'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone.john donne: 1611 'An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary'.
"Even discourse which does not acknowledge "musical coherence" as "intellectual communication" does not in fact succeed in treating it as anything else; it is only by locating their concerns in domains where the "musical" aspects of music are peripherally or not at all involved that musical discourses can circumvent the fact that when the "object of thought" consists of the contents of a musical composition just the recognition of the identities of any of these contents (or even of the undivided single identity of them taken all together as a "unit") involves (to varying degrees) the same considerations that are involved in a discourse that explicitly--and hence with a better chance of cognitive particularity--regards such a composition as an instance of communicative thought."benjamin boretz: from Meta-Variations: studies in the foundations of musical thought Red Hook, N.Y. : Open Space, 1995.
There is in each of us a stream of tendency, whether you choose to call it philosophy or not, which gives coherence and direction to thought and action. Judges cannot escape that current any more than other mortals. All their lives, forces which they do not recognize and cannot name, have been tugging at them — inherited instincts, traditional beliefs, acquired convictions; and the resultant is an outlook on life, a conception of social needs. ... In this mental background every problem finds it setting. We may try to see things as objectively as we please. None the less, we can never see them with any eyes except our own.benjamin n. cardozo: Pages 12-13.
Even though these complex systems differ in detail, the question of coherence under change is the central enigma for each.john henry holland: p. 4 (Ch 1. Basic Elements)
The movement's official doctrinal statement, and a part of the revelation, is the Divine Principle. Both an oral tradition and a written one and published in several versions, Divine Principle is the Completed Testament. The Rev. Moon claims to have come not to destroy or abrogate the Old and New Testaments, but to fulfill them-to "complete" them. To his Moonist followers, the Rev. Moon is primarily "true father," probably the Messiah, and only secondarily a theologian. In an effort to systematize Moon's teachings, several members of the Unification Church in Korea have put together a developing theological system in Divine Principle which is impressive in its imaginative nature, coherence, and consistency, if not in its Christian orthodoxy. As the most complete expression of Moonist teachings to date, Divine Principle is the basic text of the Unification Church.4 The two major divisions of the system are the doctrines of Creation and Restoration. There are many subsets to these major divisions, but Creation and Restoration are the foci for the Moonist theological system.Korean Moon: Waxing of Waning?, Leo Sandon Jr., Theology Today, Vol 35, No 2, July 1978.
At the first of the 1960's Rochester Coherence Conferences, I suggested that a license be required for use of the word photon, and offered to give such license to properly qualified people.willis lamb: W. E. Lamb, Anti-photon, Appl. Phys. B 60, 77-84 (1995).
Consider the case of a person who holds a view with probability 1. Then coherence says that it is no use having a debate with them because nothing will change their mind.dennis lindley: 6. Bayes Rule. p. 91
Quantum mechanics is the most useful and powerful theory physicists have ever devised. Yet today, nearly 90 years after its formulation, disagreement about the meaning of the theory is stronger than ever. New interpretations appear every year. None ever disappear. ... The message from QBism is this: You needn't feel guilty about never getting nervous about this stuff. You were right not to be bothered. But for the sake of intellectual coherence, you had better reexamine what you wrongly may have thought you understood perfectly well about the nature of probability.david mermin: Fixing the shifty split, Physics Today, Volume 65, Issue 7, July 2012, p. 8
"In 'pure' instrumental music, the strategies chosen by composers to create unity were responsive to the tenets of Romanticism...Even in the absence of an explicit program, motivic continuity created a kind of narrative coherence. Like the chief character in a novel, the 'fortunes' of the main motive--its development, variation, and encounters with other 'protagonists'--served as a source of constancy throughout the unfolding of the musical process."leonard b. meyer: Style and Music: Theory, History, and Ideology (1989), ISBN 0226521524
