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Finite   /fˈaɪnˌaɪt/   Listen
Finite

adjective
1.
Bounded or limited in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent.
2.
Of verbs; relating to forms of the verb that are limited in time by a tense and (usually) show agreement with number and person.



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"Finite" Quotes from Famous Books



... direct it, and power within some certain determined sphere of action to exert it: but goodness must be the simple actuating principle within him; this being the moral quality which is amiable, or the immediate object of love as distinct from other affections of approbation. Here then is a finite object for our mind to tend towards, to exercise itself upon: a creature, perfect according to his capacity, fixed, steady, equally unmoved by weak pity or more weak fury and resentment; forming the justest scheme of conduct; going on undisturbed in the execution of it, through ...
— Human Nature - and Other Sermons • Joseph Butler

... things, has many of the attributes of Deity. It is omnipresent and all-powerful. Neither time nor space has dominion over it. It is the one immutable and immeasurable thing in the universe. From it all things arise and to it they return. It is everywhere and nowhere. It has none of the finite properties of matter—neither parts, form, nor dimension; neither density nor tenuity; it cannot be compressed nor expanded nor moved; it has no inertia nor mass, and offers no resistance; it is subject to ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... human conduct. Naught can be ruled out as negligible, as not forming part of the equation. Hence he who would beyond all others see life for himself—I naturally mean the novelist and playwright—ought to embrace all phenomena in his curiosity. Being finite, he cannot. Of course he cannot! But he can, by obtaining a broad notion of the whole, determine with some accuracy the position and relative importance of the particular series of phenomena to which his instinct ...
— The Author's Craft • Arnold Bennett

... this, gentlemen, that we five- sensed people have failed to grasp the true meaning of the word 'Infinity.' We look out toward the stars, fancying that only in unlimited space can we find the infinite. We little suspect we ourselves are infinity! It is only our five senses that make us finite. ...
— The Blind Spot • Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint

... genius, on the other hand, has more of the character of the eternal subject that knows, than of the finite subject that wills; his knowledge is not quite engrossed and captivated by his will, but passes beyond it; he is the son, not of the bondwoman, but of the free. It is not only a moral but also a theoretical ...
— The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; The Art of Controversy • Arthur Schopenhauer

... branches, he gave me a list of the requisite books, which were in French, and consisted of Francoeur's pure "Mathematics," and his "Elements of Mechanics," La Croix's "Algebra," and his large work on the "Differential and Integral Calculus," together with his work on "Finite Differences and Series," Biot's "Analytical Geometry and Astronomy," Poisson's "Treatise on Mechanics," La Grange's "Theory of Analytical Functions," Euler's "Algebra," Euler's "Isoperimetrical Problems" (in Latin), Clairault's "Figure of the Earth," Monge's "Application of Analysis to Geometry," ...
— Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville • Mary Somerville

... diverse is generated the Universe. Hence the progression from ascent to descent, from spirit to that which we call matter; from the cause to the origin, and the process of metaphysics, which, from the finite world of sense rises to the intelligent, passing through the intermediate numbers of infinite substance to active being ...
— The Heroic Enthusiasts,(1 of 2) (Gli Eroici Furori) - An Ethical Poem • Giordano Bruno

... known properties, but properties yet undiscovered, it is not optional but imperative to recognize this difference as the foundation of a specific distinction; while, on the contrary, differences that are merely finite and determinate, like those designated by the words white, black, or red, may be disregarded if the purpose for which the classification is made does not require attention to those particular properties. The differences, however, are made by nature, in both cases; while the recognition of those ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... the retina should remain unaltered. Such a central anaesthesia would just as well account for the phenomena which have been enumerated. The three luminous images could be supposed to remain unmodified for a finite interval as positive after-images, and as such first to appear in consciousness. Inasmuch as 'the arc of eye movements was 4.7 deg.' only, the time would be too brief to make possible any reliable judgment as to whether the three holes were seen during or just after the eye-movement. With this point ...
— Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 • Various

... describe, when judged from its lapses than from its constancy. When the infidel admits God is great, he means only: "I am lazy—it is easier to talk than live." Ruskin also says: "Suppose I like the finite curves best, who shall say I'm right or wrong? No one. It is simply a question of experience." You may not be able to experience a symphony, even after twenty performances. Initial coherence today may be dullness tomorrow probably because formal or outward unity depends so much on repetition, ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... of certain and definite properties to be differences in the accidents of things. In conformity with this distinction—and it is a true one—any class, e.g. negro as opposed to white man, may, according as physiology shall show the differences to be infinite or finite, be discovered to be a distinct kind or species (though not according to the naturalist's construction of species, as including all descended from the same stock), or merely a subdivision of the kind ...
— Analysis of Mr. Mill's System of Logic • William Stebbing

... makes Eucken's positive idealism specially valuable is his application of it to religion. Religion has been in all ages the mighty uplifting power in human life. It stands for a negation of the finite and fleeting, and an affirmation of the spiritual and the eternal. This is specially true of the Christian religion. Christianity is the supreme type of religion because it best answers the question, 'What can religion do for life?' ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... "But (for we far have wander'd) let us seek The forward path again; so as the way Be shorten'd with the time. No mortal tongue Nor thought of man hath ever reach'd so far, That of these natures he might count the tribes. What Daniel of their thousands hath reveal'd With finite number infinite conceals. The fountain at whose source these drink their beams, With light supplies them in as many modes, As there are splendours, that it shines on: each According to the virtue it conceives, Differing in love and sweet affection. Look then how lofty and how huge in breadth ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... thy freedom, thy resemblance lies To thy Creator. Nature, which, tide-wise, Is flood and ebb, bounds not sky flight for thee. Lo! as the sun arises from the sea, Startling all beauty God-ward, thou dost rise With mind to God in heaven, from finite ties, And there, in freedom, ...
— Freedom, Truth and Beauty • Edward Doyle

