- All that is beautiful and noble is the result of reason and calculation.
The Painter of Modern Life (1863) ‘In Praise of Cosmetics’ 1821–67 French poet and critic:
- 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.
Civilization (1928) 1881–1964 English art critic:
- If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.
Jay Burns Baking Co. v. Bryan (1924) 1856–1941 American jurist: dissenting opinion in
- ‘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.’
Through the Looking-Glass (1872) ch. 4 1832–98 English writer and logician:
- when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because.
1 x 1 (1944) no. 26 (Edward Estlin Cummings) 1894–1962 American poet:
- ‘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.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘Silver Blaze’ 1859–1930 Scottish-born writer of detective fiction:
- Reasons are not like garments, the worse for wearing. 1566–1601 English soldier and courtier: letter to Lord Willoughby, 4 January 1599
- I'll not listen to reason…Reason always means what someone else has got to say.
Cranford (1853) ch. 14 1810–65 English novelist:
- A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.
c.540–c.480 bc Greek philosopher: Hippolytus Refutatio vol. 9, bk. 9, sect. 5
- Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
Science and Culture and Other Essays (1881) ‘The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species’ 1825–95 English biologist:
- Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
Science and Culture and Other Essays (1881) ‘On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata’ 1825–95 English biologist:
- After all, what was a paradox but a statement of the obvious so as to make it sound untrue?
A Spiritual Aeneid (1918) 1888–1957 English writer and Roman Catholic priest:
- You can't think rationally on an empty stomach, and a whole lot of people can't do it on a full stomach either.
Radio: The Great Years (1977) 1889–1971 British administrator and politician: D. Parker
- 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.
The Illustrated Magazine, 1952; first published in Collected Papers vol. 11 (1997) 1872–1970 British philosopher and mathematician: ‘Is There a God?’, commissioned (but not published) by
- It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into. 1667–1745 Irish poet and satirist: attributed, but not traced in Swift's works, probably apocryphal
- Logic must take care of itself.
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922) 1889–1951 Austrian-born philosopher: