by reference to them; which has been the practice hitherto, the understanding being not only carried that way by a natural impulse, but also by the use of syllogistic demonstration trained and inured to it. But then, and then only, may we hope well of the sciences when in a just scale of ascent, and by successive steps not interrupted or broken, we rise from particulars to lesser axioms; and then to middle axioms, one above the other; and last of all to the most general. For the lowest axioms differ but slightly from bare experience, while the highest and most general (which we now have) are notional and abstract and without solidity. But the middle are the true and solid and living axioms, on which depend the affairs and fortunes of men; and above them again, last of all, those which are indeed the most general; such, I mean, as are not abstract, but of which those intermediate axioms are really limitations.
The New Organon (1620) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 4, 97.

The validity of mathematical propositions is independent of the actual world—the world of existing subject-matters—is logically prior to it, and would remain unaffected were it to vanish from being. Mathematical propositions, if true, are eternal verities.
In The Pastures of Wonder: The Realm of Mathematics and the Realm of Science (1929), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Proposition (28)  |  World (231)

There are very few theorems in advanced analysis which have been demonstrated in a logically tenable manner. Everywhere one finds this miserable way of concluding from the special to the general and it is extremely peculiar that such a procedure has led to so few of the so-called paradoxes.
From letter to his professor Christoffer Hansteen (1826) in Oeuvres, 2, 263-65. In Morris Kline, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times (1990), Vol. 3, 947.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  General (26)  |  Special (25)  |  Theorem (34)

There is nothing distinctively scientific about the hypothetico-deductive process. It is not even distinctively intellectual. It is merely a scientific context for a much more general stratagem that underlies almost all regulative processes or processes of continuous control, namely feedback, the control of performance by the consequences of the act performed. In the hypothetico-deductive scheme the inferences we draw from a hypothesis are, in a sense, its logical output. If they are true, the hypothesis need not be altered, but correction is obligatory if they are false. The continuous feedback from inference to hypothesis is implicit in Whewell's account of scientific method; he would not have dissented from the view that scientific behaviour can be classified as appropriately under cybernetics as under logic.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 54-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (15)  |  Behaviour (23)  |  Classification (56)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Context (7)  |  Control (41)  |  Correction (20)  |  Cybernetics (3)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Dissent (5)  |  Distinctive (3)  |  False (29)  |  Feedback (3)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Inference (16)  |  Intellectual (13)  |  Output (5)  |  Performance (16)  |  Process (97)  |  Regulation (13)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Truth (450)  |  William Whewell (11)

There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be.
Pragmatism as a Principle and Method of Right Thinking (1997), 266.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (450)

This method is, to define as the number of a class the class of all classes similar to the given class. Membership of this class of classes (considered as a predicate) is a common property of all the similar classes and of no others; moreover every class of the set of similar classes has to the set of a relation which it has to nothing else, and which every class has to its own set. Thus the conditions are completely fulfilled by this class of classes, and it has the merit of being determinate when a class is given, and of being different for two classes which are not similar. This, then, is an irreproachable definition of the number of a class in purely logical terms.
The Principles of Mathematics (1903), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Class (27)  |  Common (44)  |  Condition (68)  |  Definition (86)  |  Determination (37)  |  Difference (135)  |  Fulfillment (6)  |  Membership (2)  |  Merit (14)  |  Method (73)  |  Number (90)  |  Property (46)  |  Relationship (37)  |  Set (12)  |  Similarity (14)  |  Term (34)

We have simply arrived too late in the history of the universe to see this primordial simplicity easily ... But although the symmetries are hidden from us, we can sense that they are latent in nature, governing everything about us. That's the most exciting idea I know: that nature is much simpler than it looks. Nothing makes me more hopeful that our generation of human beings may actually hold the key to the universe in our hands—that perhaps in our lifetimes we may be able to tell why all of what we see in this immense universe of galaxies and particles is logically inevitable.
Quoted in Nigel Calder, The Key to the Universe: A Report on the New Physics (1978), 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Excitement (20)  |  Galaxy (19)  |  Generation (56)  |  Governing (3)  |  Hidden (15)  |  Hope (50)  |  Inevitability (7)  |  Key (18)  |  Latent (5)  |  Lifetime (10)  |  Nature (534)  |  Particle (45)  |  Sense (104)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Symmetry (14)  |  Universe (291)

