Archimedean point

point in space assumed to be completely fixed relative to space

An Archimedean point is a hypothetical standpoint from which an observer can objectively perceive the subject of inquiry.

Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth. ~ Archimedes


  • δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω.
  • One needs occasionally to stand aside from the hum and rush of human interests and passions to hear the voices of God. And it not unfrequently happens that the All-loving gives a great push to certain souls to thrust them out, as it were, from the distracting current for awhile to promote their discipline and growth, or to enrich them by communion and reflection. And similarly it may be woman's privilege from her peculiar coigne of vantage as a quiet observer, to whisper just the needed suggestion or the almost forgotten truth. The colored woman, then, should not be ignored because her bark is resting in the silent waters of the sheltered cove. She is watching the movements of the contestants none the less and is all the better qualified, perhaps, to weigh and judge and advise because not herself in the excitement of the race.
    • Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South (1892), p. 138
  • Make Christianity your own, and it will show you a point outside the world, and by means of this you will move heaven and earth.
  • Soweit es sich hier um „Paria"-Intellektualismus handelt, ... beruht dessen Intensität darauf, daß die außerhalb oder am unteren Ende der sozialen Hierarchie stehenden Schichten gewissermaßen auf dem archimedischen Punkt gegenüber den gesellschaftlichen Konventionen, sowohl was die äußere Ordnung wie was die üblichen Meinungen angeht, stehen. Sie sind daher einer durch jene Konvention nicht gebundenen originären Stellungnahme zum „Sinn" des Kosmos und eines starken, durch materielle Rücksicht nicht gehemmten, ethischen und religiösen Pathos fähig.
    • Pariah intellectualism ... derives its intensity from the fact that the groups which are at the lower end of, or altogether outside of, the social hierarchy stand to a certain extent on the point of Archimedes in relation to social conventions, both in respect to the external order and in relation to common opinions. Since these groups are not bound by the social conventions, they are capable of an original attitude toward the meaning of the cosmos; and since they are not impeded by any material considerations, they are capable of intense ethical and religious emotion.

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