Theories

Theories are private property, but truth is common stock.

We do not talk - we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.

Theories are always very thin and insubstantial, experience only is tangible.

The moment a man can really do his work, he becomes speechless about it; all words are idle to him; all theories. Does a bird need to theorize about building its nest, or boast of it when built? All good work is essentially done that way; without hesitation; without difficulty; without boasting.

In education the life of the mind proceeds gradually from scientific experiments to intellectual theories, to spiritual feeling, and then to God.

We should accept the suitability of partial views for partial contexts... Too often the attempt to devise moral theories and systems that can encompass all problems leads to so much vagueness, unclarity, grandiosity, and indeterminacy in applying them that these theories and systems are actually applied to almost nothing.

Knowledge is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges toward an ideal view; it is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible (and perhaps even incommensurable) alternatives, each single theory, each fairy tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition to the development of our consciousness.

The dispute between the theory of a predestined future and the theory of a free future is an endless dispute. This is so because both theories are too literal, too rigid, too material, and the one excludes the other... The opposites are both equally wrong because the truth lies in the unification of these two opposite understandings into one whole. At any given moment all the future of the world is predestined and existing - provided no new factor comes in. And a new factor can only come in from the side of consciousness and the will resulting from it.

The great difficulty in philosophy is to come to every question with a mind fresh and unshackled by former theories, though strengthened by exercise and information.

I am more fond of achieving than striving. My theories must prove to be facts or be discarded as worthless. My efforts must soon be crowned with success, or discontinued.

It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!

No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed.

As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.

The most dangerous tendency of the modern world is the way in which bogus theories are given the force of dogma.

The wise man regulates his conduct by the theories both of religion and science. But he regards these theories not as statements of ultimate fact but as art-forms.

Philosophy, like science, consists of theories or insights arrived at as a result of systemic reflection or reasoning in regard to the data of experience. It involves, therefore, the analysis of experience and the synthesis of the results of analysis into a comprehensive or unitary conception. Philosophy seeks a totality and harmony of reasoned insight into the nature and meaning of all the principal aspects of reality.

Theories without facts may be barren, but facts without theories are meaningless.

Many writers upon the science of political economy have declared that it is the duty of a nation first to encourage the creation of wealth; and second, to direct and control its distribution. All such theories are delusive.

Another instance of a realization that the superstitious belief in progress is insufficient as a guide to life, was my brother's death. Wise, good, serious, he fell ill while still a young man, suffered for more than a year, and died painfully, not understanding why he had lived and still less why he had to die. No theories could give me, or him, any reply to these questions during his slow and painful dying.

The continuity of our science has not been affected by all these turbulent happenings, as the older theories have always been included as limiting cases in the new ones.