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date: 03 December 2023

Logic and Reason 

  1. All that is beautiful and noble is the result of reason and calculation.
    Charles Baudelaire 1821–67 French poet and critic: The Painter of Modern Life (1863) ‘In Praise of Cosmetics’
  2. Only reason can convince us of those three fundamental truths without a recognition of which there can be no effective liberty: that what we believe is not necessarily true; that what we like is not necessarily good; and that all questions are open.
    Clive Bell 1881–1964 English art critic: Civilization (1928)
  3. If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.
    Louis D. Brandeis 1856–1941 American jurist: dissenting opinion in Jay Burns Baking Co. v. Bryan (1924)
  4. ‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.’
    Lewis Carroll 1832–98 English writer and logician: Through the Looking-Glass (1872) ch. 4
  5. when man determined to destroy
    himself he picked the was
    of shall and finding only why
    smashed it into because.
    e. e. cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) 1894–1962 American poet: 1 x 1 (1944) no. 26
  6. ‘Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’
    ‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’
    ‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’
    ‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.
    Arthur Conan Doyle 1859–1930 Scottish-born writer of detective fiction: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘Silver Blaze’
  7. Reasons are not like garments, the worse for wearing.
    Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex 1566–1601 English soldier and courtier: letter to Lord Willoughby, 4 January 1599
  8. I'll not listen to reason…Reason always means what someone else has got to say.
    Elizabeth Gaskell 1810–65 English novelist: Cranford (1853) ch. 14
  9. A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.
    Heraclitus c.540–c.480 bc Greek philosopher: Hippolytus Refutatio vol. 9, bk. 9, sect. 5
  10. Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
    T. H. Huxley 1825–95 English biologist: Science and Culture and Other Essays (1881) ‘The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species’
  11. Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
    T. H. Huxley 1825–95 English biologist: Science and Culture and Other Essays (1881) ‘On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata’
  12. After all, what was a paradox but a statement of the obvious so as to make it sound untrue?
    Ronald Knox 1888–1957 English writer and Roman Catholic priest: A Spiritual Aeneid (1918)
  13. You can't think rationally on an empty stomach, and a whole lot of people can't do it on a full stomach either.
    Lord Reith 1889–1971 British administrator and politician: D. Parker Radio: The Great Years (1977)
  14. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes.But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.
    Bertrand Russell 1872–1970 British philosopher and mathematician: ‘Is There a God?’, commissioned (but not published) by The Illustrated Magazine, 1952; first published in Collected Papers vol. 11 (1997)
  15. It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.
    Jonathan Swift 1667–1745 Irish poet and satirist: attributed, but not traced in Swift's works, probably apocryphal
  16. Logic must take care of itself.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889–1951 Austrian-born philosopher: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)