... clever enough—if he is not narrow, insolent, and unbalanced—he will usually contrive while pleasing himself to please the public, or a public. It is his business to do so. If he does not do so he proves himself incompetent. He is merely mumbling to himself. Just as the finite connotes the infinite, so an artist connotes a public. The artist who says he doesn't care a fig for the public is a liar. He may have many admirable virtues, but he is a liar. The tragedy of all the smaller literary periodicals in France is that the breach ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... That very restlessness and dissatisfaction is the witness to the dignity of our nature, the grandeur of our destiny. We were made for God, for the attainment of eternal life through union with Him. No being who was merely finite, could ...
— Gloria Crucis - addresses delivered in Lichfield Cathedral Holy Week and Good Friday, 1907 • J. H. Beibitz

... the hail streams down. With what profound truth all this destructive power is represented as coming from the brightness of God—that "glory" which in its own nature is light, but in its contact with finite and sinful creatures must needs become darkness, rent asunder by lightning! What lessons as to the root and the essential nature of all punitive acts of God cluster round such words! and how calm and blessed the faith ...
— The Life of David - As Reflected in His Psalms • Alexander Maclaren

... mean that the totality of matter is finite?—that it can be viewed, spiritually, from the outside,—even from such a distance as to appear infinitely small? If so, can there be infinite power, either material or spiritual? If the universe is spherical because its molecules are, can the molecules ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II., November, 1858., No. XIII. • Various

... wickedness. It has undertaken to create in the world a moral force capable of controlling and humanizing material forces. To this doctrine, which rests upon man as its centre and which was essentially human, German thought opposes itself as the infinite opposes the finite, the absolute the relative, the whole the part. The disciples of the Greeks had at their disposition no light except that of human reason; the German genius possesses a transcendent reason which pierces the mysteries of the absolute, of ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... contrary. Their doubts arise not from pride, but from humility: not because they do not appreciate divine truth, but on the contrary they doubt whether we can appreciate it sufficiently, and are sceptical whether the infinite can be reduced to the finite. ...
— The Pleasures of Life • Sir John Lubbock

... Their talk was finite and far short of the vision of warm, radiant life-stuff flowing through the universe that had thrilled Kenyon in the hills. Out there, looking eastward over the prairies checked in brown earth, and green wheat, and old grass faded from russet to lavender, with the gray woods worming their way through ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... to our minds for ever. This one idea, expanded in the breast of the laborer, is a germ of elevation more fruitful than all science, no matter how extensive or profound, which treats only of outward finite things. It places him in the first rank of human beings. You hear of great theologians. He only deserves the name, be his condition what it may, who has, by thought and obedience, purified and ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... reached the last possible analysis; but we do not stop here, but by the assumption of attributes we again reach the highest possible synthesis. This must be the method of the divine activity, successive differentiation and integration, the closing in of a mighty circle of infinity, embracing all the finite, but never losing the essential characteristic of ...
— The Philosophy of Evolution - and The Metaphysical Basis of Science • Stephen H. Carpenter

... and weight of each planet quickly by measuring its attractive power. He did not realize that he had cut out for himself work that would require many men and several centuries to cover, but surely he was on the right scent—a finite man keen upon the secrets ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... and storing the vast army of facts and impressions which present themselves daily. The white light of publicity is too white. We are weighed upon by too many things. It is as if the wisdom of the infinite were struggling to beat itself into finite and cup-big minds. ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... tired brain that would fain judge Infinity by merely finite perception! You were a far truer poet, Theos Alwyn, when as a world-foolish, heaven-inspired lad you believed in God, and therefore, in godlike gladness, found ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... is a solid, sympathetic, and now and then glorified, and yet dumb, highway between God and man. Her beauty belongs to the Spirit that she does not know, and it speaks to the Spirit that is older than her child. She is a mute, unconscious sacrament between the infinite reason and the finite, a path for the lightning that plays backward and forward between the soul of man and the soul of God. The great primal fact in the human environment is that man is the interpreter of nature. In this character of ...
— The World's Great Sermons, Volume 10 (of 10) • Various

