// by Arthur Eddington | Philosophy Department at St. Anselm College //

If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

To a request to explain what an electron is really supposed to be we can only answer, 'It is part of the A B C of physics.'

The portions of the external universe of which we have additional knowledge by direct awareness amount to a very small fraction of the whole; of the rest we know only the structure and not what it is a structure of. Science is concerned with the rational correlation of experience rather than a discovery of fragments of absolute truth about an external world.

Untaught by long experience we stretch a hand to grasp the shadow, instead of accepting its shadowy nature.

Science is one thing, wisdom is another. Science is an edged tool, with which men play like children, and cut their own fingers.

Perhaps, indeed, reality is a child which cannot survive without its nurse illusion.

We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about 'and'.

In any attempt to bridge the domains of experience belonging to the spiritual and the physical sides of our nature, time occupies the key position.

We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong.

He who doubts the reality of the four-dimensional world (for logical, as distinct from experimental, reasons) can only be compared to a man who doubts the reality of the penny, and prefers to regard one of its innumerable appearances as the real object.