Underneath the shifting appearances of the world as perceived by our unreliable senses, is there, or is there not, a bedrock of objective reality?
"I do not know whether behind appearances there lives and moves a secret essence superior to me. Nor do I ask; I do not care. I create phenomena in swarms, and paint with a full palette a gigantic and gaudy curtain before the abyss. Do not say, "Draw the curtain that I may see the painting." The curtain is the painting.
For he considered that, in many cases, but especially in war, mere appearances have had all the effect of realities; and that a person, under a firm persuasion that he can command resources, virtually has them; that very prospect inspiring him with hope and boldness in his exertions.livy
Lastly, and doubtless always, but particularly at the end of the last century, certain scholars considered that since the appearances on our scale were finally the only important ones for us, there was no point in seeking what might exist in an inaccessible domain. I find it very difficult to understand this point of view since what is inaccessible today may become accessible tomorrow (as has happened by the invention of the microscope), and also because coherent assumptions on what is still invisible may increase our understanding of the visible.Jean Baptiste Perrin
Do not hover always on the surface of things, nor take up suddenly with mere appearances; but penetrate into the depth of matters, as far as your time and circumstances allow, especially in those things which relate to your own profession. Do not indulge yourselves to judge of things by the first glimpse, or a short and superficial view of them; for this will fill the mind with errors and prejudices, and give it a wrong turn and ill habit of thinking, and make much work for retraction.Isaac Watts
What aterrifying reflection it is, by theway, that nearlyall our deep love for women who are not our kindred dependsat any rate, in the first instanceupon their personal appearances. If we lost them, and found them again dreadful to look on, though otherwise they were the very same, should we still love them?
We are inescapably the result of a long heritage of learning, adaptation, mutation and evolution, the product of a history which predates our birth as a biological species and stretches back over many thousand millennia... Going further back, we share a common ancestry with our fellow primates; and going still further back, we share a common ancestry with all other living creatures and plants down to the simplest microbe. The further back we go, the greater the difference from external appearances and behavior patterns which we observe today.fred hoyle
Comets, earthquakes, volcanoes, and northern lights (in the night,) with many other extraordinary phenomena or appearances intimidate weak minds, and are by them thought to be miraculous, although they undoubtedly have their proper natural causes, which have been in a great measure discovered. Jack-with-a-lantern is a frightful appearance to some people, but not so much as the imaginary specter. But of all the scarecrows which have made human nature tremble, the devil has been chief; his family is said to be very numerous, consisting of "legions," with which he has kept our world in a terrible uproar.ethan allen
In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in such parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue; which is of itself a strong presumption that in the infancy of letters, learning and science, or in the world's non-age, those who confided in miracles, as a proof of the divine mission of the first promulgators of revelation, were imposed upon by fictitious appearances instead of miracles.ethan allen
It was mathematics, the non-empirical science par excellence, wherein the mind appears to play only with itself, that turned out to be the science of sciences, delivering the key to those laws of nature and the universe that are concealed by appearances.hannah arendt
"God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds." Narrated Abu Hurairah: A man came to Allah's Messenger and said, "Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father."
We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.isaac newton
I cannot be convinced that great artists are moralists. Art is first appearances, then meaning.camille paglia
If any person, discouraged by these difficulties, should think to relieve himself by rejecting all religion , natural and revealed, he will find, if he reflect at all, that he has miserably deceived himself, and that he is involved in greater perplexity than ever; the scheme he has adopted not only filling his mind with great darkness and distress, but being contrary to some of the plainest appearances in nature, and therefore manifestly irrational and absurd.joseph priestley
Keynes was chief economic adviser to the British government and largely responsible for keeping the British economy afloat at a time when more than half of our gross national product, and all of out foreign exchange, was being spent on the war. ...I was lucky to be present at one of his rare appearances in Cambridge, when he gave a lecture with the title "Newton, the Man." ...Four years later he died of heart failure, precipitated by overwork and the hardships of crossing the Atlantic repeatedly in slow propeller-driven airplanes under wartime conditions.freeman dyson
What is so remarkable in all these theories and doctrines is their implicit monism , the claim that behind the obvious multiplicity of the world’s appearances and, even more pertinently to our context, behind the obvious plurality of man’s faculties and abilities, there must exist a oneness the old hen pan , “the all is one” either a single source or a single ruler.
Even the recognition of an individual whom we see every day is only possible as the result of an abstract idea of him formed by generalization from his appearances in the past.
Now these two questions Does there exist a material reality distinct from sensible appearances? and What is the nature of reality? do not have their source in experimental method, which is acquainted only with sensible appearances and can discover nothing beyond them. The resolution of these questions transcends the methods used by physics; it is the object of metaphysics. Therefore, if the aim of physical theories is to explain experimental laws, theoretical physics is not an autonomous science; it is subordinate to metaphysics.pierre duhem
"appearances are not held to be a clue to the truth," said his cousin. "But we seem to have no other."ivy compton-burnett
Plato finds it necessary to separate, for example, "horseness" from "horse" and say that horseness is real and fixed and true and unmoving, while the horse is a mere, unimportant, transitory phenomenon. Horseness is pure Idea. The horse that one sees is a collection of changing appearances, a horse that can flux and move around all it wants to and even die on the spot without disturbing horseness, which is the Immortal Principle and can go on forever in the path of the Gods of old.
appearances are nothing.... And first of all they should not be feared, they are only dangerous to the weak.Georges Bernanos