Top Abstractions Quotes

Browse top 57 famous quotes and sayings about Abstractions by most favorite authors.

Favorite Abstractions Quotes

1. "Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality."
Author: Alan Wilson Watts
2. "No,' Rambert said bitterly, 'you can't understand. You're using the language of reason, not of the heart; you live in a world of... of abstractions."
Author: Albert Camus
3. "L'art pourl'art, le divertissement d'un artiste solitaire, est bien justement l'artartificiel d'une société factice et abstraite. Son aboutissement logique, c'estl'art des salons, ou l'art purement formel qui se nourrit de préciosités etd'abstractions et qui finit par la destruction de toute réalité."
Author: Albert Camus
4. "Why do you love the woman you're in love with? Because she is. And that, after all, is God's own definition of Himself; I am that I am. The girl is who she is. Some of her isness spills over and impregnates the entire universe. Objects and events cease to be mere representations of classes and become their own uniqueness; cease to be illustrations of verbal abstractions and become fully concrete. Then you stop being in love, and the universe collapses, with an almost audible squeak of derision, into its normal insignificance."
Author: Aldous Huxley
5. "Talk—half-talk, phrases that had no need to be finished, abstractions, Chinese bells played on with cotton-tipped sticks, mock orange blossoms painted on porcelain. The muffled, close, half-talk of soft-fleshed women. The men she had embraced, and the women, all washing against the resonance of my memory. Sound within sound, scene within scene, woman within woman—like acid revealing an invisible script. One woman within another eternally, in a far-reaching procession, shattering my mind into fragments, into quarter tones which no orchestral baton can ever make whole again."
Author: Anaïs Nin
6. "And silence. She liked the silence most of all. The silence in which the body, senses, the instincts, are more alert, more powerful, more sensitized, live a more richly perfumed and intoxication life, instead of transmuting into thoughts, words, into exquisite abstractions, mathematics of emotion in place of violent impact, the volcanic eruptions of fever, lust and delight."
Author: Anaïs Nin
7. "In 'Self Comes to Mind' I pay a lot of attention to simple creatures without brains or minds, because those 'cartooned abstractions of who we are' operate on precisely the same principles that we do."
Author: Antonio Damasio
8. "Hence the sterile, uninspiring futility of a great many theoretical discussions of ethics, and the resentment which many people feel towards such discussions: moral principles remain in their minds as floating abstractions, offering them a goal they cannot grasp and demanding that they reshape their souls in its image, thus leaving them with a burden of undefinable moral guilt."
Author: Ayn Rand
9. "At the same time, new concepts and abstractions flow into the picture, taking up the task of describing the universe without reference to such time or space - abstractions for which our language lacks adequate terms."
Author: Benjamin Whorf
10. "Do you know what punishments I've endured for my crimes, my sins? None. I am proof of the absurdity of men's most treasured abstractions. A just universe wouldn't tolerate my existence."
Author: Brent Weeks
11. "But the brain does much more than just recollect it inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes, it generates abstractions. The simplest thought like the concept of the number one has an elaborate logical underpinning. The brain has its own language for testing the structure and consistency of the world."
Author: Carl Sagan
12. "You cannot devote your life to an abstraction. Indeed, life shatters all abstractions in one way or another, including words such as "faith" or "belief". If God is not in the very fabric of existence for you, if you do not find Him (or miss Him!) in the details of your daily life, then religion is just one more way to commit spiritual suicide."
Author: Christian Wiman
13. "I care about strangers when they're abstractions, but I feel almost nothing when they're literally in front of me."
Author: Chuck Klosterman
14. "The theory is that if the Internet can't be controlled, then copyright is dead. The thing is, the Internet is a machine for copying things cheaply, quickly, and with as little control as possible, while copyright is the right to control who gets to make copies, so these two abstractions seem destined for a fatal collision, right?"
