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by Isaac Asimov

Foundation Philosophy (Science) Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

A. It is a prediction which is made by mathematics. I pass no moral judgment. Personally, I regret the prospect. (I.6.75)

Science requires Seldon provide people the facts without emotional attachment. It's the only way they can make rational decisions with that information. Then again, it's really hard to be rational when the facts detail the end of civilization—and people get a little suspicious of the all-logic approach.

Quote #2

There was a pause and Pirenne tried again. "This whole discussion is wide of the point. Terminus is not a planet, but a scientific foundation preparing a great encyclopedia. Space, man, have you no respect for science?"

"Encyclopedias don't win wars." (II.2.74-75)

Science requires us to verify facts so we can make rational decisions. An encyclopedia helps by being loaded with, you know, facts. And guess what? Maybe that encyclopedia will keep you from needing to fight in the first place.

Quote #3

"What kind of science is it to be stuck out here for centuries classifying the work of scientists of the last millennium? Have you ever thought of working onward, extending their knowledge and improving upon it?" (II.3.37)

The Encyclopedists think facts are something to collect, like action figures, stamps, or caricatures of celebrities eating hot dogs (just us?). Hardin, however, knows facts are meant to help people make decisions to improve science, economics, and civilization in general. Use 'em or lose 'em, we guess.

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