... it is the earth which is in motion, while the sun is at rest, though in viewing the sun rise one finds it impossible to believe the sun not to be really rising, so the body is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense; but we shall never understand this while we admit that soul is in body, or mind in matter, and that man is included in non-intelligence. Soul is God, unchangeable and eternal; and man coexists with and reflects Soul, for the All-in-all is the Altogether, and the Altogether embraces ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... yet when we come to live in them, to spend even a few hours in them, we seem stifled and oppressed. On the other hand there are people to whom the sea-shore is a companion, an exhilaration; and not so much for the brawl of the shore as for the limited vastness, the finite infinite of the ocean as they see it. Such people often come home braced and nerved, and if they spoke out the truth, would have only to say, 'We have seen the horizon line'; if they were let alone indeed, they would gaze on it hour after hour, so great ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... both contrasts there is that sense of futility and failure, of alienation and misunderstanding—that element of underlying pathos, in short, which so strangely gives its keenest salt to humour. In both alike there is the same suggestion of the Infinite of disparity bounding the finite of resemblance—of the Incommensurable in man and nature, beside which all ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... appeared, from time to time, to whom the things seen were but a passing phantom, the things unseen the only true and eternal realities; who, tormented alike by the awfulness of the infinite unknown, and by the petty cares and low passions of the finite mortal life which they knew but too well, had determined to renounce the latter, that they might give themselves up to solving the riddle of the former; and be at peace; and free, at least, from the tyranny of their own selves. Eight hundred years before St. Antony fled into ...
— The Hermits • Charles Kingsley

... he employ? The advocates of the XV. Amendment put words into our mouths, and they must answer for them if they seem too extravagant. There is nothing under the sun that will so arouse man or woman as the fact that another, as needy, as finite as himself, sets stakes in the path of his progress, and says, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther." It is this assumption of men, most grievous to be borne, that has compelled woman to ask that the stakes be removed, and she be permitted to go ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... cut down the number of elective offices, focus the attention on a few alternatives, and turn voting into a fairly intelligent performance. Here is an attempt to fit political devices to the actual powers of the voter. The old, crude form of ballot forgot that finite beings had to operate it. But the "democrats" adhere to the multitude of choices because "logic" requires ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... they arrive at that belief by finding something which transcends them and which they cannot understand; i.e. by an intellectual process. It may be doubted whether the sense of disappointment with the finite is the only road, or even a common road, to belief in gods. Mr. Mueller's omission, moreover, from his definition, of the practical side of religion, of the element of worship, is a fatal objection to it. Belief ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... into the sky and a cold air rustled in the trees. "Of course, of course," he muttered, for he could see himself and her in the dawn together, united again and tasting again in a kiss infinity. In her kiss he had tasted that unity, that binding together of the mortal to the immortal, of the finite to the infinite, which Paracelsus—He tried to recall the words, "He who tastes a crust of bread has tasted of the universe, even to the furthest star." She had always been his universe, and he had always believed that she had come out of the star-shine ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... down to a calm and placid contentment with our lot. We begin to see what results are possible to us, and there are signs that our chrysalis condition is finite after all, and that some reward for our toil will be ours ere long. The days of our worst poverty and difficulty lie behind us, and ...
— Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) - or Settler and Maori in Northern New Zealand • William Delisle Hay

... that I had perpetrated. I had been comparing life with life, that is, the finite with the finite, and the infinite with the infinite. The process was vain. It was like comparing force with force, matter with matter, nothing with nothing. It was like saying in mathematics that A equals A, or O equals O. Thus the only answer ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... conceptions possible of Divine Truth before another soul who may have an immeasurably larger vision than you have. Oh, the pitiableness of man's colossal conceit, the arrogance of his ignorance. As if the God of the Universe were so small that one paltry, finite man could contain in his pint measure of a mind all the ocean of His power, knowledge, and love. Let your small and wretched worries go. Have a little larger faith in the Love of the Infinite One. Tenderly love and trust those whose welfare you seek, and ...
— Quit Your Worrying! • George Wharton James

... irony of life will perhaps never be understood in its casual aspect by the finite mind of man. The 'why' and 'wherefore' and the 'how' of it is only to be understood by that All-wise intelligence which can scan the future as well as the present, and see the far far-reaching ramifications of those schemes of final development to ...
— The Man • Bram Stoker

... companionship when we are in the close presence of ordinary living people. The something seemed close to me, and intensely more real than any ordinary perception. Although I felt it to be like unto myself so to speak, or finite, small, and distressful, as it were, I didn't recognize it as ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... that order of poets whom the finite does not satisfy. Like Wordsworth, but more eminently, he was "powerfully affected" only by that "which is conversant with or turns upon infinity," and man is to him a being with such a relationship to infinity ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... however, there is no absolute destitution, and as long as the provisions last I do not think that there will be. So long as flour and meat last, everyone with more or less trouble will get his share. As the amount of both these articles is, however, finite, one of these days we shall hear that they are exhausted. The proprietors have been deprived of their power to sue for rents, consequently a family requires but little ready money to rub on from hand to mouth. My landlord every week presents me ...
— Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris • Henry Labouchere

... didst create us!" Naught impedes We voice the other name, man's most of might, Awesomely, lovingly: let awe and love Mutely await their working, leave to sight All of the issue as—below—above— Shakespeare's creation rises: one remove, Though dread—this finite from that infinite. ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... gets up speed, glows again. If the brake be screwed up tight, the lamp once more becomes dark. The explanation is simple. Owing to the coefficient of self-induction of the dynamo machine being considerable, it takes a finite time for the current to obtain an appreciable intensity, but the lamp having no self-induction, the current at once passes through it, and causes it to glow. Secondly, the electrical inertia of the dynamo being overcome, it must draw a ...
— Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XV., No. 388, June 9, 1883 • Various