We [may] answer the question: “Why is snow white?” by saying, “For the same reason that soap-suds or whipped eggs are white”—in other words, instead of giving the reason for a fact, we give another example of the same fact. This offering a similar instance, instead of a reason, has often been criticised as one of the forms of logical depravity in men. But manifestly it is not a perverse act of thought, but only an incomplete one. Furnishing parallel cases is the necessary first step towards abstracting the reason imbedded in them all.
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 363-364.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (19)  |  Answer (96)  |  Case (16)  |  Criticism (34)  |  Depravity (2)  |  Egg (27)  |  Example (21)  |  Fact (325)  |  Furnish (7)  |  Incomplete (7)  |  Manifestly (3)  |  Parallel (11)  |  Perverse (3)  |  Question (159)  |  Reason (173)  |  Similarity (14)  |  Snow (6)  |  Soap (5)  |  Thought (170)  |  White (12)

What I'm really interested in is whether God could have made the world in a different way; that is, whether the necessity of logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all.
Told to Ernst Straus.
Quoted in Gerald Holton, The Scientific Imagination: Case Studies (1978), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  God (234)

What is a good definition? For the philosopher or the scientist, it is a definition which applies to all the objects to be defined, and applies only to them; it is that which satisfies the rules of logic. But in education it is not that; it is one that can be understood by the pupils.
Science and Method (1914, 2003), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (72)  |  Definition (86)  |  Education (177)  |  Philosopher (67)  |  Pupil (10)  |  Rule (52)  |  Satisfy (5)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Understanding (231)

When introduced at the wrong time or place, good logic may be the worst enemy of good teaching.
Quoted, without citation, in The American Mathematical Monthly (Mar 1993), 100 No. 3, 286.
Science quotes on:  |  Enemy (26)  |  Good (81)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Place (32)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Worst (7)  |  Wrong (50)

When the logician has resolved each demonstration into a host of elementary operations, all of them correct, he will not yet be in possession of the whole reality, that indefinable something that constitutes the unity ... Now pure logic cannot give us this view of the whole; it is to intuition that we must look for it.
Science and Method (1914 edition, reprint 2003), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Correct (14)  |  Demonstration (29)  |  Elementary (11)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Logician (3)  |  Operation (53)  |  Reality (67)  |  Resolve (7)  |  Unity (16)  |  Whole (46)

Without deductive logic science would be entirely useless. It is merely a barren game to ascend from the particular to the general, unless afterwards we can reverse the process and descend from the general to the particular, ascending and descending like angels on Jacob's ladder.
The Aims of Education and Other Essays (1967), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)

You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
In G.K. Chesterton, 'The Maxims of Maxim', Daily News (25 Feb 1905). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Already (5)  |  Truth (450)  |  Without (11)

[Aristotle formal logic thus far (1787)] has not been able to advance a single step, and hence is to all appearances closed and completed.
In Preface to second edition (1787) of Critique Of Pure Reason (1781) as translated by Werner Pluhar (1996), 15. An earlier translation by N. Kemp-Smith (1933) is similar, but ends with “appearance a closed and completed body of doctrine.”
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (52)  |  Appearance (47)  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Closed (3)  |  Formal (4)  |  Step (26)

[D]iscovery should come as an adventure rather than as the result of a logical process of thought. Sharp, prolonged thinking is necessary that we may keep on the chosen road but it does not itself necessarily lead to discovery. The investigator must be ready and on the spot when the light comes from whatever direction.
Letter to Dr. E. B. Krumhaar (11 Oct 1933), in Journal of Bacteriology (Jan 1934), 27, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (19)  |  Choice (40)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Investigator (13)  |  Leading (8)  |  Necessary (19)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Process (97)  |  Readiness (4)  |  Result (129)  |  Sharp (6)  |  Thought (170)

[Modern science] passed through a long period of uncertainty and inconclusive experiment, but as the instrumental aids to research improved, and the results of observation accumulated, phantoms of the imagination were exorcised, idols of the cave were shattered, trustworthy materials were obtained for logical treatment, and hypotheses by long and careful trial were converted into theories.
In The Present Relations of Science and Religion (1913, 2004), 3
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (16)  |  Aid (10)  |  Careful (2)  |  Cave (5)  |  Conversion (11)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Idol (2)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Improvement (36)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Long (17)  |  Material (60)  |  Observation (264)  |  Obtain (14)  |  Pass (20)  |  Period (24)  |  Phantom (4)  |  Result (129)  |  Shatter (2)  |  Theory (353)  |  Treatment (61)  |  Trial (14)  |  Trustworthy (3)  |  Uncertainty (25)

“Logic” proved that airplanes can't fly and that H-bombs won't work and that stones don't fall out of the sky. Logic is a way of saying that anything which didn't happen yesterday won't happen tomorrow.
Glory Road (1963)
Science quotes on:  |  Airplane (16)  |  Nuclear Bomb (4)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton