But since the very beginnings of their culture, people have never been able to tolerate the disconnected and inexplicable juxtaposition of events. They have always sought to understand the underlying order of the world. We still have an insatiable need to know why we are here and where we come from. Humanity's deep-rooted desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing search. And we have no less a goal in mind than the complete description of the universe in which we live.
- Stephen Hawking
The order can be at the same time necessary and natural (in relation to thought) and arbitrary (in relation to things), because one and the same thing can be placed at one or the other point of the order, depending on the way one looks at it. - Michel Foucault
In the natural attitude of mind, we are turned towards things, looking and thinking, which are given to us in each case and are given to us as a matter of course, even if in different ways and in different modes of being, depending on the source of cognition and the level of cognition. In perception, for example, a thing is naturally in front of our eyes; it is there in the midst of other things, living and non-living, animate and inanimate, i.e. in the midst of a world that partially falls into perception like the individual things, is partially also given in the context of memory and from there spreads out into the indeterminate and unknown. - Edmund Husserl
Now there is no true knowledge except by contemplation, that is, by a peculiar act of pure and attentive intelligence, and by the deduction which connects the evidences. How can comparison, which is required almost for all cognition, and which by definition is not an isolated evidence, nor deduction, permit a true thought? - Michel Foucault