Author: Cory Doctorow
15. "What never fails inside the mind of an intellectual never works outside the confines of his head. The world's stubborn refusal to vindicate the intellectual's theories serves as proof of humanity's irrationality, not his own. Thus, the true believer retrenches rather than rethinks; he launches a war on the world, denying reality because it fails to conform to his theories. If intellectuals are not prepared to reconcile theory and practice, then why do they bother to venture outside the ivory tower or the coffeehouse? Why not stay in the world of abstractions and fantasy?"
Author: Daniel J. Flynn
16. "To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.1010 One has only to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author's vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of his time as "great" or "classic." Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared "good for them" that they "ought to like," at which point the students' nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It's like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire."
Author: David Foster Wallace
17. "What a powerful word, future. Of all the abstractions we can articulate to ourselves, of all the concepts we have that other animals do not, how extraordinary the ability to consider a time that's never been experienced. And how tragic not to consider it. It galls us, we with such a limited future, to see someone brush it aside as meaningless, when it has an endless capacity for meaning, and an endless number of meanings that can be found within it."
Author: David Levithan
18. "Roosevelt loved the subtleties of human relations...He was sensitive to nuances in a way that Harry Truman never was and never would be. Truman, with his rural Missouri background, and partly too, because of the limits of his education, was inclined to see things in far simpler terms, as right or wrong, wise or foolish. He dealt little in abstractions."
Author: David McCullough
19. "Not one idiot in a thousand has been entirely refractory to treatment, not one in a hundred has not been made more happy and healthy; more than thirty per cent have been taught to conform to social and moral law, and rendered capable of order, of good feeling, and of working like the third of a man; more than forty per cent have become capable of the ordinary transactions of life under friendly control, of understanding moral and social abstractions, of working like two-thirds of a man."
Author: Edouard Séguin
20. "The human soul enjoys these rare, classical periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves - the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleepwalker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outside eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a sides treet, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, outdistance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share."
Author: Evelyn Waugh
21. "Go in fear of abstractions."
Author: Ezra Pound
22. "Two ideas are opposed — not concepts or abstractions, but Ideas which were in the blood of men before they were formulated by the minds of men. The Resurgence of Authority stands opposed to the Rule of Money; Order to Social Chaos, Hierarchy to Equality, socio-economico-political Stability to constant Flux; glad assumption of Duties to whining for Rights; Socialism to Capitalism, ethically, economically, politically; the Rebirth of Religion to Materialism; Fertility to Sterility; the spirit of Heroism to the spirit of Trade; the principle of Responsibility to Parliamentarism; the idea of Polarity of Man and Woman to Feminism; the idea of the individual task to the ideal of ‘happiness'; Discipline to Propaganda-compulsion; the higher unities of family, society, State to social atomism; Marriage to the Communistic ideal of free love; economic self-sufficiency to senseless trade as an end in itself; the inner imperative to Rationalism."
Author: Francis Parker Yockey
23. "That immense framework and planking of concepts to which the needy man clings his whole life long in order to preserve himself is nothing but a scaffolding and toy for the most audacious feats of the liberated intellect. And when it smashes this framework to pieces, throws it into confusion, and puts it back together in an ironic fashion, pairing the most alien things and separating the closest, it is demonstrating that it has no need of these makeshifts of indigence and that it will now be guided by intuitions rather than by concepts. There is no regular path which leads from these intuitions into the land of ghostly schemata, the land of abstractions. There exists no word for these intuitions; when man sees them he grows dumb, or else he speaks only in forbidden metaphors and in unheard — of combinations of concepts. He does this so that by shattering and mocking the old conceptual barriers he may at least correspond creatively to the impression of the powerful present intuition."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
24. "Of the many forms of false culture, a premature converse with abstractions is perhaps the most likely to prove fatal to the growth of a masculine vigour of intellect."
Author: George Boole
25. "I was born the 26th of December. . . Arrive by dint of perseverance, but step by step. . . Tenancy to exaggerate the importance of earthly life. Avaricious of self. Constant in their affections and their hatreds. . . Yes, the Capricorn is a beast of solitude. Slow, steady, and persevering. Lives on several levels at once. Thinks in circles. Fascinated by death. Ever climbing, climbing. In search of the edelweiss, presumably. Or could it be immortelle? Knows no mother. Only "the mothers". Laughs little and usually on the wrong side of the face. . . Speaks truthfully instead of kindly. Metaphysics, abstractions, electromagnetic displays. Dives to the depths. Sees stars, comets, and asteroids where others see only moles, warts, and pimples. Feeds on himself when tired of playing the man-eating shark. A paranoiac. An ambulatory paranoiac. But constant in his affections - and his hatreds. Ouais!"
