Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on authors and nonsense

It is a safe rule to apply that, when a mathematical or philosophical author writes with a misty profundity, he is talking nonsense.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on majorities, morality, and time

What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like and immorality is what they dislike.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on nature

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There is no nature at an instant.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on inventions, motherhood, necessity, proverbs, and truth

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth.

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 experience, interest, and energy

It is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true. This statement is almost a tautology. For the energy of operation of a proposition in an occasion of experience is its interest and is its importance. But of course a true proposition is more apt to be interesting than a false one.

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

We think in generalities, but we live in details.

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 death

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No Roman ever died in contemplation over a geometrical diagram. A reference to the death of Archimedes.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: H. Eves Mathematical Circles Squared, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1972.

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on good, power, problems, and work

By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and, in effect, increases the mental power of the race.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: P. Davis and R. Hersh The Mathematical Experience, Boston: Birkhäuser, 1981.

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on ideas

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Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on justice and traditions

There is a tradition of opposition between adherents of induction and of deduction. In my view it would be just as sensible for the two ends of a worm to quarrel.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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

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