Long before the human spirit awoke to clear cognizance of the world and itself, it sometimes stirred in its sleep, opened bewildered eyes, and slept again Socrates woke to the ideal of dispassionate intelligence, Jesus to the ideal of passionate yet self-oblivious worship. Socrates urged intellectual integrity, Jesus integrity of will. Each, of course, though starting with a different emphasis, involved the other. Unfortunately both these ideals demanded of the human brain a degree of vitality and coherence of which the nervous system of the First Men was never really capable. As the months of agony advanced, there was bred in the warring peoples a genuine and even passionate will for peace and a united world. Out of the conflict of the tribes arose, at least for a while, a spirit loftier than tribalism. But this fervour lacked as yet clear guidance, lacked even the courage of conviction. In some minds the defence of the human spirit was sincerely identified with the defence of a particular nation, conceived as the home of all enlightenment.Olaf Stapledon: Chapter I: Balkan Europe
No fact in the world is instant, infinitesimal and ultimate, a single mark. There are, I hold, no atomic facts. In the language of science, every fact is a field a crisscross of implications, those that lead to it and those that lead from it. ... We condense the laws around concepts. Science takes its coherence, its intellectual and imaginative strength together, from the concepts at which its laws cross, like knots in a mesh.jacob bronowski: Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §1 (p. 52)
A degree of silence envelops Washington’s actions; he moved slowly; one might say that he felt charged with future liberty, and that he feared to compromise it. It was not his own destiny that inspired this new species of hero: it was that of his country; he did not allow himself to enjoy what did not belong to him; but from that profound humility what glory emerged! Search the woods where Washington’s sword gleamed: what do you find? Tombs? No; a world! Washington has left the United States behind for a monument on the field of battle. Bonaparte shared no trait with that serious American: he fought amidst thunder in an old world; he thought about nothing but creating his own fame; he was inspired only by his own fate. He seemed to know that his project would be short, that the torrent which falls from such heights flows swiftly; he hastened to enjoy and abuse his glory, like fleeting youth. Following the example of Homer ’s gods, in four paces he reached the ends of the world. He appeared on every shore; he wrote his name hurriedly in the annals of every people; he threw royal crowns to his family and his generals; he hurried through his monuments, his laws, his victories. Leaning over the world, with one hand he deposed kings, with the other he pulled down the giant, Revolution; but, in eliminating anarchy, he stifled liberty, and ended by losing his own on his last field of battle. Each was rewarded according to his efforts: Washington brings a nation to independence; a justice at peace, he falls asleep beneath his own roof in the midst of his compatriots’ grief and the veneration of nations. Bonaparte robs a nation of its independence: deposed as emperor, he is sent into exile, where the world’s anxiety still does not think him safely enough imprisoned, guarded by the Ocean. He dies: the news proclaimed on the door of the palace in front of which the conqueror had announced so many funerals, neither detains nor astonishes the passer-by: what have the citizens to mourn? Washington’s Republic lives on; Bonaparte’s empire is destroyed. Washington and Bonaparte emerged from the womb of democracy: both of them born to liberty, the former remained faithful to her, the latter betrayed her. Washington acted as the representative of the needs, the ideas, the enlightened men, the opinions of his age; he supported, not thwarted, the stirrings of intellect; he desired only what he had to desire, the very thing to which he had been called: from which derives the coherence and longevity of his work. That man who struck few blows because he kept things in proportion has merged his existence with that of his country: his glory is the heritage of civilisation; his fame has risen like one of those public sanctuaries where a fecund and inexhaustible spring flows.françois-rené de chateaubriand: Book VI: Ch. 8: Comparison of Washington and Bonaparte
Metaphisics is a word that you, my dear Sir! are no great friend to / but yet you will agree, that a great Poet must be, implicitè if not explicitè, a profound Metaphysician. He may not have it in logical coherence, in his Brain & Tongue; but he must have it by Tact / for all sounds, & all forms of human nature he must have the ear of a wild Arab listening in the silent Desart, the eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an Enemy upon the Leaves that strew the Forest :;; the Touch of a Blind Man feeling the face of a darling Child.Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Letter to William Sotheby (13 July 1802).
