Perceptual – Conceptual

“The most violent revolutions in an individual’s beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one’s own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.”

“Grant an idea or belief to be true, what concrete difference will its being true make in any one’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?”

“Life defies our phrases. It is infinitely continuous and subtle and shaded, whilst our verbal terms are discrete, rude, and few.”

The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of a conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes.”

-William James

“The lesson of history is that our firmest convictions are not to be asserted dogmatically; in fact they should be most suspect; they mark not our conquests but our limitations and our bounds”

– Morris Kline, writing in Mathematics, the Loss of Certainty


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