Top Contingency Quotes

Browse top 30 famous quotes and sayings about Contingency by most favorite authors.

Favorite Contingency Quotes

1. "Christianity grasped perfectly that there is an element in the apparent contingency of love that can't be reduced to that contingency. But it immediately raised it to the level of transcendence, and that is the root of the problem. This universal element I too recognize in love as immanent. But Christianity has somehow managed to elevate it and refocus it onto a transcendent power. It's an ideal that was already partly present in Plato, through the idea of the Good. It is a brilliant first manipulation of the power of love and one we must now bring back to earth. I mean we must demonstrate that love really does have universal power, but that it is simply the opportunity we are given to enjoy a positive, creative, affirmative experience of difference. The Other, no doubt, but without the "Almighty-Other", without the "Great Other" of transcendence."
Author: Alain Badiou
2. "The vanity of existence is revealed in the whole form existence assumes: in the infiniteness of time and space contrasted with the finiteness of the individual in both; in the fleeting present as the sole form in which actuality exists; in the contingency and relativity of all things; in continual becoming without being; in continual desire without satisfaction; in the continual frustration of striving of which life consists. . . Time is that by virtue of which everything becomes nothingness in our hands and loses all real value."
Author: Arthur Schopenhauer
3. "You make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disorder, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, alldisorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought,history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passionsand systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something outof it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth.There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeralaction, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency andcontradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust,stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses. what can you do about it, my poor friend?"
Author: Blaise Cendrars
4. "Some women, it seemed, were entirely without guile and bestowed their affections with hardly a moment's conscious thought. Others set out to implement a campaign of military thoroughness, with branched contingency trees and fallback positions, all to 'catch' a desirable man. The word 'desirable' was the giveaway, she thought. The poor jerk wasn't actually desired, only 'desirable' - a plausible object of desire in the opinion of those others on whose account this whole sorry charade was performed. Most women, she thought, were somewhere in the middle, seeking to reconcile their passions with their perceived long-term advantage."
Author: Carl Sagan
5. "So-called real life has only once interfered with me, and it had been a far cry from what the words, lines, books had prepared me for. Fate had to do with blind seers, oracles, choruses announcing death, not with panting next to the refrigerator, fumbling with condoms, waiting in a Honda parked round the corner and surreptitious encounters in a Lisbon hotel. Only the written word exists, everything one must do oneself is without form, subject to contingency without rhyme or reason. It takes too long. And if it ends badly the metre isn't right, and there's no way to cross things out."
Author: Cees Nooteboom
6. "For if indeed God became a man, then Truth condescended to became a truth, from whose historical contingency one cannot simply pass to categories of universal rationality; and this means that whatever Christians mean when they speak of truth, it cannot involve simply the dialectical wrestling of abstract principles from intractable facts. (5)"
Author: David Bentley Hart
7. ". . . [Nietzsche] had the good manners to despise Christianity, in large part, for what it actually was--above all, for its devotion to an ethics of compassion--rather than allow himself the soothing, self-righteous fantasy that Christianity's history had been nothing but an interminable pageant of violence, tyranny, and sexual neurosis. He may have hated many Christians for their hypocrisy, but he hated Christianity itself principally on account of its enfeebling solicitude for the weak, the outcast, the infirm, and the diseased; and, because he was conscious of the historical contingency of all cultural values, he never deluded himself that humanity could do away with Christian faith while simply retaining Christian morality in some diluted form, such as liberal social conscience or innate human sympathy."
Author: David Bentley Hart
8. "God, however, is first glimpsed within nature's still greater powerlessness—its transitoriness and contingency and explanatory poverty."
Author: David Bentley Hart
9. "Fiction, with its preference for what is small and might elsewhere seem irrelevant; its facility for smuggling us into another skin and allowing us to live a new life there; its painstaking devotion to what without it might go unnoticed and unseen; its respect for contingency, and the unlikely and odd; its willingness to expose itself to moments of low, almost animal being and make them nobly illuminating, can deliver truths we might not otherwise stumble on."
Author: David Malouf
10. "I knew it to be very doubtful whether the Cabinet, Parliament, and the country would take this view on the outbreak of war, and through the whole of this week I had in view the probable contingency that we should not decide at the critical moment to support France."
Author: Edward Grey
11. "And even, if circumstances required, a contingency plan for his contingency plan's contingency plan."
Author: Frank Beddor
12. "When you see John Boehner crying, believe you me, it's because he cannot control, uh, that wild contingency called the Tea Party."
Author: Gwen Moore
13. "You can get far in North America with laconic grunts. "Huh," "hun," and "hi!" in their various modulations, together with "sure," "guess so," "that so?" and "nuts!" will meet almost any contingency."
Author: Ian Fleming
14. "Trains induce such terrible anxiety. They image the possibility of total and irrevocable failure. They are also dirty, rackety, packed with strangers, an object lesson in the foul contingency of life: the talkative fellow-traveller, the possibility of children."
Author: Iris Murdoch