Author: Henry Miller
26. "Lying mouth to mouth, kiss to kiss in the pillow dark, loin to loin in unbelievable surrendering sweetness so distant from all our mental fearful abstractions it makes you wonder why men have termed God antisexual somehow (p. 148)"
Author: Jack Kerouac
27. "Je n'écris pas pour une petite élite dont je n'ai cure, ni pour cette entité platonique adulée qu'on surnomme la Masse. Je ne crois pas à ces deux abstractions, chères au démagogue. J'écris pour moi, pour mes amis et pour adoucir le cours du temps."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
28. "First, it is a commitment to particularism, to giving priority to the specificity of particulars, not to abstractions and generalities that divert our attention away from concrete realities. Idealizations tend to be partial and distorting, obscuring the heterogeneity and complexity of actual experiences and concrete practices, which is why they do not provide an adequate standpoint for the diagnosis of social problems and injustices."
Author: José Medina
29. "This is the postmodern desert inhabited by people who are, in effect, consuming themselves in the form of images and abstractions through which their desires, sense of identity, and memories are replicated and then sold back to them as products"
Author: Larry McCaffrey
30. "At that point it certainly would be called abstract. That is to say, you had a model and there'd be one or two or three people there drawing the model but otherwise you had abstractions all around the room, even though the model was in front of you."
Author: Lee Krasner
31. "The bourgeoisie, which far surpasses the proletariat in the completeness and irreconcilibility of its class consciousness, is vitally interested in imposing its moral philosophy upon the exploited masses. It is exactly for this purpose that the concrete norms of the bourgeois catechism are concealed under moral abstractions...The appeal to abstract norms is not a disinterested philosophic mistake but a necessary element in the mechanics of class deception."
Author: Leon Trotsky
32. "Because we tend to equate intelligence with language--particularly the ability to use language to think and communicate abstractions--it is natural to conclude that animals are, on the whole, a lot less intelligent than we are."
Author: Linda Bender
33. "When imagination fails, compassion and humaneness dwindle and atrophy along with it. Unleavened by imagination, the variety and richness of life turn into flat abstractions; people become objects to be manipulated -- with the social consequences we know all too well."
Author: Lloyd Alexander
34. "Women must find their own answer. That's the important thing. I'm no longer interested in books about women written by men. Even if I could believe in their objectivity, I just can't find their opinions relevant. Now I will only believe what a woman has to say about women, because even if it's not entirely true, it's her struggle and she's on the way to the answer.Many of you seek masculine approval. Even though you have inside you your way of talking and writing, you have mountains of it inside you, and even though it is enough to begin expressing yourselves so long as it is with your vocabulary, your abstractions, and your own conceptualization, I think you are still afraid of the master: men. Of their judgment. As long as you have this fear, you will not progress. I think the future belongs to women. Men have been completely dethroned. Their rhetoric is stale, used up. We must move on the rhetoric of women, one that is anchored in the organism, in the body."
Author: Marguerite Duras
35. "For what reason then do the realists show themselves so unfriendly toward philosophy? Because they misunderstand their own calling and with all their might want to remain restricted instead of becoming unrestricted! Why do they hate abstractions? Because they themselves are abstract since they abstract from the perfection of themselves, from the elevation of redeeming truth!"
Author: Max Stirner
36. "Mathematics is much more than a language for dealing with the physical world. It is a source of models and abstractions which will enable us to obtain amazing new insights into the way in which nature operates."
Author: Melvin Schwartz
37. "Nobody is driven by abstractions like 'seeking truth."