... all the freshness of its primal grace, stretching out its arms from a new-born world towards the infinite Creator, had expressed, with extraordinary pathos, the weakness, the failure, almost the non-existence of what is finite. "I Am Who Am" thundered Almighty Power, and how little, how helpless, ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... inversion which tries to make the assumed infinite of a finite nature, which had sacrificed a race to an invented god, persists even in the South Seas. One of the most distinguished authors, who has chosen that delectable clime for his researches was arrested for napping on his own paepae partly clothed. The parson ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... whereby a thing endeavours to persist in its own being, involves no finite time, ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... utterance of some human being in the very last extremity of both physical and mental anguish, the protest of a lost soul being wrenched violently out of its sinful human tenement, cries of such utter, unimaginable despair as the finite mind of man is unable to find a cause for. Yet, despite the agony of horror that froze my blood, I instinctively thrust my helm hard down and flattened in the sheets fore and aft; for the thought came to me that, perchance, a ...
— A Middy of the Slave Squadron - A West African Story • Harry Collingwood

... never failed to urge her to seek for that strength from on high which will always be granted when asked for with a believing heart; and to place her reliance on Him who orders all for the best, though man, with his finite powers of mind, often fails to ...
— The Two Shipmates • William H. G. Kingston

... full value and strength. Whether we glance back and compare his performance with the efforts of his predecessors, or look forward along the course which modern research is disclosing, we shall honour most in him not the rounded merit of finite accomplishment, but the creative power by which he inaugurated a line of discovery endless in variety and extension. Let us attempt thus to see his work in true perspective between the past from ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... as due to the formation in the copper, of a pole of the opposite kind to that approximated, surrounded by a diffuse polarity of the same kind (82.); neither is it essential that the plate should acquire and lose its state in a finite time; nor on the other hand does it seem necessary that any repulsive force should be admitted as the ...
— Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 • Michael Faraday

... they believe it Giving is an ambitious and authoritative quality Glory and curiosity are the scourges of the soul Go out of ourselves, because we know not how there to reside Good does not necessarily succeed evil; another evil may succeed Good to be certain and finite, and evil, infinite and uncertain Got up but an inch upon the shoulders of the last, but one Gradations above and below pleasure Gratify the gods and nature by massacre and murder Great presumption to be so ...
— Quotes and Images From The Works of Michel De Montaigne • Michel De Montaigne

... noble and the reward is great." Quite right. It would be no greater miracle that brought us into another world to live forever with our dearest than that which has brought us into this one to live a lifetime with them. Both are equally incomprehensible to finite beings. Let us therefore comfort ourselves with everlasting hope, "as with enchantments," as Plato recommends, never forgetting, however, that we all have our duties here and that the kingdom of heaven is within us. It also ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... moving element in nature," through the scientific intelligence, but that we must envisage it in intuition. "What is described in concepts," he tells us, "is at rest; hence there can be concepts only of things and of that which is finite and sense-perceived. The notion of movement is not movement itself, and without intuition we should never know what motion is. Freedom, however, can be comprehended only by freedom, activity only by activity." Schelling, who is a poet as well as a philosopher, ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... its objects are not things of reflection, association, discursion, discourse in the old sense of the word as opposed to intuition; "discursive or intuitive," as Milton has it. Reason does not indeed necessarily exclude the finite, either in time or in space, but it includes them eminenter. Thus the prime mover of the material universe is affirmed to contain all motion as its cause, but not to be, or ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... and a gentleman, but a determined foe to loose thinking (especially in Cambridge men), courteously acknowledged the gift, but took occasion to remind his brother of Helleston that Reflection was a retrospective process; that Man, as a finite creature, could but anticipate events before they happened; and that if the parishioners of Helleston wished to reflect on the New Century they would have to wait until January 1901, or something more than a ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Occasionally the brethren failed to live in unity. They were human. But, at all times, back of them were the serenity and judgment and resources of the Church and with them went the engendered confidence that all would be well, whatever befell of finite sort. It has been said that faith removes mountains. The faith that came with these pioneers was well backed and carried with it brawn ...
— Mormon Settlement in Arizona • James H. McClintock

... over, that all is not lost. This very creature that we pursue, he take hundreds of years to get so far as London. And yet in one day, when we know of the disposal of him we drive him out. He is finite, though he is powerful to do much harm and suffers not as we do. But we are strong, each in our purpose, and we are all more strong together. Take heart afresh, dear husband of Madam Mina. This battle is but begun and in the end we shall win. So sure as that God sits on high to watch ...
— Dracula • Bram Stoker

... years to 4, and so on, shall as soon reach eternity as he that adds 400,000,000 of years, and so on; or, if he please, doubles the increase as often as he will: the remaining abyss being still as far beyond the end of all these progressions as it is from the length of a day or an hour. For nothing finite bears any proportion to infinite; and therefore our ideas, which are all finite, cannot bear any. Thus it is also in our idea of extension, when we increase it by addition, as well as when we diminish it by division, and would enlarge our thoughts to infinite space. After ...
— An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume I. - MDCXC, Based on the 2nd Edition, Books I. and II. (of 4) • John Locke

... contempt; the feeling of his own imperfection would be his eternal torture. But the same feeling, when we admit his dependence, is the foundation of his sweetest hope; it reveals to him the nothingness of finite good, and leads him back to his principle, which insists on joining itself to him, and which alone can satisfy his desires ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 2 of 3) - Essay 1: Vauvenargues • John Morley

