Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on god and world

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It is as true to say that God is permanent and the World fluent, as that the World is permanent and God is fluent. It is as true to say that God is one and the World many, as that the World is one and God many. It is as true to say that, in comparison with the World, God is actual eminently, as that, in comparison with God, the World is actual eminently. It is as true to say that the World is immanent in God, as that God is immanent in the World. It is as true to say that God transcends the World, as that the World transcends God. It is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: Process and Reality, 1929

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on education and ideas

Education with inert ideas is not only useless; it is above all things harmful.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on certainty, knowledge, and mathematics

On the ostensible exactitude of certain branches of human knowledge, including mathematics. The exactness is a fake.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on mathematics, purity, and thought

The point of mathematics is that in it we have always got rid of the particular instance, and even of any particular sorts of entities. So that for example, no mathematical truths apply merely to fish, or merely to stones, or merely to colours. So long as you are dealing with pure mathematics, you are in the realm of complete and absolute abstraction. . . . Mathematics is thought moving in the sphere of complete abstraction from any particular instance of what it is talking about.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: Science and the Modern World

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on disappointment, effort, fatherhood, mathematics, science, study, water, and weapons

The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. . . . We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this greatest science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: An Introduction to Mathematics

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on civilization and thinking

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations that we can perform without thinking about them.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on life and religion

Religion increasingly is tending to degenerate into a decent formula wherewith to embellish a comfortable life.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on intelligence and value

The race that does not value trained intelligence is doomed.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on war

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War can protect; it cannot create.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger The Viking Book of Aphorisms, New York: Viking Press, 1966.

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on circumstances, life, possibility, and purpose

Our minds are finite, and yet even in these circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of life is to grasp as much as we can out of that infinitude.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC:Rome Press Inc., 1988.

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