An examination of the harmonic techniques out of their context has all too often led to misleading terminology such as 'static' or 'non-functional' as a description of Debussy's harmonic methods. Viewed as a whole, however, the tonal coherence of his music depends upon a carefully calculated and often dramatic interaction of these various harmonic 'types' with each other and with orthodox diatonic harmony. The result is a tonal language, but one which is fundamentally different in concept from classical tonality. The detailed classifications of harmonic events is no longer possible in Debussy's music where the central tonality of a work emerges only through a constant focusing and re-focusing on harmonic types.claude debussy: Jim Samson in Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900-1920 (1977), p.38 ISBN 0393021939
The philosophers soon reached certain generalizations... The senses are connected with the appetites, with wants and desires. They lay hold not on the reality of things but on the relation which things have to our pleasures and pains, to the satisfaction of wants and the welfare of the body. They are important only for the life of the body, which is but a fixed substratum for a higher life. Experience thus has a definitely material character; it has to do with physical things in relation to the body. In contrast, reason, or science, lays hold of the immaterial, the ideal, the spiritual. There is something morally dangerous about experience, as such words as sensual, carnal, material, worldly, interests suggest; while pure reason and spirit connote something morally praiseworthy. Moreover, ineradicable connection with the changing, the inexplicably shifting, and with the manifold, the diverse, clings to experience. Its material is inherently variable and untrustworthy. It is anarchic, because unstable. The man who trusts to experience does not know what he depends upon, since it changes from person to person, from day to day, to say nothing of from country to country. Its connection with the "many," with various particulars, has the same effect, and also carries conflict in its train. Only the single, the uniform, assures coherence and harmony. Out of experience come warrings, the conflict of opinions and acts within the individual and between individuals. From experience no standard of belief can issue, because it is the very nature of experience to instigate all kinds of contrary beliefs, as varieties of local custom proved. Its logical outcome is that anything is good and true to the particular individual which his experience leads him to believe true and good at a particular time and place.john dewey: The Opposition of Experience and True Knowledge
And new philosophy calls all in doubt, The element of fire is quite put out; The sun is lost, and the earth, and no man's wit, Can well direct him where to look for it. And freely men confess that this world's spent, When in the planets, and the firmament They seek so many new; then see that this Is crumbled out again to his atomies. 'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone; All just supply, and all relation: Prince, subject, Father, Son, are things forgot.john donne: An Anatomy of the World, The First Anniversary
Great thinkers build their edifices with subtle consistency. We do our intellectual forebears an enormous disservice when we dismember their visions and scan their systems in order to extract a few disembodied “gems” thoughts or claims still accepted as true. These disarticulated pieces then become the entire legacy of our ancestors, and we lose the beauty and coherence of older systems that might enlighten us by their unfamiliarity and their consequent challenge in our fallible (and complacent) modern world.stephen jay gould: "A Tale of Three Pictures", p. 437–438
The proverbial German phenomenon of the verb-at-the-end about which droll tales of absentminded professors who would begin a sentence, ramble on for an entire lecture, and then finish up by rattling off a string of verbs by which their audience, for whom the stack had long since lost its coherence, would be totally nonplussed, are told, is an excellent example of linguistic recursion.douglas hofstadter: "Recursive Structures and Processes"
Nothing is more usual and more natural for those, who pretend to discover anything new to the world in philosophy and the sciences, than to insinuate the praises of their own systems, by decrying all those, which have been advanced before them. And indeed were they content with lamenting that ignorance, which we still lie under in the most important questions, that can come before the tribunal of human reason, there are few, who have an acquaintance with the sciences, that would not readily agree with them. 'Tis easy for one of judgment and learning, to perceive the weak foundation even of those systems, which have obtained the greatest credit, and have carried their pretensions highest to accurate and profound reasoning. Principles taken upon trust, consequences lamely deduced from them, want of coherence in the parts, and of evidence in the whole, these are every where to be met with in the systems of the most eminent philosophers, and seem to have drawn disgrace upon philosophy itself.David Hume: Introduction
But it never occurred to him to want to be a philosopher, or dedicate himself to Speculation; he was still too fickle for that. True, he was not drawn now to one thing and now to another – thinking was and remained his passion – but he still lacked the self-discipline required for acquiring a deeper coherence. Both the significant and the insignificant attracted him equally as points of departure for his pursuits; the result was not of great consequence – only the movements of thought as such interested him. Sometimes he noticed that he reached one and the same conclusion from quite different starting points, but this did not in any deeper sense engage his attention. His delight was always just to be pressing on; wherever he suspected a labyrinth, he had to find the way. Once he had started, nothing could bring him to a halt. If he found the going difficult and became tired of it before he ought, he would adopt a very simple remedy – he would shut himself up in his room, make everything as festive as possible, and then say loudly and clearly: I will do it. He had learned from his father that one can do what one wills, and his father’s life had not discredited this theory. Experiencing this had given Johannes indescribable pride; that there could be something one could not do when one willed it was unbearable to him. But his pride did not in the least indicate weakness of will, for when he had uttered these energetic words he was ready for anything; he then had a still higher goal – to penetrate the intricacies of the problem by force of will. This again was an adventure that inspired him. Indeed his life was in this way always adventurous. He needed no woods and wanderings for his adventures, but only what he possessed – a little room with one window.søren aabye kierkegaard: Johannes Climacus p. 22-23
