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On Rationality...


Being rational does not necessarily kill creativity, but it can very easily do so. This is because we are not rational, even though we think we are. Psychologists call it ‘bounded rationality’ because although we have a deep need to appear rational, the world is simply too complex for us to fully understand.

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consistency, doubt, experimenting*, experts, questions, science*, truth, understanding*


‘Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour germinates no more.’

Henri-Frédéric Amiel

‘Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.’

Marcus Aurelius

‘No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical.’

Niels Bohr

‘To deal with future we have to deal with possibilities. Analysis will only tell us what is.’

Edward de Bono

‘Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he’s been given.’

Anton Chekhov

‘Sir, we must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic.’

Winston Churchill

‘Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.’

Lord Dunsany

‘First, study the present construction. Second, ask for all past experiences …study and read everything you can on the subject.’

Thomas Alva Edison

‘Mr. Edison worked endlessly on a problem, using the method of elimination. If a person asked him if he were discouraged because so many attempts proved unavailing, he would say, “No, I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”.’

Mrs. Thomas Edison

‘Many of the things you can count, don’t count. Many of the things you can’t count, really count.’

Albert Einstein

‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.’

Albert Einstein

‘If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?’

Albert Einstein

‘Rules and models destroy genius and art.’

William Hazlitt

‘Nothing is more dangerous to reason than the flights of the imagination and nothing has been the occasion of more mistakes among philosophers.’

David Hume

Science is simply common sense at its best--that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.’

Thomas Huxley

‘A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action.’

Jawaharlal Nehru

‘There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.’

Friedrich Nietzsche

‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.’

Martin Rees

‘Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.’

James Harvey Robinson

‘Keep your eyes on the stars but keep your feet on the ground.’

Theodore Roosevelt

‘The true function of applied to matters of experience, analytic rather than constructive; taken a priori, it shows the possibility of hitherto unsuspected alternatives more often than the impossibility of alternatives which seemed prima facie possible. Thus, while it liberates imagination as to what the world may be, it refuses to legislate as to what the world is.’

Bertrand Russell

‘The conception of the necessary unit of all that is resolves itself into the poverty of the imagination, and a freer logic emancipates us from the straitwaistcoated benevolent institution, which idealism palms off as the totality of being.’

Bertrand Russell

‘Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.’

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

‘In the case of a creative mind, it seems to me, the intellect has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell and only then does it review and inspect the multitudes.’

Freidrich von Schiller

‘The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.’

George Bernard Shaw

‘So few of us really think. What we do is rearrange our prejudges.’

George Vincent

‘It is all about technique. The great mistake of this century is to put inspiration and creativity first.’

Vivienne Westwood

‘The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.’

Alfred North Whitehead

People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.’

William Butler Yeats



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