// banach's | Philosophy Department at St. Anselm College //

Could one not imagine oneself in a state which compares to being awake, just as wakefulness compares to being asleep? Being awake would be like the dreams of that state, which in turn would show that the illusion (of the certainty) of rational knowledge is nothing but vain imagination.

— Al-Ghazali

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

In science we study the linkage of pointer readings with pointer readings. The terms link together in endless cycle with the same inscrutable nature running through the whole.

I am afraid the knockabout comedy of modern atomic physics is not very tender towards our aesthetic ideals. The stately drama of stellar evolution turns out to be more like the hair-breadth escapades in the films. The music of the spheres has a painful suggestion of -- jazz.

All the familiar terms of physics -- length, duration of time, motion, force, mass, energy, and so on -- refer primarily to this relative knowledge of the world; and it remains to be seen whether any knowledge of them can be retained in a description of the world which is not relative to a particular observer.

At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.

We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origins. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! It is our own.

An ocean traveler has even more vividly the impression that the ocean is made of waves than that it is made of water.

There is no essential distinction between scientific measures and the measures of the senses. In either case our acquaintance with the external world comes to us through material channels; the observer's body may be regarded as part of his laboratory equipment.