15. "A writer's work has to take account of many rhythms: Vulcan's and Mercury's, a message of urgency obtained by dint of patient and meticulous adjustments and an intuition so instantaneous that, when formulated, it acquires the finality of something that could never have been otherwise. But it is also the rhythm of time that passes with no other aim than to let feelings and thoughts settle down, mature, and shed all impatience or ephemeral contingency."
Author: Italo Calvino
16. "He is always becoming, and if it were not for the contingency of death, he would never end."
Author: Jean Paul Sartre
17. "There is certainly a strong game development community in Texas, centered around Austin, with a significant additional contingency coming over from Dallas."
Author: Jennifer Pahlka
18. "The new goddess contingency could not be erected until the God of heaven was utterly despoiled of his dominion over the sons of men, and in the room thereof a home-bred idol of self-sufficiency set up, and the world persuaded to worship it. But that the building climb no higher, let all men observe how the word of God overthrows this babylonian tower."
Author: John Owen
19. "Chance doesn't mean meaningless randomness, but historical contingency. This happens rather than that, and that's the way that novelty, new things, come about."
Author: John Polkinghorne
20. "An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become."
Author: John Randall
21. "On Love and Happiness:When someone embarks on his research, if he ever makes it, (there is, in addition, a contingency that he/she will never embark on it), then he sails on a journey, a course that incubates various events.It's like opening a precious gift that hides myriads of secrets. Nobody acknowledges its content unless he attempts to inspect it.Happiness is not always dominated by heavenly chances, blue and green seashores of euphoria and pink clouds of serenity. Happiness does not dwell in luxurious mansions and expensive cars neither in glamorous appearances.Many times Unhappiness and loneliness lurk behind the ledges of luxury and surface brightness.There are so many examples around us, in newspapers, magazines, television and radio of people who are plunged in uncertainty, grief and insecurity.I wonder why this is."
Author: Katerina Kostaki
22. "Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying motherhood lacks meaning. There's great dignity in the smallness of motherhood; we're essential in our contingency. And though we may not follow the Western model of the epic hero, we mothers can find a metaphor for our lives. The metaphor is in the kuroko, the Kabuki theater stage assistant. You've heard of Kabuki—with its wildly theatrical actors, its gorgeous costumes, and spectacular scale. The kuroko are assistants who help the actors move through their elaborate dramas. Meant to provide unobtrusive assistance with props and costumes, kuroko try to remain in the wings. They huddle in half-kneeling posture, wearing black bags over their heads and bodies—the better to recede into both actors' and audience's preconscious mind. Scurrying to arrange the trailing hems of heavy brocade kimonos, like an American mother repeatedly straightening her daughter's wedding train, the kuroko's role is to suport the real players of life's dramas."
Author: Lydia Minatoya
23. "But [in bureaucracies], too, decision making takes place in a world full of unceratinties. Any actual system of information processing, planning and control will never be optimal but merely practical, applying rote responses to recurrent problems and employing a variety of contingency tactics to deal with unforeseen events."
Author: Manuel De Landa
24. "[W]hat counts as ‘realistic', what seems possible at any point in the social field, is defined by a series of political determinations. An ideological position can never be really successful until it is naturalized, and it cannot be naturalized while it is still thought of as a value rather than a fact. Accordingly, neoliberalism has sought to eliminate the very category of value in the ethical sense. Over the past thirty years, capitalist realism has successfully installed a ‘business ontology' in which it is simply obvious that everything in society, including healthcare and education, should be run as a business. … [E]mancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order', must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency, just as it must make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable."
Author: Mark Fisher
25. "The skin is a variety of contingency: in it, through it, with it, the world and my body touch each other, the feeling and the felt, it defines their common edge. Contingency means common tangency: in it the world and the body intersect and caress each other. I do not wish to call the place in which I live a medium, I prefer to say that things mingle with each other and that I am no exception to that. I mix with the world which mixes with me. Skin intervenes between several things in the world and makes them mingle."
Author: Michel Serres
26. "Sometimes life can be unexpected. Sometimes things surprise you and all you can do is roll with the punches or let them beat you to a bloody pulp. -Sage Hannigan, Contingency"
Author: P.S. Martinez
27. "This ordinarily even-tempered man struck furiously at his heart likesome fanatic at prayer, and, assailed by remorse not just for this mistake but for all hismistakes, all the ineradicable, stupid, inescapable mistakes — swept away by the miseryof his limitations yet acting as if life's every incomprehensible contingency were of hismaking"
Author: Philip Roth
28. "Luck enters into every contingency. You are a fool if you forget it -- and a greater fool if you count upon it."
Author: Phyllis Bottome
29. "Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do."
Author: Randy Pausch
30. "Reclaimed by the small-time day-to-day, pretending life is Back To Normal, wrapping herself shivering against contingency's winter in some threadbare blanket of first-quarter expenses, school committees, cable-bill irregularities, a workday jittering with low-life fantasies for which "fraud" is often too elegant a term, upstairs neighbors to whom bathtub caulking is an alien concept, symptoms upper-respiratory and lower-intestinal, all in the quaint belief that change will always be gradual enough to manage, with insurance, with safety equipment, with healthy diets and regular exercise, and that evil never comes roaring out of the sky to explode into anybody's towering delusions about being exempt. . ."
Author: Thomas Pynchon

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I saw a drummer play once when I was a kid and I thought, that's really cool. You know, you're moving. You're using your arms and fingers. So I tried it and I loved it."
Author: Bill Kreutzmann

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