„As we divided natural philosophy in general into the inquiry of causes, and productions of effects: so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes. The one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes.“

—  Francesco Bacone, libro The Advancement of Learning

Book VII, 3
The Advancement of Learning (1605)

Estratto da Wikiquote. Ultimo aggiornamento 03 Giugno 2021. Storia
Francesco Bacone photo
Francesco Bacone39
filosofo, politico e giurista inglese 1561 - 1626

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„Later Philosophers banish the Consideration of such a Cause out of natural Philosophy, feigning Hypotheses for explaining all things mechanically, and referring other Causes to Metaphysicks: Whereas the main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.“

—  Isaac Newton, libro Opticks, or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light

Query 28 : Are not all Hypotheses erroneous in which Light is supposed to consist of Pression or Motion propagated through a fluid medium?
Opticks (1704)
Contesto: To make way for the regular and lasting Motions of the Planets and Comets, it's necessary to empty the Heavens of all Matter, except perhaps some very thin Vapours, Steams or Effluvia, arising from the Atmospheres of the Earth, Planets and Comets, and from such an exceedingly rare Æthereal Medium … A dense Fluid can be of no use for explaining the Phænomena of Nature, the Motions of the Planets and Comets being better explain'd without it. It serves only to disturb and retard the Motions of those great Bodies, and make the frame of Nature languish: And in the Pores of Bodies, it serves only to stop the vibrating Motions of their Parts, wherein their Heat and Activity consists. And as it is of no use, and hinders the Operations of Nature, and makes her languish, so there is no evidence for its Existence, and therefore it ought to be rejected. And if it be rejected, the Hypotheses that Light consists in Pression or Motion propagated through such a Medium, are rejected with it.
And for rejecting such a Medium, we have the authority of those the oldest and most celebrated philosophers of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, who made a vacuum and atoms and the gravity of atoms the first principles of their philosophy, tacitly attributing Gravity to some other Cause than dense Matter. Later Philosophers banish the Consideration of such a Cause out of natural Philosophy, feigning Hypotheses for explaining all things mechanically, and referring other Causes to Metaphysicks: Whereas the main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.

„Shutting down inquiry is evil. Causing pain purposefully for no reason is evil. Enjoying causing pain by shutting down inquiry is an absolute evil.“

—  Sheri S. Tepper American fiction writer 1929 - 2016

Strange Horizons interview (2008)
Contesto: The Inquisition, by defining and limiting knowledge, was evil. The Taliban, by defining truth and refusing girls an education, is evil. Any religion that says it knows the one and only truth is evil, because it limits knowledge. Any political body that says it owns the truth is evil. Same reason.
Any repressive regime that seeks to control exploration and experimentation is evil. Same reason. Any regime that defines truth as a set of beliefs and occurrences that cannot be questioned, that can neither be demonstrated nor proven is not only evil but ridiculous. This includes all mythologies, miracles, etc. because, if creation happened for a reason, if it was done by God, you'd better believe every part of it, including intelligence, was done for a reason ascertainable, eventually, by intelligence. We would not follow and adore a ruler who lied and tortured. Why would we worship a God who did either? God doesn't lie and he/she/it doesn't fool around!
Shutting down inquiry is evil. Causing pain purposefully for no reason is evil. Enjoying causing pain by shutting down inquiry is an absolute evil.

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„In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.“

—  Thomas Paine English and American political activist 1737 - 1809

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Contesto: As to that which is called nature, it is no other than the laws by which motion and action of every kind, with respect to unintelligible matter, is regulated. And when we speak of looking through nature up to nature's God, we speak philosophically the same rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power that ordained them.
God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon.
But infidelity by ascribing every phenomenon to properties of matter, conceives a system for which it cannot account, and yet it pretends to demonstration. It reasons from what it sees on the surface of the earth, but it does not carry itself on the solar system existing by motion. It sees upon the surface a perpetual decomposition and recomposition of matter. It sees that an oak produces an acorn, an acorn an oak, a bird an egg, an egg a bird, and so on. In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.

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„Formal cause, as logos, incorporates the patterns of side-effects as part of essential nature: tetrads restore poesis and the making process to the study of artefacts.“

—  Marshall McLuhan Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar-- a professor of English literature, a literary critic, and a communicatio… 1911 - 1980

Origine: 1980s, Laws of Media: The New Science (with Eric McLuhan) (1988), p. 227

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„For that which is without a beginning, a final cause need not be sought.“

—  Maimónides, libro The Guide for the Perplexed

Origine: Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Ch.13

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„The only effect which I know to have been produced by them, was that Carlyle, then living in a secluded part of Scotland, read them in his solitude, and saying to himself (as he afterwards told me) "here is a new Mystic," inquired on coming to London that autumn respecting their authorship; an inquiry which was the immediate cause of our becoming personally acquainted.“

—  John Stuart Mill, libro Autobiography

Autobiography (1873)
Contesto: Mere newspaper articles on the occurrences or questions of the moment, gave no opportunity for the development of any general mode of thought; but I attempted, in the beginning of 1831, to embody in a series of articles, headed "The Spirit of the Age," some of my new opinions, and especially to point out in the character of the present age, the anomalies and evils characteristic of the transition from a system of opinions which had worn out, to another only in process of being formed. These articles were, I fancy, lumbering in style, and not lively or striking enough to be at any time, acceptable to newspaper readers; but had they been far more attractive, still, at that particular moment, when great political changes were impending, and engrossing all minds, these discussions were ill-timed, and missed fire altogether. The only effect which I know to have been produced by them, was that Carlyle, then living in a secluded part of Scotland, read them in his solitude, and saying to himself (as he afterwards told me) "here is a new Mystic," inquired on coming to London that autumn respecting their authorship; an inquiry which was the immediate cause of our becoming personally acquainted.

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„All social phenomena are the result of a series of various causes, in most cases so inwardly related that it is quite impossible clearly to separate one from the other. We are always dealing with the interplay of various causes which, as a rule, can be clearly recognised but cannot be calculated according to scientific methods.“

—  Rudolf Rocker, libro Nationalism and Culture

Origine: Nationalism and Culture (1937), Ch. 1 "The Insufficiency of Economic Materialism"
Contesto: No thinking man in this day can fail to recognise that one cannot properly evaluate an historical period without considering economic conditions. But much more one-sided is the view which maintains that all history is merely the result of economic conditions, under whose influence all other life phenomena have received form and imprint.
There are thousands of events in history which cannot be explained by purely economic reasons, or by them alone. It is quite possible to bring everything within the terms of a definite scheme, but the result is usually not worth the effort. There is scarcely an historical event to whose shaping economic causes have not contributed, but economic forces are not the only motive powers which have set everything else in motion. All social phenomena are the result of a series of various causes, in most cases so inwardly related that it is quite impossible clearly to separate one from the other. We are always dealing with the interplay of various causes which, as a rule, can be clearly recognised but cannot be calculated according to scientific methods.

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