A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

10 quotes by the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Thoughts to reflect on

1. The human body is the best picture of the human soul.

2. If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.

3. Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

4. Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.

5. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

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3 Quotes by the German Philosopher Friedrich Shelling

Credit: A February 1848 daguerreotype of Schelling; via Wikipedia

Thoughts to reflect on

1. "There is no greatness without a continual solicitation to madness which, while it must be overcome, must never be completely lacking. One might profit by classifying men in this respect. The one kind are those in whom there is no madness at all ... and are so-called men of intellect whose works and deeds are nothing but cold works and deeds of the intellect... But where there is no madness, there is, to be sure, also no real, active, living intellect. For wherein is intellect to prove itself but in the conquest, mastery, and ordering of madness?"

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Is math discovered or invented?

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Discovery or Invention – a question without a single answer

It's funny how scientists often speak about their new invention as a discovery or vice versa. Well, one thing is to discover a cave with ancient drawings inside and another to discover a physics law. On the other hand, have we invented musical harmonies or we have found them because it's obvious that some chords sound well together, others don't and that's far from subjective? 

Maybe, we can say that there are cases when something is both a discovery and invention, which is not necessarily a contradiction. It's a ticklish topic that has been discussed for centuries but still, there is no definitive resolution. Perhaps, we haven't posed the right question yet, or the best answer to it is to stay open and thus provocative and stimulating for the imagination of future thinkers.

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9 quotes by the German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler that will provoke your beliefs

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The sharp tongue of Oswald Spengler

1. This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.

2. The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

3. There is no proletarian, not even a Communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money, and for the time being permitted by money - and that without the idealists among its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.

4. If few can stand a long war without deterioration of soul, none can stand a long peace.

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Simone de Beauvoir on Existentialism & God

Credit: Courtesy of Nia Vasileva; via Wikidata

Simone de Beauvoir  

Arguably, the most influential female philosopher of the 20th century – Simone de Beauvoir – is a world-renowned French writer, social theorist, activist, and wife of Jean-Paul Sartre. She is one of the most important figures in the theory of feminism, famous for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, which is a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism. Simone wrote mostly novels, essays, and biographies, but also philosophical, political, and social studies monographs. Some of her most notable novels are She Came to Stay (1943) and The Mandarins (1954). Beauvoir won the 1954 Prix Goncourt, the 1975 Jerusalem Prize, and the 1978 Austrian State Prize for European Literature.

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9 Thoughts by Ancient Philosophers Still Relevant Today

Credit: The School of Athens. Detail of a mural by Raphael painted for Pope Julius II - In the center Plato (Leonardo da Vinci) discourses with Aristotle. 1509. Raphael; Gettyimages

The wisdom of Ancient Greek and Rome

1. "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
— Heraclitus

2. "Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power."
— Seneca

3. "The unexamined life is not worth living."
— Socrates

4. "The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else."
— Aristotle
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3 Thought Experiments That No One Can Solve

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Thought experiments that will challenge your convictions

What is intelligence? What about the nature of knowledge or reality? How does our consciousness work? These are all questions that have been tantalizing philosophers and thinkers ever since the beginning of questioning itself. The latter is more than understandable because how could we know anything at all, if we don't understand ourselves beforehand? Moreover, after millennia of civilization, it seems that we haven't resolved an iota of the above-mentioned problems. Yet, we human beings haven't stopped searching for answers. We had invented many theories, instruments, and even machines that tried to explain the inexplicable. The hypotheses are uncountable. We won't try to outline even a few of them since it will take ages. Nevertheless, below you can enjoy three thought experiments that will dive you into the heart of this everlasting philosophical darkness – a mind that is trying to explain what the mind is.

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Editor’s Pick: Roland Barthes

Credit: French Philosopher Roland Barthes, Paris, 9th June 1978; Gettyimages

A Lover's Discourse: Fragments

"Am I in love? --yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn't wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover's fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits."

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Editor’s pick: Jacques Lacan

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Excerpt from Transference (1960-61)

"The hand that extends toward the fruit, the rose, or the log that suddenly bursts into flames – its gesture of reaching, drawing close, or stirring up is closely related to the ripening of the fruit, the beauty of the flower, and the blazing of the log. If, in the movement of reaching, drawing, or stirring, the hand goes far enough toward the object that another hand comes out of the fruit, flower, or log and extends toward your hand – and at that moment your hand freezes in the closed plenitude of the fruit, in the open plenitude of the flower, or in the explosion of a log which bursts into flames – then what is produced is love."


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Editor’s pick: Georg Simmel

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Excerpts from The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies (1906)

"Since one never can absolutely know another, as this would mean knowledge of every particular thought and feeling; since we must rather form a conception of a personal unity out of the fragments of another person in which alone he is accessible to us, the unity so formed necessarily depends upon that portion of the Other which our standpoint toward him permits us to see."

