8. Conditions of Dialogue The functional is what is practical. The only practical thing is the resolution of our fundamental problem: the realization of ourselves (our uncoupling from the system of isolation). This is useful and utilitarian. Nothing else. All the rest represents only trivial derivations of the practical, and its mystification.
we begin to understand marriage as the insistently practical union that it is. We begin to understand it, that is, as it is represented in the traditional marriage ceremony, those vows being only a more circumstantial and practical way of saying what the popular songs say dreamily and easily: "I will love you forever"-a statement that, in this world, inescapably leads to practical requirements and consequences because it proposes survival as a goal. Indeed, marriage is a union much more than practical, for it looks both to our survival as a species and to the survival of our definition as human beings-that is, as creatures who make promises and keep them, who care devotedly and faithfully for one another, who care properly for the gifts of life in this world.
Phronimos, possessing practical wisdom . But the only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom; all the others must be possessed, so it seems, both by rulers and ruled. The virtue of a person being ruled is not practical wisdom but correct opinion; he is rather like a person who makes the pipes, while the ruler is the one who can play them.
Not many appreciate the ultimate power and potential usefulness of basic knowledge accumulated by obscure, unseen investigators who, in a lifetime of intensive study, may never see any practical use for their findings but who go on seeking answers to the unknown without thought of financial or practical gain.
In any case, do you really think kids even want something that is relevant to their daily lives? You think something practical like compound interest is going to get them excited? People enjoy fantasy, and that is just what mathematics can provide - a relief from daily life, an anodyne to the practical workaday world.
Because the true perfection of a practical occupation consists not only in knowing the actual performance of the occupation but also in its explanation, why the work is done a in a particular way, and because the art of calculating is a practical occupation, it is clear that it is pertinent to concern oneself with the theory.
We ministers have undoubtedly failed to connect and apply Christianity to the practical everyday problems of the average man. In this, we have failed to follow in Christ's footsteps. For the religion which He taught and revealed in His own life and ministry was an intensely practical and down-to-earth affair.
Modern economics is sick. Economics has increasingly become an intellectual game played for its own sake and not for its practical consequences for understanding the economic world. Economists have converted the subject into a sort of social mathematics in which analytical rigour is everything and practical relevance is nothing.
Long intervals frequently elapse between the discovery of new principles in science and their practical application... Those intellectual qualifications, which give birth to new principles or to new methods, are of quite a different order from those which are necessary for their practical application.
In spiritual growth, it is important to avoid imbalances between academic or intellectual learning and practical implementation. Otherwise there is a danger that too much intellectualiza tion will kill the more contemplative practices and too much emphasis on practical implementation without study will kill the understanding. There has got to be a balance.
This is the perpetual and pitiful tragedy of the practical man in practical affairs. He always begins with a flourish of contempt for what he calls theorizing and what people who can do it call thinking. He will not wait for logic-that is, in the most exact sense, he will not listen to reason. It will therefore appear to him an idle and ineffectual proceeding to say that there is a reason for his present failure. Nevertheless, it may be well to say it, and to try and make it clear even to him.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
The practical man demands an appearance of reality at least. Always dealing in the concrete, he regards mathematical terms not as symbols or thought but as images of reality. A system acceptable to the mathematician because of its inner consistency may appear to the practical man to be full of contradictions because of the incomplete manner in which it represents reality.
The well adjusted make poor prophets. A pleasant existence blinds us to the possibilities of drastic change. We cling to what we call our common sense, our practical point of view. Actually, these are names for an all-absorbing familiarity with things as they are. . . . Thus it happens that when the times become unhinged, it is the practical people who are caught unaware . . . still clinging to things that no longer exist.
a practical problem can only be solved by action itself. When your practical problem is how to earn a living, a book on how to make friends and influence people cannot solve it, though it may suggest things to do. Nothing short of the doing solves the problem. It is solved only by earning a living.
Mortimer J. Adler
The scientist is a practical man and his are practical (i.e., practically attainable) aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the whole. The scientist builds slowly and with a gross but solid kind of masonry. If dissatisfied with any of his work, even if it be near the very foundations, he can replace that part without damage to the remainder.
Gilbert N. Lewis
The particular skill that allows you to talk your way out of a murder rap, or convince your professor to move you from the morning to the afternoon section, is what the psychologist Robert Sternberg calls "practical intelligence." To Sternberg, practical intelligence includes things like "knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for for maximum effect.
What earthly good is golf? Life is stern and life is earnest. We live in a practical age. All around us we see foreign competition making itself unpleasant. And we spend our time playing golf? What do we get out of it? Is golf any use? That's what I'm asking you. Can you name me a single case where devotion to this pestilential pastime has done a man any practical good?
