Quotes About Determinism

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Quotes About Determinism

According to conceptual semantics, the meanings of words and sentences are formulas in an abstract language of thought. According to Linguistic Determinism, the language we speak is the language of thought, or at least structures it in major ways. Let me say at the outset that language surely affects thought-at the very least, if one persons words didnt affect another persons thoughts, language as a whole would be useless. The question is whether language determines thought-whether the language we speak makes it difficult or impossible to think certain thoughts, or alters the way we think in surprising or consequential ways.
— Steven Pinker —

A stubborn refusal of the conditions of 20th Century 'reality', surrealism has denied intransigently and consistently that modern man can live without a sense of wonder at the world that was once embodied in myth. In approaching literature, it has aimed at restoring to the word its magical qualities. And at giving back to language the elemental power it once had within society. This determinism lies at the heart of the surrealist attitude and distinguishes it radically from the modernism which took shape contemporaneously with it.

— Michael Richardson

For anyone inclined to caricature environmental history as 'environmental determinism,' the contrasting histories of the Dominican Republic and Haiti provide a useful antidote. Yes, environmental problems do constrain human societies, but the societies' responses also make a difference.

— Jared Diamond

, civilization is an ever-changing tacit agreement, culturally inherited, not chosen at birth. Civilization is the invention of man, my big friend. It is a means of ensuring order and structure; it is man's attempt to expunge all and every act of randomness from daily life. The ultimate goal of civilization is determinism, the complete absence of freewill. If everyone adhered to every rule, every demand, every decree of civilization, there would be no accidents, no arguments, no crime! Man would move through his life smoothly, like a well-oiled cog in a grandfather clock.

— Peter Jelen

The world changed from having the determinism of a clock to having the contingency of a pinball machine.

— Heinz R. Pagels

And now having a child has been taken out of the sphere of biological determinism and placed instead in the domain of intentional action. Another option to consider and decide upon. And ... not to choose is to choose.

— Rebecca Goldstein

The more we know about our universe, the more difficult it becomes to believe in determinism.

— Ilya Prigogine

Our characteristic response to the mutilated statue, the bronze dug up from the earth, is revealing. It is not that we prefer time-worn bas-reliefs, or rusted statuettes as such, nor is it the vestiges of death that grip us in them, but those of life. Mutilation is the scar left by the struggle with Time, and a reminder of it - Time which is as much a part of ancient works of art as the material they are made of, and thrusts up through the fissures, from a dark underworld, where all is at once chaos and determinism.

— Andre Malraux

It is ironic that a movement that made its reputation championing the irrelevance of biological differences when those differences were to most women's disadvantage immediately returned to biological determinism when those differences were to the most women's advantage.

— Warren Farrell

Science is unflinchingly deterministic, and it has begun to force its determinism into morals. On some shining tomorrow a psychoanalyst may be put into the box to prove that perjury is simply a compulsion neurosis, like beating time with the foot at a concert or counting the lampposts along the highway.

— H.L. Mencken

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