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Thoughts to reflect on

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3 Famous Thinkers on Science

1. Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science.
- Karl Marx

2. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
- Albert Einstein

3. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
- Max Planck


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Brainy Quotes to Reflect on

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5 quotes by Jacques Lacan that will blow your logic

1. "I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think. I am not whenever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think."

2. "...Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time, this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn't even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack."

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10 Thought that will challenge your convictions: Theodor W. Adorno

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Theodor W. Adorno

1. Not only is the self entwined in society; it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.

2. Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.

3. Work while you work, play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.

4. Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing.

5. He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest.

6. Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic.

7. Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.

8. Thinking no longer means anymore than checking at each moment whether one can indeed think.

9. Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.

10. Insane sects grow with the same rhythm as big organizations. It is the rhythm of total destruction.


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What does the philosopher say

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Jose Ortega y Gasset

1. We distinguish the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter who makes no demands on himself.

2. We have need of history in its entirety, not to fall back into it, but to see if we can escape from it.

3. Youth does not require reasons for living, it only needs pretexts.

4. Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.

5. Under the species of Syndicalism and Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions.

6. We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.

7. Biography - a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.

8. A revolution only lasts fifteen years, a period which coincides with the effectiveness of a generation.

9. I am I plus my circumstances.


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3 Important Questions No One Knows The Answers To

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The Universe

There is nothing more paradoxical, thrilling, and surreal than the universe we live in. It's so out of the explanation, wild, and complex, that there is no need for additional fantasy or fiction over it. We just have to take a look around, try to comprehend the nature of even a small thing like a flower or a bug, let alone something like our solar system, and suddenly we enter into the endless rabbit hole with no definitive answers. Since the beginning of our civilization, we have always wondered about the meaning of life, the laws of nature and yet there is a new theory changing the old one, a new fact proving us wrong. It's like an infinite loop we are going through. Although, our understanding of the mechanisms of nature is progressing and from a pragmatical point of view we have advanced a lot, there are some philosophical questions that still leave us in numb bewilderment.

Here you can enjoy a short video of three of them and ponder over it.


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A very brief introduction into the philosophy of Hegel

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

If you have at least a minor interest in Philosophy you should have heard the name Hegel. One of the most important, influential, and perplexing authors that have ever written in the Western tradition. During his time, Hegel was a famous lecturer, professor, and writer, who was notorious for his complex and often incomprehensible way of writing – Phenomenology of Spirit (1809) is considered one of the most difficult books ever written. His works spun around various topics including philosophy, religion, art, civil rights, logic, the dynamics of consciousness, and many more. Hegel inspired a great multitude of intellectuals both from the 19th and 20th centuries. The list includes names like Søren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and later on Herbert Marcuse, Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Raya Dunayevskaya.

Below you will find a short video putting forward some basic concepts in Hegel's philosophical legacy.

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Alan Watts' Life Advice Will Leave You Speechless

Credit: Alan Watts in middle age, bearded, with pipe and beads; via Wikipedia

One of The Most Eye Opening Videos Ever

Alan Watts was an influential British writer, theologian, and philosopher. The conventional academics often underestimated his work and labeled him "New Age" or "Hippie" guru. In fact, he specialized Eastern Philosophy and was especially concerned in elucidating it for western audiences. He dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom he obtained throughout his studies and life experience. Moreover, he was a great speaker showing unsurpassed eloquence and delivering skills. Alan Watts left a significant body of work, which includes 25 books and more than 400 audio recordings. Here you can enjoy three of his short speeches. What are the essences of dream, illusion, and reality? What happens after we die? How could we stop worrying and be calm with ourselves? These and many more topics are discussed during the video. Don't hesitate but let the wisdom goes through your body and soul.


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Thoughts to reflect on

Credit: Portrait of Michel de Montaigne; via Wikipedia

Michel de Montaigne

"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened."


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Thoughts to reflect on

20220107-103110gettyimages-154687916-612x612 Credit: Gettyimages

Credit: Gettyimages  

Claude Levi-Strauss

One of the most influential voices of the 20th century – Claude Levi-Strauss – has made his path through the unordered world of ancient cultures and myths to become the founder of Structuralism. Although he hadn't had formal education in Anthropology, he managed to raise the discipline to a completely new level of understanding of the essential processes of human nature, thought, and society. The concept of structure as Levi-Strauss stressed it grew into one of the most significant intellectual movements, which went a lot beyond the borders of Anthropology. Structural analysis was implemented into social studies, literary and cinema studies, philosophy, and many more. Among some of the names that more or less adopted his approach were Roland Bart, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, and others.

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Inspirational thoughts

20220121-170606620px-Spinoza-1 Credit: Wikipedia

 Credit: Wikipedia


5 quotes by Baruch Spinoza

1.  Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

2. The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.

3.   Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.

4.  All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.

5.   I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.


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