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Ernst Mach Quotes
The plain man is familiar with blindness and deafness, and knows from his everyday experience that the look of things is influenced by his senses; but it never occurs to him to regard the whole world as the creation of his senses.
The fact is, every thinker, every philosopher, the moment he is forced to abandon his one-sided intellectual occupation by practical necessity, immediately returns to the general point of view of mankind.
A colour is a physical object as soon as we consider its dependence, for instance, upon its luminous source, upon other colours, upon temperatures, upon spaces, and so forth.
If our dreams were more regular, more connected, more stable, they would also have more practical importance for us.
The task which we have set ourselves is simply to show why and for what purpose we hold that standpoint during most of our lives, and why and for what purpose we are provisionally obliged to abandon it.
Similarly, many a young man, hearing for the first time of the refraction of stellar light, has thought that doubt was cast on the whole of astronomy, whereas nothing is required but an easily effected and unimportant correction to put everything right again.
The biological task of science is to provide the fully developed human individual with as perfect a means of orientating himself as possible. No other scientific ideal can be realised, and any other must be meaningless.
Physics is experience, arranged in economical order.
Science always has its origin in the adaptation of thought to some definite field of experience.
Personally, people know themselves very poorly.
Man is pre-eminently endowed with the power of voluntarily and consciously determining his own point of view.
Thing, body, matter, are nothing apart from the combinations of the elements, - the colours, sounds, and so forth - nothing apart from their so-called attributes.
Bodies do not produce sensations, but complexes of elements (complexes of sensations) make up bodies.
Many an article that I myself penned twenty years ago impresses me now as something quite foreign to myself.
The ego is as little absolutely permanent as are bodies.
The presentations and conceptions of the average man of the world are formed and dominated, not by the full and pure desire for knowledge as an end in itself, but by the struggle to adapt himself favourably to the conditions of life.
Without renouncing the support of physics, it is possible for the physiology of the senses, not only to pursue its own course of development, but also to afford to physical science itself powerful assistance.
A movement that we will to execute is never more than a represented movement, and appears in a different domain from that of the executed movement, which always takes place when the image is vivid enough.
When I recall today my early youth, I should take the boy that I then was, with the exception of a few individual features, for a different person, were it not for the existence of the chain of memories.
My table is now brightly, now dimly lighted. Its temperature varies. It may receive an ink stain. One of its legs may be broken. It may be repaired, polished, and replaced part by part. But, for me, it remains the table at which I daily write.
Ordinarily pleasure and pain are regarded as different from sensations.
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Image of the Moment
Richard P. Feynman
J. Robert Oppenheimer
John Archibald Wheeler
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