... impersonal thought, as some have maintained? Is it just the sum of all forms of consciousness—our consciousnesses being organs or phases of the Supreme Consciousness? Or is the thinker strictly personal, carrying on a thought-world by the power of his will and calling into existence finite thinkers in his own image? Assuming that the world is the expression of the thought of a Personal Thinker who acts in the forces of nature and creates men in his own image, the further question arises as to the character of that Thinker. While returning the heartiest thanks to the idealist for ...
— Understanding the Scriptures • Francis McConnell

... on their toes and fingers which are attached to bell-pulls. The corpse thus, on coming to itself, may have immediate attendance merely by ringing for it; some one is always there on the watch. But the humanity of this arrangement, though perfect as long as it lasts, is finite in duration. As soon as the seventy-two hours prescribed by law are expired, it is another thing. The body is then legally dead, and must comport itself accordingly. At any rate, it is at its own risk if it behaves otherwise than as a corpse, and gives itself any airs of vitality. This is appalling ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... much. All loss, all pain, is particular; the universe remains to the heart unhurt. Neither vexations nor calamities abate our trust. No man ever stated his griefs as lightly as he might. Allow for exaggeration in the most patient and sorely ridden hack that ever was driven. For it is only the finite that has wrought and suffered; the infinite lies ...
— Essays, First Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... all that, there is a Beyond, and he who has once caught a glance of it, is like a man who has gazed at the sun—wherever he looks, everywhere he sees the image of the sun. Speak to him of finite things, and he will tell you that the Finite is impossible and meaningless without the Infinite. Speak to him of death, and he will call it birth; speak to him of time, and he will call it the mere shadow of eternity. To us the senses ...
— India: What can it teach us? - A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University Of Cambridge • F. Max Mueller

... less pray to Him—because it is simply impossible. And that is quite scientific and philosophical, is it not? For all the great men are agreed now that the conditioned can know nothing of the unconditioned, and the finite can know nothing of the infinite. It is quite absurd to try, you know; and it is equally absurd to say anything about Him. You can't call Him Providence, because, as the universe is governed by fixed laws, there is nothing for him to provide; and we have no business to ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... proving that the quantity of heat which two portions of the same body could be made to give out, by rubbing them together, was practically illimitable. This result brought philosophers face to face with the contradiction of supposing that a finite body could contain an infinite quantity of another body; but it was not until 1843, that clear and unquestionable experimental proof was given of the fact that there is a definite relation between mechanical ...
— The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century • T.H. (Thomas Henry) Huxley

... originally an object, but an absolute subject for which all, itself included, may become an object. It must therefore be an ACT; for every object is, as an object, dead, fixed, incapable in itself of any action, and necessarily finite. Again the spirit (originally the identity of object and subject) must in some sense dissolve this identity, in order to be conscious of it; fit alter et idem. But this implies an act, and it follows therefore that intelligence or self-consciousness is impossible, except by ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... our 'little lives are rounded with a sleep;' that we are but atoms in the boundless abysses of space and time; that the phenomenal world is but a transitory veil, to be valued only as its contemplation arouses or disciplines our deepest emotions. Capacity for passing from the finite to the infinite, for interpreting the high instincts before which ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... gave us the word Deity, which we apply to God. So, as Professor Max Muller tells us, the descendants of the ancient Aryans, "when they search for a name for what is most exalted and yet most dear to every one of us, when they wish to express both awe and love, the infinite and the finite, they can do but what their old fathers did when gazing up to the eternal sky, and feeling the presence of a Being as far as far, and as near as near can be; they can but combine the self-same words and utter once more the primeval Aryan prayer, ...
— Fairy Tales; Their Origin and Meaning • John Thackray Bunce

... unfathomable homogeneous Unity, which is incarnated in them and produces the modifications necessary for the development of its powers, in other words, for the accomplishment of their evolution. As this evolution takes place in the finite—for the Infinite can effect its "sacrifice," i.e. its incarnation,[52] only by limiting itself—it is progressive, proceeding from the simple to the complex. Each incarnate, divine "fragment"[53] at first develops the simpler qualities ...
— Reincarnation - A Study in Human Evolution • Th. Pascal

... when generalized and reduced to a system is not unmanageably large. They present themselves as a finite body of dogma which may be mastered within a reasonable time. It is a great mistake to be frightened by the ever-increasing number of reports. The reports of a given jurisdiction in the course of a generation take up pretty much the whole body of the law, and ...
— The Path of the Law • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

... will not say, imagine, what she should have felt at that moment in Griselda's place.—How intoxicating to human vanity, to be possessed of such powers of enchantment!—How difficult to refrain from their exercise!—How impossible to believe in their finite duration! ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... religion, and itself a proof of its divinity, is its complete adaptability to every condition of life and to every degree of intelligence. Its essentials are as readily grasped by the clodhopper as by the profoundest scholar whose years are spent in delving into the mysteries of science. No finite mind can fathom the mysteries of life, of death, of sleep, of the beginning, the end, of eternity, of the real nature of the soul and of God, how He came into existence; nor, indeed, shall we ever comprehend in all their fullness the simplest phenomena ...
— Deerfoot in The Mountains • Edward S. Ellis

