Once you have mathematical certainty
there is nothing left to do or to understand.
This raises the problem of VERIFIABILITY: are there any circumstances which can justifiably give us an unusual degree of certainty that such and such a belief is true?
Philosophers have sought some intrinsic criterion by which true and false beliefs could be distinguished.* I am afraid their chief reason for this search has been the wish to feel more certainty than seems otherwise possible as to what is true and what is false.
"You will come to me," said the child, speaking in a voice of calm certainty
which she often used unconsciously.
Rachel watched the people for some time longer; she was fascinated by the certainty and the grace of their movements, and by the inevitable way in which they seemed to follow each other, and loiter and pass on and disappear.
She was not sleepy although she did not see anything very distinctly, but although the figures passing through the hall became vaguer and vaguer, she believed that they all knew exactly where they were going, and the sense of their certainty filled her with comfort.
But I, by some strange miracle, live on A prey to absence, jealousy, disdain; Racked by suspicion as by certainty
; Forgotten, left to feed my flame alone.
In this, as appears to me, I was successful enough; for, since I endeavored to discover the falsehood or incertitude of the propositions I examined, not by feeble conjectures, but by clear and certain reasonings, I met with nothing so doubtful as not to yield some conclusion of adequate certainty
, although this were merely the inference, that the matter in question contained nothing certain.
The most sagacious and laborious naturalists have never yet succeeded in tracing with certainty the line which separates the district of vegetable life from the neighboring region of unorganized matter, or which marks the ermination of the former and the commencement of the animal empire.
Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces the legislative, executive, and judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches.
Weller's statement relative to the accommodations of the establishment, and to back his entreaties with a variety of dismal conjectures regarding the state of the roads, the doubt of fresh horses being to be had at the next stage, the dead certainty
of its raining all night, the equally mortal certainty
of its clearing up in the morning, and other topics of inducement familiar to innkeepers.
The four Eastern States, from all the causes that form the links of national sympathy and connection, may with certainty
be expected to unite.
But the fear of not being able to carry it through effectively has always made me shy of assuming the moral attitude; and in this case the certainty
that my sentiments would be lost on Strickland made it peculiarly embarrassing to utter them.
But in the case of an execution, that last hope--having which it is so immeasurably less dreadful to die,--is taken away from the wretch and CERTAINTY
substituted in its place!
One of those ways I look upon as a certainty
. The other, I admit, is a bold experiment, and nothing more.