„The outlook of a Bruno, a Kepler, or a Galileo is determined by the idea of a comprehensive, all-embracing unity of the physical world. The same law governs the courses of the stars, the falling of stones, and the flight of birds. This homogenization of the physical world with respect to the validity of law deprives the division of physical objects into rigid abstractly defined classes of the critical significance it had for Aristotelian physics, in which membership in a certain conceptual class was considered to determine the physical nature of an object.“

—  Kurt Lewin, p. 10 as cited in: Coleman Roberts Griffith (1943) Principles of systematic psychology. p. 215.
Kurt Lewin1
psicologo tedesco 1890 - 1947
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„For Aristotelian physics the membership of an object in a given class was of critical importance, because for Aristotle the class defined the essence or essential nature of the object, and thus determined its behavior in both positive and negative respects.“

—  Kurt Lewin German-American psychologist 1890 - 1947
p. 143 Donald P. Spence (1994) The Rhetorical Voice of Psychoanalysis. p. 50 summarized this quote as "Class membership defined the essence or essential nature of the object".

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„It is not the laws of physics that make science possible but the unprovable proposition that there exists a grand design underlying the physical world.“

—  John Polanyi Hungarian-Canadian chemist 1929
Context: It is not the laws of physics that make science possible but the unprovable proposition that there exists a grand design underlying the physical world. And not just any old "grand design" but one that is accessible to the limited senses and modest reasoning powers of the species to which we belong. Scientists subscribe with such conviction to this article of faith that they are willing to commit a lifetime to the pursuit of scientific discovery. It is hardly surprising that an activity so magical is also undefinable. Science is what scientists do. And what they do is look around themselves for messages written in the sky, the earth, the oceans and all living things – messages that tell of the unity of creation. These messages have been there – unseen, though at times written in letters miles high – since the dawn of history. But we have just passed through an epoch in which, quite suddenly, scientists seem to have learnt speed reading. Discoveries have been coming at an unprecedented pace. In the wake of such a period it is common to consider that we may be approaching the point where all that is readable in nature will have been read. We should be skeptical of such claims. Success in reading some messages brings with it a temporary blindness to others. We forget that between the words written in black in nature's book there are likely to be messages of equal importance written in white. It is a truism that success in science comes to the individuals who ask the right questions. "The Magic of Science" in Imperial Oil Review (Spring, 1994) http://sites.utoronto.ca/jpolanyi/public_affairs/public_affairs4f.html.

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„No one hangs himself by the rope of a physical law. The equations fall tirelessly into themselves.“

—  Octavio Paz Mexican writer laureated with the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature 1914 - 1998
Context: The world stretches out before me, the vast world of the big, the little, and the medium. Universe of kings and presidents and jailors, of mandarins and pariahs and liberators and liberated, of judges and witnesses and the condemned: stars of the first, second, third and nth magnitudes, planets, comets, bodies errant and eccentric or routine and domesticated by the laws of gravity, the subtle laws of falling, all keeping step, all turning slowly or rapidly around a void. Where they claim the central sun lies, the solar being, the hot beam made out of every human gaze, there is nothing but a hole and less than a hole: the eye of a dead fish, the giddy cavity of the eye that falls into itself and looks at itself without seeing. There is nothing with which to fill the hollow center of the whirlwind. The springs are smashed, the foundations collapsed, the visible or invisible bonds that joined one star to another, one body to another, one man to another, are nothing but a tangle of wires and thorns, a jungle of claws and teeth that twist us and chew us and spit us out and chew us again. No one hangs himself by the rope of a physical law. The equations fall tirelessly into themselves. And in regard to the present matter, if the present matters: I do not belong to the masters. I don't wash my hands of it, but I am not a judge, nor a witness for the prosecution, nor an executioner. I do not torture, interrogate, or suffer interrogation. I do not loudly plead for leniency, nor wish to save myself or anyone else. And for all that I don't do and for all that they do to us, I neither ask forgiveness nor forgive. Their piety is as abject as their justice. Am I innocent? I'm guilty. Am I guilty? I'm innocent. (I'm innocent when I'm guilty, guilty when I'm innocent. I'm guilty when … but that is another song. Another song? It's all the same song.) Guilty innocent, innocent guilty, the fact is I quit.

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„I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena.“

—  Edgard Varèse French composer 1883 - 1965
Context: I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena. As a child, I was tremendously impressed by the qualities and character of the granite I found in Burgundy, where I often visited my grandfather... So I was always in touch with things of stone and with this kind of pure structural architecture — without frills or unnecessary decoration. All of this became an integral part of my thinking at a very early stage. Interview with Gunther Schuller (1965, p. 34), quoted in Sound Structure in Music (1975) bu Robert Erickson; University of California Press. .

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„Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Context: Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations. He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility or the meaning of such a comparison. But he certainly believes that, as his knowledge increases, his picture of reality will become simpler and simpler and will explain a wider and wider range of his sensuous impressions. He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind. He may call this ideal limit the objective truth. The Evolution of Physics (1938) (co-written with Leopold Infeld) <!-- later published by Simon & Schuster (1967) -->

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