Author: Michael Crichton
38. "Pre-Raphaelites they called themselves; not that they imitated the early Italian masters at all, but that in their work, as opposed to the facile abstractions of Raphael, they found a stronger realism of imagination, a more careful realism of technique, a vision at once more fervent and more vivid, an individuality more intimate and more intense. For it is not enough that a work of art should conform to the aesthetic demands of its age: there must be also about it, if it is to affect us with any permanent delight, the impress of a distinct individuality, an individuality remote from that of ordinary men, and coming near to us only by virtue of a certain newness and wonder in the work, and through channels whose very strangeness makes us more ready to give them welcome."
Author: Oscar Wilde
39. "Mattia was startled to find that he still had instincts, buried beneath the dense network of thoughts and abstractions that had woven itself around him."
Author: Paolo Giordano
40. "Soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers."
Author: Peter Matthiessen
41. "Even at its most perceptive, sociology deals in abstractions."
Author: Richard Russo
42. "Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions."
Author: Robert M. Pirsig
43. "We can tell people abstract rules of thumb which we have derived from prior experiences, but it is very difficult for other people to learn from these. We have difficulty remembering such abstractions, but we can more easily remember a good story. Stories give life to past experience. Stories make the events in memory memorable to others and to ourselves. This is one of the reasons why people like to tell stories."
Author: Roger C. Shank
44. "That's what it is that you rehearse - the making of music, not the playing of notes as abstractions."
Author: Sarah Caldwell
45. "In recent years my understanding of God had evolved into increasingly remote abstractions. I'd come to think of God in terms like Divine Reality, the Absolute, or the One who holds us in being. I do believe that God is beyond any form and image, but it has grown clear to me that I need an image in order to relate. I need an image in order to carry on an intimate conversation with what is so vast, amorphous, mysterious, and holy that it becomes ungraspable. I mean, really, how to you become intimate with Divine Reality? Or the Absolute?"
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
46. "The world of physics is essentially the real world construed by mathematical abstractions, and the world of sense is the real world construed by the abstractions which the sense-organs immediately furnish. To suppose that the "material mode" is a primitive and groping attempt at physical conception is a fatal error in epistemology."
Author: Susanne K. Langer
47. "I write nothing for publication, and last of all things should it be on the subject of religion. On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarrelling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on that arena, I should only add an unit to the number of Bedlamites.[Letter to Mathew Carey, 11 November 1816]"
Author: Thomas Jefferson
48. "When we see religion split into so many thousand of sects, and I may say Christianity itself divided into its thousands also, who are disputing, anathematizing and where the laws permit burning and torturing one another for abstractions which no one of them understand, and which are indeed beyond the comprehension of the human mind, into which of the chambers of this Bedlam would a man wish to thrust himself.[Letter to George Logan, 12 November 1816]"
Author: Thomas Jefferson
49. "People rely on intelligence to solve problems, and they are naturally baffled when comprehension proves impotent to effect emotional change. To the neocortical brain, rich in the power of abstractions, understanding makes all the difference, but it doesn't count for much in the neural systems that evolved before understanding existed. Ideas bounce like so many peas off the sturdy incomprehension of the limbic and reptilian brains. The dogged implicitness of emotional knowledge, its relentless unreasoning force, prevents logic from granting salvation just as it precludes self-help books from helping. The sheer volume and variety of self-help paraphernalia testify at once to the vastness of the appetite they address and their inability to satisfy it. (118)"
Author: Thomas Lewis
50. "See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind! The pragmatist clings to facts and concreteness, observes truth at its work in particular cases, and generalises. Truth, for him, becomes a class-name for all sorts of definite working-values in experience. For the rationalist it remains a pure abstraction, to the bare name of which we must defer. When the pragmatist undertakes to show in detail just why we must defer, the rationalist is unable to recognise the concretes from which his own abstraction is taken. He accuses us of denying truth; whereas we have only sought to trace exactly why people follow it and always ought to follow it. Your typical ultra-abstractions fairly shudders at concreteness: other things equal, he positively prefers the pale and spectral. If the two universes were offered, he would always choose the skinny outline rather than the rich thicket of reality. It is so much purer, clearer, nobler."
Author: William James

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If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for."
Author: Charles H. Spurgeon

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