P. G. Wodehouse
As Peter Berger has noted, the strategy of apologizing for Christian faith by trying to demonstrate its social utility is always eventually self-liquidating. Sooner of later people realize that a great many of the supposedly practical and secular benefits of the Christian religion can be had more easily without religion... The logic of practical atheism may well be more deeply ingrained in the evangelical tradition than conservatives perhaps have realized.
Craig M. Gay
Repentance is a realization that what God wants from you and what you want from God are not going to be achieved by doing the same old things, thinking the same old thoughts. Repentance is a decision to follow Jesus Christ and become his pilgrim in the path of peace. Repentance is the most practical of all words and the most practical of all acts. It is a feet-on-the-ground-kind-of-word. It puts a person in touch with the reality that God creates.
Eugene H. Peterson
Juggling produces both practical and psychological benefits.... A woman's involvement in one role can enhance her functioning in another. Being a wife can make it easier to work outside the home. Being a mother can facilitate the activities and foster the skills of the efficient wife or of the effective worker. And employment outside the home can contribute in substantial, practical ways to how one works within the home, as a spouse and as a parent.
Faye J Crosby
Oersted would never have made his great discovery of the action of galvanic currents on magnets had he stopped in his researches to consider in what manner they could possibly be turned to practical account; and so we would not now be able to boast of the wonders done by the electric telegraphs. Indeed, no great law in Natural Philosophy has ever been discovered for its practical implications, but the instances are innumerable of investigations apparently quite useless in this narrow sense of the word which have led to the most valuable results.
The hybridoma technology was a by-product of basic research. Its success in practical applications is to a large extent the result of unexpected and unpredictable properties of the method. It thus represents another clear-cut example of the enormous practical impact of an investment in research which might not have been considered commercially worthwhile, or of immediate medical relevance. It resulted from esoteric speculations, for curiosity's sake, only motivated by a desire to understand nature.
For three decades and longer we have been developing the ideas, science, and technological wherewithal to build a sustainable society. The public knows of these things only in fragments, but not as a coherent and practical agenda indeed the only practical course available. That is our fault and we should start now to put a positive agenda before the public that includes the human and economic advantages of better technology, integrated planning, coherent purposes, and foresight.
David W. Orr
Dr. Watson's summary list of Sherlock Holmes's strengths and weaknesses: "1. Knowledge of Literature: Nil. 2. Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil. 3. Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil. 4. Knowledge of Politics: Feeble. 5. Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening. 6. Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them. 7. Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound. 8. Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic. 9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century. 10. Plays the violin well. 11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman. 12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
Arthur Conan Doyle
What struck me most in England was the perception that only those works which have a practical tendency awake attention and command respect, while the purely scientific, which possess far greater merit are almost unknown. And yet the latter are the proper source from which the others flow. Practice alone can never lead to the discovery of a truth or a principle. In Germany it is quite the contrary. Here in the eyes of scientific men no value, or at least but a trifling one, is placed upon the practical results. The enrichment of science is alone considered worthy attention.
Justus von Liebig
Democracy is extremely complex; it is extremely concrete. It's about constantly choosing, finding, developing practical options within the common good. Constantly searching for how to express in a practical way the common good, not in some grand way, some grand and absolute way, but in a very comfortable way.
John Ralston Saul
Abstract reason, formerly the servant of practical human reasons, has everywhere become its master, and denies poetry any excuse for existence. Though philosophers like to define poetry as irrational fancy, for us it is practical, humorous, reasonable way of being ourselves. Of never acquiescing in a fraud; of never accepting the secondary-rate in poetry, painting, music, love, friends. Of safeguarding our poetic institutions against the encroachments of mechanized, insensate, inhumane, abstract rationality.
It has long been my personal view that the separation of practical and theoretical work is artificial and injurious. Much of the practical work done in computing, both in software and in hardware design, is unsound and clumsy because the people who do it have not any clear understanding of the fundamental design principles of their work. Most of the abstract mathematical and theoretical work is sterile because it has no point of contact with real computing.
The intellectual part of religion is a private affair between every man and his Maker, and in which no third party has any right to interfere. The practical part consists in our doing good to each other. But since religion has been made into a trade, the practical part has been made to consist of ceremonies performed by men called priests ... By devices of this kind true religion has been banished, and such means have been found out to extract money, even from the pockets of the poor, instead of contributing to their relief.
To prove to an indignant questioner on the spur of the moment that the work I do was useful seemed a thankless task and I gave it up. I turned to him with a smile and finished, 'To tell you the truth we don't do it because it is useful but because it's amusing.' The answer was thought of and given in a moment: it came from deep down in my mind, and the results were as admirable from my point of view as unexpected. My audience was clearly on my side. Prolonged and hearty applause greeted my confession. My questioner retired shaking his head over my wickedness and the newspapers next day, with obvious approval, came out with headlines 'Scientist Does It Because It's Amusing!' And if that is not the best reason why a scientist should do his work, I want to know what is. Would it be any good to ask a mother what practical use her baby is? That, as I say, was the first evening I ever spent in the United States and from that moment I felt at home. I realised that all talk about science purely for its practical and wealth-producing results is as idle in this country as in England. Practical results will follow right enough. No real knowledge is sterile. The most useless investigation may prove to have the most startling practical importance: Wireless telegraphy might not yet have come if Clerk Maxwell had been drawn away from his obviously 'useless' equations to do something of more practical importance. Large branches of chemistry would have remained obscure had Willard Gibbs not spent his time at mathematical calculations which only about two men of his generation could understand. With this trust in the ultimate usefulness of all real knowledge a man may proceed to devote himself to a study of first causes without apology, and without hope of immediate return.
