Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better." - Samuel Butler

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, and undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule which is little known and less fixed?" - Alexander Hamilton

"Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity." - Herbert Spencer

"In periods of frustration, fear, or anger, the em spectrum is incoherent. In times when love or appreciation is experiences, it is coherent." - Joseph Chilton Pearce, aka Joe

"Evolution is definable as a change from an incoherent homogeneity to a coherent heterogeneity, accompanying the dissipation of motion and integration of matter." - Herbert Spencer

"The mechanism of the coming-into-being of the universe, as discussed in modern science, is actually much more profound than the biblical version because it does not merely involve order emerging out of chaos. It’s not just a matter of imposing some sort of organisation or structure upon a previous incoherent state, but literally the coming-into-being of all physical things from nothing." - Paul Davies

"As to the impotence of repression — it is sufficiently demonstrated by the disorder of present society and by the necessity of a revolution that we all desire or feel inevitable. In the domain of economy, coercion has led us to industrial servitude; in the domain of politics — to the State, that is to say, to the destruction of all ties that formerly existed among citizens, and to the nation becoming nothing but an incoherent mass of obedient subjects of a central authority." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"The whole aspect of the universe changes with this new conception. The idea of force governing the world, of pre-established law, preconceived harmony, disappears to make room for the harmony that Fourier had caught a glimpse of: the one which results from the disorderly and incoherent movements of numberless hosts of matter, each of which goes its own way and all of which hold each other in equilibrium." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"I am not, personally, a believer or a religious man in any sense of institutional commitment or practice. But I have a great respect for religion, and the subject has always fascinated me, beyond almost all others (with a few exceptions, like evolution and paleontology)." - Stephan Jay Gould

"Let us turn over the pages, and I will add, for your amusement, a comment in the margin." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf