Brand Blanshard

Brand
Blanshard
1892
1987

American Philosopher

Author Quotes

Custom calls me to 't: What custom wills, in all things should we do't, The dust on antique time would lie unswept, And mountainous error be too highly heap't For truth to o'erpeer.

I do not think that G. H. Hardy was talking nonsense when he insisted that the mathematician was discovering rather than creating... The world for me is a necessary system, and in the degree to which the thinker can surrender his thought to that system and follow it, he is in a sense participating in that which is timeless or eternal.

If science could get rid of consciousness, it would have disposed of the only stumbling block to its universal application.

Most men live like raisins in a cake of custom.

Once the anchor of reason has been cut, one's craft may go anywhere. One may become a St Francis or equally a Hitler.

Reality is a system, completely ordered and fully intelligible, with which thought in its advance is more and more identifying itself. We may look at the growth of knowledge ? as an attempt by our mind to return to union with things as they are in their ordered wholeness?. and if we take this view, our notion of truth is marked out for us. Truth is the approximation of thought to reality ? Its measure is the distance thought has travelled ? toward that intelligible system ? The degree of truth of a particular proposition is to be judged in the first instance by its coherence with experience as a whole, ultimately by its coherence with that further whole, all comprehensive and fully articulated, in which thought can come to rest.

Shakespeare without Othello, Lear, Macbeth and Hamlet would be all too much like Hamlet without the prince.

Thinking in art and morals and even mathematics is neither the reflection in consciousness of a mechanical order in the brain nor the tracing with the mind?s eye of some empirical order in its object, but an endeavor to realize in thought an ideal order which would satisfy an inner demand. The nearer thought comes to its goal, the more it finds itself under constraint by that goal, and dominated in its creative effort by aesthetic or moral or logical relevance. These relations of relevance are not physical or psychological relations. They are normative relations that can enter into the mental current because that current is . . . teleological. Their operation marks the presence of a different type of law, which supervenes upon physical and psychological laws when purpose takes control.

To think at its best is to find oneself carried down the current of necessity.

When the man who knows all about the fruit fly chromosomes finds himself sitting next to an authority on Beowulf... there may be an uneasy silence.

Author Picture
First Name
Brand
Last Name
Blanshard
Birth Date
1892
Death Date
1987
Bio

American Philosopher