... public life, I certainly must say, every year shows me more and more that the idea of Christian politics cannot be realised in the state according to its present conditions of existence. For purposes sufficient, I believe, but partial and finite, I am more than content to be where I am. But the perfect freedom of the new covenant can only, it seems to me, be breathed in other air; and the day may come when God may grant to me the application ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... these two points of view Bruno appears before us as the man who most vitally and comprehensively grasped the leading tendencies of his age in their intellectual essence. He left behind him the mediaeval conception of an extra-mundane God, creating a finite world, of which this globe is the center, and the principal episode in the history of which is the series of events from the Fall, through the Incarnation and Crucifixion, to the Last Judgment.[124] He substituted the conception of an ever-living, ever-acting, ever-self-effectuating ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... St. Helena that all biographies of Napoleon Bonaparte hitherto published have ended, and perhaps it is just as well that these entertaining works, prepared by purely finite minds, should end there. It is well for an historian not to tell more than he knows, a principle which has guided our pen from the inception of this work to this point, and which must continue to the bitter end. We shall be relentless and truthful ...
— Mr. Bonaparte of Corsica • John Kendrick Bangs

... love of real business in art—treating him, indeed, as though he were Hotei, the Japanese god of enjoyment—giving him as much colour, as much dramatic action, and as little perspective as is possible to man's finite capacity in this line. Some generous art critics have even gone so far indeed as to credit an entire artistic movement, that of pre-Raphaelism, with a benevolent desire to accommodate art to the New Hero's peculiar ideas ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... and measured. Yet you will easily find a man in whom the latter so abounds as not only to shut him out from others, but to absorb all the vital resource generated in his own bosom, leaving to the pure personality nothing. The finite nature fares sumptuously every day; the other is a heavenly Lazarus sitting ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... If one could only have been left to do his own business, the vision would have accomplished itself and brought out new paraheliacal visions, each as bright as the original. The misery was and is, as we found out, I and Polly, before long, that, besides the vision, and besides the usual human and finite failures in life (such as breaking the old pitcher that came over in the Mayflower, and putting into the fire the alpenstock with which her father climbed Mont Blanc)—besides, these, I say (imitating the style of Robinson Crusoe), there were pitchforked in on us a great rowen-heap of ...
— The Best American Humorous Short Stories • Various

... among a certain class of critics that the artistic form is a quality that is finite. As a matter of fact, it is infinite; it cannot be bound up with any particular mode of expression; it is elastic, and so elastic that certain critics cannot adjust their ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... be admitted to be very doubtful; we cannot in any certain way apply to the Universe, which is not a finite system, a proposition demonstrated, and that not unreservedly, in the sharply limited case of a finite system. Herbert Spencer, moreover, in his book on First Principles, brings out with much force ...
— The New Physics and Its Evolution • Lucien Poincare

... me that I heard and understood, and felt the goodness and glory of God. I may say that my first great lessons in true philosophy were obtained in these lectures, where I learned to distinguish between the finite and infinite, ceasing to envy any, while I inclined to worship one. The benevolence of Providence is extended to all its creatures, each receiving it in a mode adapted to its own powers of improvement. ...
— Autobiography of a Pocket-Hankerchief • James Fenimore Cooper

... that awful thing Thought tries in vain to scan; How far beyond the loftiest powers Of little, finite man! ...
— A Brief Memoir with Portions of the Diary, Letters, and Other Remains, - of Eliza Southall, Late of Birmingham, England • Eliza Southall

... crucified—Huxley!" and the cardinal threw up his hands. "Did ever a man die the easier because he had grovelled at the knees of Huxley? What did Huxley preach? The doctrine of despair. He was the Pope of protoplasm. He beat his wings against the bars of the unknowable. He set his finite mind the task of solving the infinite. A mere creature, he sought to fathom the mind of his creator. Read the lines upon his tomb, written by his wife—what do they teach? Nothing but 'let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.' If a man follows Huxley, then is he ...
— The Turquoise Cup, and, The Desert • Arthur Cosslett Smith

... would follow from that doctrine) either finite duration or absence of omniscience (on ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 1 • George Thibaut

... the visible creation, abroad on this beautiful earth, above on the glorious universe studded with shining orbs, without number numberless, what can I make of them? Nothing absolutely nothing—yet they are all creatures like myself. But—if I try—audaciously try—to strain my finite faculties, in the futile attempt to take in what is infinite—if I aspiringly, but hopelessly, grapple with the idea of the immensity of space, for instance, which my reason yet tells me must of necessity be boundless—do I not fall fluttering to the earth again, like an owl flying against the noontide ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... existence is to be found. This he places in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, who, as God incarnate, furnishes the "evidence" which "is common to Understanding and Sensation," and thus translates the "Infinite" and "Ineffable" into terms of the finite and comprehensible. In this paradox Christian theology has ever since been content to rest as one of the fundamental ...
— The Basis of Early Christian Theism • Lawrence Thomas Cole

... opposing him, and imagines that he has but to go on in his own way to grasp all worlds and the secrets of their being. At this juncture, so often arrived at by many, a kind of super-sureness sets in, persuading the finite nature that it has reached the infinite. The whole mental organisation of the man thrilled with an awful consciousness of power. He said within himself "I hold the lives of ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... any restoration of this mechanical energy without more than an equivalent dissipation is impossible," the universe, as known to us, must be in the condition of a machine gradually running down; and in particular that the world we live on has been within a finite time unfit for human habitation, and must again become so within a finite future. This thought seems such a commonplace to-day that it is difficult to realize how startling it appeared half a century ago. A generation ...
— A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... the Evangelist saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators. The general fact is simple. Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion, like the physical exhaustion of Mr. Holbein. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... through long and subtle argument, the goodness of the whole despite the evil of the incidental. "All finite life is a struggle with evil. Yet from the final point of view the Whole is good. The Temporal Order contains at no one moment anything that can satisfy. Yet the Eternal Order is perfect. We have all sinned, and come short ...
— Modern Religious Cults and Movements • Gaius Glenn Atkins