The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. Each side should know that frequently uncertainty, compromise, and incoherence are the essence of policymaking. Yet each tends to ascribe to the other a consistency, foresight, and coherence that its own experience belies. Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.henry kissinger: The White House Years (1979)
You & James Ferdinand simply can't learn to distinguish betwixt intellectual opinion & irrelevant instinctive emotion . . . For instance, he has the idea that I place an exaggerated intellectual valuation on the 18th century merely because my chance emotions have given me a strong but irrational subjective sense of belonging to it. I've told that bird dozens of times that I have no especial intellectual brief for Georgian days . . . He can't understand my ability to class as merely one period among others an age to which random early impressions have so closely bound my emotions & sense of identity . . . the point is that my own personal mess of subjective emotions has nothing whatever to do with my intellectual opinions. I have freely declared myself at all times (like everybody else in his respective way) a mere product of my background, & do not consider the values of that background as applicable to outsiders. The only way for the individual to achieve any contentment or harmonic relationship to a pattern is to adhere to the background naturally his; & that is what I am doing. Others I urge to adhere to their own respective backgrounds & traditions, however remote from mine these may be. When I venture now & then to suggest values of a more general kind, I approach the problem in an entirely different way speaking not as Old Theobald of His Majesty's Rhode-Island Colony, but as the cosmic & impersonal Ec'h-Pi-El, denizen of the invisible world 'Ui-ulh in the second zone of curved space outside angled space . . . If there is any approach to an absolute value in the cosmos or at least on this planet then this is it. Sincerity is-or-isn't-ness technical perfection harmony coherence consistency symmetry all these things are obviously aspects of one single property of space, energy, & general mathematical harmonics whose universality gives it the deepest possible significance. I have thought this all my life, & that is why to me one Newton or Einstein, one M. Atilius Regulus, M. Porcius Cato, or P. Cornelius Scipio, seems to me in certain ways worth a full dozen of your prattling little Keatses & Baudelaires.h. p. lovecraft: Letter to Frank Belknap Long (27 February 1931), in Selected Letters III, 1929-1931 edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, p. 312
Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter. A democratic state may profess to venerate the name, and even pass laws making it officially sacred, but it simply cannot tolerate the thing. In order to keep any coherence in the governmental process, to prevent the wildest anarchy in thought and act, the government must put limits upon the free play of opinion. In part, it can reach that end by mere propaganda, by the bald force of its authority that is, by making certain doctrines officially infamous. But in part it must resort to force, i.e. , to law. One of the main purposes of laws in a democratic society is to put burdens upon intelligence and reduce it to impotence. Ostensibly, their aim is to penalize anti-social acts; actually their aim is to penalize heretical opinions. At least ninety-five Americans out of every 100 believe that this process is honest and even laudable; it is practically impossible to convince them that there is anything evil in it. In other words, they cannot grasp the concept of liberty. Always they condition it with the doctrine that the state, i.e. , the majority, has a sort of right of eminent domain in acts, and even in ideas that it is perfectly free, whenever it is so disposed, to forbid a man to say what he honestly believes. Whenever his notions show signs of becoming "dangerous," ie, of being heard and attended to, it exercises that prerogative. And the overwhelming majority of citizens believe in supporting it in the outrage. Including especially the Liberals, who pretend and often quite honestly believe that they are hot for liberty. They never really are. Deep down in their hearts they know, as good democrats, that liberty would be fatal to democracy that a government based upon shifting and irrational opinion must keep it within bounds or run a constant risk of disaster. They themselves, as a practical matter, advocate only certain narrow kinds of liberty liberty, that is, for the persons they happen to favor. The rights of other persons do not seem to interest them. If a law were passed tomorrow taking away the property of a large group of presumably well-to-do persons say, bondholders of the railroads without compensation and without even colorable reason, they would not oppose it; they would be in favor of it. The liberty to have and hold property is not one they recognize. They believe only in the liberty to envy, hate and loot the man who has it.h. l. mencken: "Liberty and Democracy" in the Baltimore Evening Sun (13 April 1925), also in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy : New Selections from the Writings of America's Legendary Editor, Critic, and Wit (1994) edited by Terry Teachout, p. 35
Although I'm regarded as a dangerous radical by particle physicists for proposing that there may be loss of quantum coherence, I'm definitely a conservative compared to Roger. I take the positivist viewpoint that a physical theory is just a mathematical model and that it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality. All that one can ask is that its predictions should be in agreement with observation. I think Roger is a Platonist at heart but he must answer for himself.roger penrose: Stephen Hawking, in The Nature of Space and Time (2000) by Stephen W. Hawking and Roger Penrose, Ch. 1 : Classical Theory, p. 3
Without exception, the dominance and coherence of culture proved to be an essential quality of the excellent companies.tom peters: p.75 (In Search of Excellence (1982))