There are nobler
ways of making use of the invention of gods than man’s self-crucifixion and self-abuse, ways in which Europe excelled during the last millennia, — this can fortunately be deduced from any glance at the Greek gods
, these reflections of noble and proud men in whom the animal
in man felt deified, did not
tear itself apart and did not
rage against itself!
From: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson, trans. Carol Diethe, Rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 64.
Every animal, including the bête philosophe
, instinctively strives for an optimum of favourable conditions in which to fully release his power and achieve his maximum of power-sensation; every animal abhors equally instinctively, with an acute sense of smell that is ‘higher than all reason’, any kind of disturbance and hindrance that blocks or could block his path to the optimum. (-it is not
his path to ‘happiness’ I am talking about, but the path to power, action, the mightiest deeds, and in most cases, actually, his path to misery).
From: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson, trans. Carol Diethe, Rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 76.
Our faith in science is still based on a metaphysical faith
,—even we knowers of today, we godless anti-metaphysicians, still take our
fire from the blaze set alight by a faith thousands of years old, that faith of the Christians, which was also Plato’s faith, that God is truth, that truth is divine
From: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson, trans. Carol Diethe, Rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 112.
From now on, my philosophical colleagues, let us be more wary of the dangerous old conceptual fairy-tale which has set up a ‘pure, will-less, painless, timeless, subject of knowledge’, let us be wary of the tentacles of such contradictory concepts as ‘pure reason’, ‘absolute spirituality’, ‘knowledge as such’ — here we are asked to think an eye which cannot be thought at all, an eye turned in no direction at all, an eye where the active and interpretive powers are to be suppressed, absent, but through which seeing still becomes a seeing-something, so it is an absurdity and non-concept of eye that is demanded. There is only
a perspectival seeing, only
a perspectival ‘knowing’; the more
affects we are able to put into words about a thing, the more
eyes, various eyes we are able to use for the same thing, the more complete will be our ‘concept’ of the thing, our ‘objectivity’. But to eliminate the will completely and turn off all the emotions without exception, assuming we could: well? would that not mean to castrate
From: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson, trans. Carol Diethe, Rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 87.
As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries—not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. Let me interject that for my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer’s gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.
W. V. O. Quine
From: W. V. O. Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism,” The Philosophical Review 60 (1951): 41.
Metaphysical terms divide—scientific terms unite. Scientists, united by a unified language, form a kind of workers’ republic of letters, no matter how much else may divide them as men. Philosophers on the other hand are comparable to the feudal lords of San Gimignano. They sit in their lonely towers in the dark of night and seek to guard themselves against their neighbours by raising their towers ever higher and higher. But being in the dark, they are afraid and sing aloud—and Freud is right in what he says of those wandering philosophers who also sing aloud in the dark forest: while this may lessen their fear, it does not enlighten the world.
From: Otto Neurath, “Unified Science and Psychology,” in Unified Science, ed. Brian McGuiness (Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing, 1987), 23. Originally published in Einheitswissenschaft 1 (1932).
What is the concept of body that finally emerged? The answer is that there is no clear and definite concept of body. If the best theory of the material world that we can construct includes a variety of forces, particles that have no mass, and other entities that would have been offensive to the “scientific common sense” of the Cartesians, then so be it: We conclude that these are properties of the physical world, the world of body. The conclusions are tentative, as befits empirical hypotheses, but are not subject to criticism because they transcend some a priori conception of body. There is no longer any definite conception of body. Rather, the material world is whatever we discover it to be, with whatever properties it must be assumed to have for the purposes of explanatory theory.
From: Noam Chomsky, Language and Problems of Knowledge (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), 144.
Suppose the functional organization of the nervous system cross-cuts its neurological organization (so that quite different neurological structures can subserve identical psychological functions across time or across organisms). Then the existence of psychology depends not on the fact that neurons are so sadly small, but rather on the fact that neurology does not posit the natural kinds that psychology requires.
From: Jerry Fodor, “Special sciences (or: The disunity of science as a working hypothesis),” Synthese 28 (1974): 113.
The practical handling of philosophical problems and the discovery of their solutions does not have to be purely intellectual, but will always contain emotional elements and intuitive methods. The *justification*, however, has to take place before the forum of the understanding; here we must not refer to our intuition or emotional needs. We too, have “emotional needs” in philosophy, but they are filled by clarity of concepts, precision of methods, responsible theses, achievement through cooperation in which each individual plays his part.
From: Rudolf Carnap, The Logical Structure of the World, trans. Rolf George (2005; repr., La Salle: The Open Court, 1969), xxvii.
I suppose that sooner or later the physicists will complete the catalogue they’ve been compiling of the ultimate and irreducible properties of things. When they do, the likes of spin, charm, and charge will perhaps appear on their list. But *aboutness* surely won’t; intentionality simply doesn’t go that deep.
From: Jerry Fodor, Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1987), 97.
The function of the brain when looped with its perceptual organs is not to decode signals, nor to interpret messages, nor to accept images. These old analogies no longer apply. The function of the brain is not even to *organize* the sensory input or to *process* the data, in modern terminology.
James J. Gibson
From: James Jerome Gibson, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems (Prospect Heights: Waveland Press, Inc., 1966), 5.
It is possible on occasion to be affected by fear, boldness, appetite, anger, pity, and pleasure and distress in general both too much and too little, and neither is good; but to be affected when one should, at the things one should, in relation to the people one should, for the reasons one should, and in the way one should, is both intermediate and best, which is what belongs to excellence.
From: Sarah Broadie and Christopher Rowe, eds., Nicomachean Ethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 117.