... secure, he learns that as long as he proves obedient his happiness will continue, but that, having been created as free as the angels, he can choose his lot. When Adam asks in regard to heavenly things, Raphael wonders how he can relate, in terms intelligible to finite mind, things which, even angels fail to conceive in their entirety and which it may not be lawful to reveal. Still, knowing he can vouchsafe a brief outline of all that has hitherto occurred, Raphael describes how the Almighty, after creating the Son, bade the angels bow down and worship ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... material thing, though of space absolute, if I may use the term, we have no notion at all; and of infinite space the notion is the same—no notion at all; and yet we conceive it in a sense, though I know not how, and we believe that space is infinite, and we cannot conceive it to be finite. ...
— Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

... my large faith unto gloom allied, Sprang up a shadow sunshine could not quell, And the voice said, Would'st haste to go outside This continent of being, it were well: Where finite, growing toward the Infinite, Gathers its robe of glory out of dust, And looking down the radiances white, Sees all God's purposes about us, just. Canst thou, Elhadra, reach out of the grave, And draw the golden waters of love's well? ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... I say, there are relations between the finite and the Infinite, between my mind and the Infinite mind, between my weakness and the Infinite power. And why should conscious Omnipresence in our conception localize it? Presence is not limited to contact. I am present here in my room; I am present in the field where I sit down. Why, with the whole ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... beautiful, or in no relation to the beautiful, or a specific class in various degrees opposed to the beautiful. And the negative may be a negation of fact or of thought (ou and me). Lastly, there are certain ideas, such as 'beginning,' 'becoming,' 'the finite,' 'the abstract,' in which the negative cannot be separated from the positive, and 'Being' and ...
— Sophist • Plato

... ourselves; it includes nearly all America as one sees it on the European stage. It is a various multitude having only this in common: they are all moving, and particularly their womankind are moving, from conditions in which means were insistently finite, things were few, and customs simple, towards a limitless expenditure and the sphere of attraction of Bond Street, Fifth Avenue, and Paris. Their general effect is one of ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... are capable of inflicting on the one side, and enduring on the other; even when an enemy has killed the body and ceased then, because he has no more that he can do, it is still a measurable thing. Love in a finite being's heart may swell high over it, and exult in bestowing forgiveness on the murderer with the victim's dying breath. In the beginning of the Gospel a vivid example of that very thing stands recorded: "Lord," said Stephen with fainting heart and failing breath, "Lord, lay not this sin ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... concentration of wealth is irresistible. However small the amount of capital, if permitted to grow at any rate of increase it will ultimately absorb everything. Any finite quantity permitted any finite rate of increase, will, in finite time, gather all that ...
— Usury - A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View • Calvin Elliott

... still more tremendous WHY—namely, WHY, is there a Law of Universal Necessity?—but they are satisfied with the result of their reasonings, if not wholly, yet in part, and seldom try to search beyond that great vague vast Necessity, lest their finite brains should reel into madness worse than death. Recognizing, therefore, that in this cultivated age a wall of scepticism and cynicism is gradually being built up by intellectual thinkers of every nation against all that treats of the Supernatural and Unseen, I am aware that my narration ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... be mixed up in something miraculous. He was too humble to expect anything to be revealed to himself personally, but he had great hopes of the saintly Lady Fulda; and certainly, if concessions are to be wrung from the Infinite to the Finite by perfect holiness of life and mind, she should have obtained some. She had become deeply read in that kind of lore under Father Ricardo's direction, and had meditated so much about occurrences of the kind that it ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... strong hands were quivering; they hovered above the signs on the rocks. The mystic letters, the inspired words, where were they? Grope as he might, he could not find them. Alas! doubt and denial had climbed the mountain—the awful limitations of the more finite human creature—and his inspiration and the finer enthusiasms of the truth ...
— The Riddle Of The Rocks - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... their coats and shells behind them and rise into the atmosphere, as flies in a summer day. When man measures the works of the Divine Mind by his own feeble combinations, he must wander in gross error; the infinite can never be understood by the finite. ...
— Consolations in Travel - or, the Last Days of a Philosopher • Humphrey Davy

... will contain only so much positive truth as the human mind is capable of receiving; whether that truth is attained by the exercise of reason, or communicated by revelation. It must necessarily be both limited and alloyed, to bring it within the competence of finite human intelligence. Being finite, we can form no correct or adequate idea of the Infinite; being material, we can form no clear conception of the Spiritual. We do believe in and know the infinity of Space and Time, and the ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... existing terrestrial order, a great deal can be discovered, and to do so is one of the principal tasks of geological science. The first steps in the production of that order lie buried in the profound and unsearchable depths of a past so prolonged as to present itself to our finite minds as almost in eternity. The last steps are in the prophetic future, and can be but dimly guessed at. Between the remote past and the distant future, we have, however, a long period which is fairly open to inspection; and in saying a "long" period, ...
— The Ancient Life History of the Earth • Henry Alleyne Nicholson

