Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on direction, life, and universe

Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the Universe.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: Adventures of Ideas, 1933.

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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 on authority, children, christ, christianity, despair, doubt, god, inconsistency, life, love, motherhood, nature, peace, suffering, sympathy, uncertainty, victory, words, and world

The essence of Christianity is the appeal to the life of Christ as a revelation of the nature of God and of God's agency in the world. The record is fragmentary, inconsistent, and uncertain. . . . But there can be no doubt as to what elements in the record have evoked a response from all that is best in human nature. The Mother, the Child, and the bare manger: the lowly man, homeless and self-forgetful, with his message of peace, love, and sympathy: the suffering, the agony, the tender words as life ebbed, the final despair: and the whole with the authority of supreme victory.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead

Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.

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 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 apologies, facts, nature, regret, and responsibility

I regret that it has been necessary for me in this lecture to administer a large dose of four-dimensional geometry. I do not apologize, because I am really not responsible for the fact that nature in its most fundamental aspect is four-dimensional. Things are what they are.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: The Concept of Nature

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on adventure, art, beauty, civilization, peace, society, and truth

A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the fine qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on common sense, creativity, ideas, originality, thought, words, and work

Now in creative thought common sense is a bad master. Its sole criterion for judgement is that the new ideas shall look like the old ones. In other words it can only work by suppressing originality.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: An Introduction to Mathematics

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead

But in the prevalent discussion of classes, there are illegitimate transitions to the notions of a 'nexus' and of a 'proposition'. The appeal to a class to perform the services of a proper entity is exactly analogous to an appeal to an imaginary terrier to kill a real rat.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: Process and Reality

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on cats and dogs

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If a dog jumps up into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead

Contributed by: Zaady

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