Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer . . . For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits.
Willard Van Orman Quine
Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer... For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits.
Willard Van Orman Quine
As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries-not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.
Willard Van Orman Quine
What we call creation science makes no reference to the Bible. It says there are two possible explanations for the origin of the universe and living things: theistic, supernatural creation by an intelligent being, or nontheistic, mechanistic evolutionary theory that posits no goal and no purpose in the evolutionary process. We just happen to be here.
I was raised thinking that moral and ethical standards are universals that apply equally to everyone. And these values aren't easily compatible with the kind of religion that posits a Creator. To my way of thinking, an omnipotent being who sets up a universe in which thinking beings proliferate, grow old, and die (usually in agony, alone, and in fear) is a cosmic sadist.
The constitution of madness as a mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, affords the evidence of a broken dialogue, posits the separation as already effected, and thrusts into oblivion all those stammered, imperfect words without fixed syntax in which the exchange between madness and reason was made. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue of reason about madness, has been established only on the basis of such a silence.
Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power argues that if corporations have 'person hood' under the law, then it makes sense to question what kind of people they are. He posits that corporations behave with all the classical signs of sociopathy: they are inherently amoral, they elevate their own interests above all others', and they disregard moral and sometimes legal limits on their behavior in pursuit of their own advancement. Organizations of this type would thrive under the leadership of people who have the same traits: sociopaths.
Eudora Welty singles out for praise Austen's "habit of seeing both sides of her own subject - of seeing it indeed in the round"... Both men and women can be vain about their appearances, selfish about money, overawed by rank, and limited by parochialism; both men and women can function capably, think profoundly, feel deeply, create imaginatively, laugh wittily, and love faithfully. Without vindicating the rights of anyone directly, Austen posits a humanism far ahead of her time. "How really modern she is, after all, " Welty concludes of Austen.
... In contrast to the "banality of evil," which posits that ordinary people can be responsible for the most despicable acts of cruelty and degradation of their fellows, I posit the "banality of heroism," which unfurls the banner of the heroic Everyman and Everywoman who heed the call to service to humanity when their time comes to act. When that bell rings, they will know that it rings for them. It sounds a call to uphold what is best in human nature that rises above the powerful pressures of Situation and System as the profound assertion of human dignity opposing evil.
Where the good begins.- Where the poor power of the eye can no longer see the evil impulse as such because it has become too subtle, man posits the realm of goodness; and the feeling that we have now entered the realm of goodness excites all those impulses which had been threatened and limited by the evil impulses, like the feeling of security, of comfort, of benevolence. Hence, the duller the eye, the more extensive the good. Hence the eternal cheerfulness of the common people and of children. Hence the gloominess and grief - akin to a bad conscience - of the great thinkers.
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. It is not about the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness, the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on all of us. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope's power. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.
The demand to be intimate or honest with a public can be invasive when the experiences of racial others are commodified as stories or objects that might be traded as evidence of intimacy, as proof of 'being good, ' for nonracial others. In this way, intimacy might act as surveillance, through which some people-women of color, for instance-must reveal themselves to bear the burden of representation ('You are here as an example') and the weight of pedagogy ('Teach us about your people'). Intimacy can be a force-especially when others set its terms and conditions. So what if you don't love the (white) girls who exhaust you, who want too much from you, who want to turn you into a commodity or a badge or an experience to share? What if you become a girl in opposition to other girls? This is also the problem with definitions of racism as ignorance, and ignorance as the absence of intimacy-which posits that intimacy is the solution to ignorance. This gives us terrible, stupid disavowals like 'I'm not racist, I have black friends, ' as if intimacy is a shield that protects the wearer from harm. It limits our sense of what racism is to the scale of the interpersonal, when it is in fact this enormous constellation of forces and moving parts that structures our institutions-and so-called institutions-profoundly.
Mimi Thi Nguyen
The biblical account of the origin of the cosmos in Genesis, for example, posits that a god created the physical universe particularly with human beings in mind, and so unsurprisingly placed the Earth at the center of creation. Modern cosmological knowledge has refuted such an account. We are living in the golden age of cosmology: More has been discovered about the large-scale structure and history of the visible cosmos in the last 20 years than in the whole of prior human history. We now have precise knowledge of the distribution of galaxies and know that ours is nowhere near the center of the universe, just as we know that our planetary system has no privileged place among the billions of such systems in our galaxy and that Earth is not even at the center of our planetary system. We also know that the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, whereas Earth didn't even exist until about 10 billion years later. No one looking at the vast extent of the universe and the completely random location of homo sapiens within it (in both space and time) could seriously maintain that the whole thing was intentionally created for us. This realization began with Galileo, and has only intensified ever since.