In the end, what I love most about contemporary yoga is its ability to synthesize the everyday with the extraordinary, the practical with the visionary, the mundane with the sacred. I love that yoga can work to release my tense muscles, negative emotions, and psychic detritus at the same time. That it can connect me to my body in ways that create new neural pathways in my brain. That it offers a practical tool for coping with everyday stress, as well as an intuitive opening to the hidden magic of everyday life.
It seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty, the alteration or the lack of which, is of the utmost importance for practical life. This faculty is judgment, otherwise called good sense, practical sense, initiative, the faculty of adapting one's self to circumstances. A person may be a moron or an imbecile if he is lacking in judgment; but with good judgment he can never be either. Indeed the rest of the intellectual faculties seem of little importance in comparison with judgment
It must be for truth's sake, and not for the sake of its usefulness to humanity, that the scientific man studies Nature. The application of science to the useful arts requires other abilities, other qualities, other tools than his; and therefore I say that the man of science who follows his studies into their practical application is false to his calling. The practical man stands ever ready to take up the work where the scientific man leaves it, and adapt it to the material wants and uses of daily life.
When the business man rebukes the idealism of his office-boy, it is commonly in some such speech as this: "Ah, yes, when one is young, one has these ideals in the abstract and these castles in the air; but in middle age they all break up like clouds, and one comes down to a belief in practical politics, to using the machinery one has and getting on with the world as it is." Thus, at least, venerable and philanthropic old men now in their honoured graves used to talk to me when I was a boy.But since then I have grown up and have discovered that these philanthropic old men were telling lies. What has really happened is exactly the opposite of what they said would happen. They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics. I am still as much concerned as ever about the Battle of Armageddon; but I am not so much concerned about the General Election. As a babe I leapt up on my mother's knee at the mere mention of it. No; the vision is always solid and reliable. The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud. As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.
The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.
Leonard E. Read
It is a mistake to think of these men as visionary dreamers, playing around at Philadelphia with abstract conceptions of political theory, pulling a whole scheme of government out of the air like a rabbit out of a hat. True, many of them had read and studied enough about the science of politics to put the average statesman of today to shame. But political science was to them an extremely practical topic of discussion, dealing with the extremely practical business of running a government--not, as today, a branch of higher learning reserved for the use of graduate students.
It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future - the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready. But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division... Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance, " based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.
Solving problems is a practical skill like, let us say, swimming. We acquire any practical skill by imitation and practice. Trying to swim, you imitate what other people do with their hands and feet to keep their heads above water, and, finally, you learn to swim by practicing swimming. Trying to solve problems, you have to observe and to imitate what other people do when solving problems, and, finally, you learn to do problems by doing them.
Medicine is the science by which we learn the various states of the human body in health and when not in health, and the means by which health is likely to be lost and, when lost, is likely to be restored back to health. In other words, it is the art whereby health is conserved and the art whereby it is restored after being lost. While some divide medicine into a theoretical and a practical [applied] science, others may assume that it is only theoretical because they see it as a pure science. But, in truth, every science has both a theoretical and a practical side.
As I see it the world is undoubtedly in need of a new religion, and that religion must be founded on humanist principles. When I say religion, I do not mean merely a theology involving belief in a supernatural god or gods; nor do I mean merely a system of ethics, however exalted; nor only scientific knowledge, however extensive; nor just a practical social morality, however admirable or efficient. I mean an organized system of ideas and emotions which relate man to his destiny, beyond and above the practical affairs of every day, transcending the present and the existing systems of law and social structure. The prerequisite today is that any such religion shall appeal potentially to all mankind; and that its intellectual and rational sides shall not be incompatible with scientific knowledge but on the contrary based on it.
Therefore it is to a practical mysticism that the practical man is here invited: to a training of his latent faculties, a bracing and brightening of his languid consciousness, an emancipation from the fetters of appearance, a turning of his attention to new levels of the world. Thus he may become aware of the universe which the spiritual artist is always trying to disclose to the race. This amount of mystical perception-this 'ordinary contemplation, ' as the specialists call it-is possible to all men: without it, they are not wholly conscious, nor wholly alive. It is a natural human activity, no more involving the great powers and sublime experiences of the mystical saints and philosophers than the ordinary enjoyment of music involves the special creative powers of the great musician.