Sunday, February 18, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Ellen Kushner

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Our theories stand. We both see clearly; we know whatís right. Even if itís not always possible to act on it, donít you think it matters to be able to call things by their true names?
--
Part IV, Chapter V (p. 386)

 
Ellen Kushner

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One of the principal reasons that diverts those who are entering upon this knowledge so much from the true path which they should follow, is the fancy that they take at the outset that good things are inaccessible, giving them the name great, lofty, elevated, sublime. This destroys everything. I would call them low, common, familiar: these names suit it better; I hate such inflated expressions.

 
Blaise Pascal
 

Nature consists of the elements given by the senses. Primitive man first takes out of them certain complexes of these elements that present themselves with a certain stability and are most important to him. The first and oldest words are names for "things". ... The sensations are no "symbols of things". On the contrary the "thing" is a mental symbol for a sensation-complex of relative stability. Not the things, the bodies, but colours, sounds, pressures, times (what we usually call sensations) are the true elements of the world.

 
Ernst Mach
 

It is the sun that shares our works.
The moon shares nothing. It is a sea.
When shall I come to say of the sun,
It is a sea; it shares nothing;
The sun no longer shares our works
And the earth is alive with creeping men,
Mechanical beetles never quite warm?
And shall I then stand in the sun, as now
I stand in the moon, and call it good,
The immaculate, the merciful good,
Detached from us, from things as they are?
Not to be part of the sun? To stand
Remote and call it merciful?
The strings are cold on the blue guitar.

 
Wallace Stevens
 

The greatest want of the world is the want of menómen who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

 
Ellen G. White
 

The process by means of which human beings can arbitrarily make certan things stand for other things may be called the symbolic process. Whenever two or more human beings can communicate with each other, they can, by agreement, make anything stand for anything. For example, here are two symbols:
      X      Y
We can agree to let X stand for buttons and Y for bows; then we can freely change our agreement and let X stand for [...] North Korea, and Y for South Korea. We are, as human beings, uniquely free to manufacture and manipulate and assign values to our symbols as we please. Indeed, we can go further by making symbols that stand for symbols. [...] This freedom to create symbols of any assigned value and to create symbols that stand for symbols is essential to what we call the symbolic process.

 
S. I. Hayakawa
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