THEORY QUOTES

quotations about theory and theories

Theory quote

Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact.

GEORGE SANTAYANA, The Sense of Beauty

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Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena.

WILHELM REICH, The Function of the Organism

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Professors in every branch of the sciences prefer their own theories to truth: the reason is, that their theories are private property, but truth is common stock.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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It takes enormous effort to avoid all theories and just see.

MICHAEL CRICHTON, Travels

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The field of experience is the whole universe in all directions. Theory remains shut up within the limits of human faculties.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

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Everybody has a theory.

DANIEL HANDLER, Adverbs

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Theory is worth but little, unless it can explain its own phenomena, and it must effect this without contradicting itself; therefore, the facts are sometimes assimilated to the theory, rather than the theory to the facts.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.

WILLIAM JAMES, Lecture VI, "Pragmatism's Conception of Truth", Pragmatism

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In general, inquiry ceases when we adopt a theory. After that, we overlook whatever makes against it, and see and think, and talk and write, only in its favor. Indeed, when we have a snug, comfortable theory, to which we are much attached, they appear to us as a very mean set of facts that will not square with it.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

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Theories are very thin and unsubstantial; experience only is tangible.

HOSEA BALLOU, Treasury of Thought

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A single test which proves some piece of theory wrong is more valuable than a hundred tests showing that idea might be true.

ARTHUR C. CLARKE, The Light of Other Days

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Theories are usually the over-hasty efforts of an impatient understanding that would gladly be rid of phenomena, and so puts in their place pictures, notions, nay, often mere words.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

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It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Herbert Spencer lecture delivered at Oxford, June 10, 1933

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For theories and schools, like microbes and corpuscles, devour one another and by their strife ensure the continuity of life.

MARCEL PROUST, Sodom and Gomorrah

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Leave your theories. All theories, you see, even those of virtue, are bad, foolish, mischievous.

ROMAIN ROLLAND, Jean-Christophe

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One must credit an hypothesis with all that has had to be discovered in order to demolish it.

JEAN ROSTAND, "A Biologist's Thoughts", The Substance of Man

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We need useless theory more than ever today.

SLAVOJ ZIZEK, "Slavoj Zizek: I am not the world's hippest philosopher!", Salon, December 29, 2012

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There is nothing more gray, stultifying, or dreary than life lived inside the confines of a theory.

JARON LANIER, "One Half of a Manifesto", The New Humanists: Science at the Edge

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Professors of theory merely hold post-mortems.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Last Leaves

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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

YOGI BERRA, attributed, Quotable Quotes: Wit and Wisdom from the Greatest Minds of Our Time

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