Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on music, nations, poetry, and world

Through and through the world is infested with quantity: To talk sense is to talk quantities. It is no use saying the nation is large. . . . How large? It is no use saying the radium is scarce. . . . How scarce? You cannot evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and music, and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on ideas and progress

Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.

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 business, danger, and future

It is the business of the future to be dangerous.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on belief, ideas, perfection, science, and truth

In modern times the belief that the ultimate explanation of all things was to be found in Newtonian mechanics was an adumbration of the truth that all science, as it grows towards perfection, becomes mathematical in its ideas.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on aim, laws, patience, progress, science, thought, and world

The progress of Science consists in observing interconnections and in showing with a patient ingenuity that the events of this ever-shifting world are but examples of a few general relations, called laws. To see what is general in what is particular, and what is permanent in what is transitory, is the aim of scientific thought.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: An Introduction to Mathematics.

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on clarity, facts, feeling, ideas, intelligence, sentimentality, study, and superstition

In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on corruption, idleness, and life

Symbolism is no mere idle fancy or corrupt degeneration: it is inherent in the very texture of human life.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on distrust and simplicity

Seek simplicity, and distrust it.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on questions

The "silly question" is the first intimation of some totally new development.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on circumstances

[In many circumstances,] the most important thing about a proposition is not that it be true, but that it be interesting.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Contributed by: Zaady

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