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!

7 Quotes by J. Krishnamurti

Credit: J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, aboard the S.S. Bremen, arriving in New York City for a vacation; Getty Images

7 Thoughts by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti

1. "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

2. "You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life."

3. "The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence."

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Editor’s pick: Baruch Spinoza

Credit: Baruch de Spinoza (1632 - 1677), Dutch philosopher. Woodcut engraving, published in 1881.; Getty images

Excerpts from Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (1677)

1. "Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love."

2. "The more we understand the order and connections of things, the more we understand the laws of God."

3. "The highest good is knowledge of the union existing between the mind and the whole of nature."

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Editor’s Pick: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Credit: The philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his home in Paris 1950; Getty Images

Short Bio

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) was a French phenomenologist philosopher and a leading figure in existentialism. He was born in Rochefort-sur-Mer, France and died in Paris, France. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure and later taught at the Sorbonne, the University of Lyon, and the Collège de France. Merleau-Ponty is best known for his work in phenomenology, which emphasizes the role of perception and embodiment in understanding the world. His major works include "Phenomenology of Perception" (1945) and "The Structure of Behavior" (1942). He died at the age of 53 in a road accident.

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Editor’s pick: Arthur Schopenhauer – the great pessimist

Credit: Arthur Schopenhauer, german philosopher, 1788-1860; Getty images

Excerpts from The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1(1818)

1. "The life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general, and when only its most significant features are emphasized, is really a tragedy; but gone through in detail it has the character of a comedy."

2. "Truth is no harlot who throws her arms round the neck of him who does not desire her; on the contrary, she is so coy a beauty that even the man who sacrifices everything to her can still not be certain of her favors."

3. "What keeps all living things busy and in motion is the striving to exist. But when existence is secured, they do not know what to do: that is why the second thing that sets them in motion is a striving to get rid of the burden of existence, not to feel it any longer, 'to kill time', i.e. to escape boredom."

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Editor’s pick: José Ortega y Gasset

Credit: José Ortega y Gasset in 1950; Getty images

Summary of The Revolt of the Masses (1929)

In The Revolt of the Masses, Ortega traces the genesis of the "mass-man" and analyzes his constitution, en route to describing the rise to power and action of the masses in society. Ortega is quite critical of both the masses and the mass-men of which they are made up, contrasting "noble life and common life" and excoriating the barbarism and primitivism he sees in the mass-man.

He does not, however, refer to specific social classes, as has been so commonly misunderstood in the English-speaking world. Ortega states that the mass-man could be from any social background, but his specific target is the bourgeois educated man, the señorito satisfecho (satisfied young man, or Mr. Satisfied), the specialist who believes he has it all and extends the command he has of his subject to others, contemptuous of his ignorance in all of them.

Ortega's summary of what he attempted in the book exemplifies this quite well, while simultaneously providing the author's own views on his work: "In this essay an attempt has been made to sketch a certain type of European, mainly by analyzing his behavior as regards the very civilization into which he was born". This had to be done because that individual "does not represent a new civilisation struggling with a previous one, but a mere negation ..."

(via Wikipedia)

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10 quotes by the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein

Credit: Wikimedia commons

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?

Credit: Getty images

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

Credit: Unsplash by Andreas Kind

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

Credit: lithub.com

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

Credit: Gettyimages

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

Credit: Gettyimages


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

Credit: Gettyimages

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

Credit: hac.bard.edu

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

Credit: Gettyimages

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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SSA Recent Posts

07 February 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, aboard the S.S. Bremen, arriving in New York City for a vacation; Getty Images 7 Thoughts by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti 1. "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly si...
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