Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

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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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on justice, learning, machines, mercy, and thinking

There is a technique, a knack, for thinking, just as there is for doing other things. You are not wholly at the mercy of your thoughts, any more than they are you. They are a machine you can learn to operate.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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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 cats

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In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods, they have never forgotten this.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on achievement, creativity, mankind, and tranquility

Periods of tranquility are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.

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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