... the tranquil soul That tolerates the indignities of Time And, from the centre of Eternity All finite motions over-ruling, lives In ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... wider as one advances toward it until, finally, he stands out in the open with the world before him. There is no end to life, and none to human development, at least none that can be conceived of by the finite mind of man. ...
— The Book of Business Etiquette • Nella Henney

... about by the diffusion of a more philosophic temper, and the use of a logic that shall refuse to exclude the facts of human nature from fair treatment, that shall embrace and account for all the questions involved, and that shall decline to receive as truth errors of finite science because found in an inspired book. We welcome this volume as an example of the right spirit and tendency in these grave discussions, and shall look eagerly for the promised ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... almost is a sound, and dreams Take on the semblances of finite things; So potent is the spell that what but seems Elsewhere, is lifted here on Fancy's wings. The little woodland theatre seems to wait, All tremulous with hope and wistful joy, For something that is sure to come at last, Some deep emotion, satisfying, great. It grows a living presence, bold ...
— A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass • Amy Lowell

... another side. The universe is so wonderful, so intricate, that it is impossible to trace the transformation of its forces, and when they seem to disappear the disappearance may be an illusion. Moreover, "waste" is a word which is applicable only to finite resources. If the resources are infinite it ...
— Clara Hopgood • Mark Rutherford

... which the tangled skein of life denies us. Some find it in hobbies where the mind is at peace in watching processes that are controllable and results that with patience are assured. But in the midst of this infinity I know no finite world so complete and satisfying as that I enter when I take down the chessmen and marshal my knights and squires on the chequered field. It is then I am truly happy. I have closed the door on the infinite and inexplicable and have come into a kingdom where justice ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... motive of the design undergoes constant variation, no piece exactly duplicating its neighbor, or with the intricate interlacing patterns of Arabic decoration, and you will have a striking illustration of the Greek love for the finite and comprehensible. ...
— A History Of Greek Art • F. B. Tarbell

... 303. "We finite ones with infinite souls are born only for sorrows and joy and it might almost be said that the best of us receive joy ...
— Beethoven: the Man and the Artist - As Revealed in his own Words • Ludwig van Beethoven

... Wordsworth finely and truly calls poetry 'the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge'; our religion, parading evidences such as those on which the popular mind relies now; our philosophy, pluming itself on its reasonings about causation and finite and infinite being; what are they but the shadows and dreams and false shows of knowledge? The day will come when we shall wonder at ourselves for having trusted to them, for having taken them seriously; and the more we perceive their hollowness, the more ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... for finite offences." I will never believe it. How divines can reconcile this monstrous tenet with the spirit of their Theology! They have palpably failed in the proof, for to put the question thus:—If he being infinite—have a care, Woodvil, the latitude of doubting suits not with the humility ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... really necessary to forsake the finite to reach the infinite— whatever that term may be taken to mean? Do we not often better realise the infinity of the sky by looking at it through the twigs ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... circumscribed within the limits of experience, transcend and govern it—principles which are universal in the midst of particular phenomena—necessary, though mingled with things contingent—to our eyes infinite and absolute, even when appearing in us the relative and finite beings that we are.[507] These first or fundamental principles Plato ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... was the main category of the Greeks, the absolute form which embraced all their finite forms. It moulded their literature, as it did their sculpture, architecture, and the action of their gymnasts and orators. They therefore delighted only in the highest orders and purest specimens of literature, refused ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... addresses, the primary, unmodified, forces and energies of man, the mysterious springs of love, and fear, and wonder, of enthusiasm, poetry—religion, all which have a truly vital and infinite character; as well as a science which practically addresses the finite, modified developments of these, when they take the shape of immediate 'motives,' as hope of reward, or as fear of punishment. Now it is certain, that in former times the wise men, the enlightened lovers of their kind, who appeared generally as moralists, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... state of being, rather, of whose nature at that time he had not, and could not have had, the faintest fore-feeling, the most shadowy conception. It had been a season of great trouble, but the gain had been infinitely greater; for now were the bonds of the finite broken, he had burst the shell of the mortal, and was of those over whom the second death hath no power. The agony of the second birth was past, and he was a child again—only a child, he knew, but a child of the kingdom; and the world, and all that ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... statement, let us first take the opposite for granted—that the world is finite and limited in space; it follows that it must exist in a void space, which is not limited. We should therefore meet not only with a relation of things in space, but also a relation of things to space. Now, as the world is an absolute whole, out of and beyond which ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... at intervals of every few years, and war itself is only one of a series of catastrophes and calamities that splash the human chronicle with innocent blood. They give it up, sorrowfully, and find a thin consolation in learned formulae about the impossibility of a finite mind understanding an infinite mind, and so on: which give, as I say, thin consolation, for one may at least see that an infinite benevolence ought not to act worse than a moderate ...
— The War and the Churches • Joseph McCabe

... but abstract unity; and then, when the idea takes its religious form, where only the substance, the One, is possessed of true reality, there is a tendency to forget that it is precisely in presence of this unity that individual and finite things are effaced, and to continue to place these in a material fashion side by side with this unity. They will not admit the teaching of the Eleatics, who, when they say "There is only One," add expressly that non-entity is not. All that is ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various



Words linked to "Finite" :   impermanent, grammar, infinite, exhaustible, limited, delimited, mortal, tensed, finiteness, bounded, non-finite



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