Alfred Whitehead

1861 - 1947

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)

Contributed by: Zaady

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

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on accidents, character, language, necessity, purpose, reason, relatives, and thought

Algebra reverses the relative importance of the factors in ordinary language. It is essentially a written language, and it endeavors to exemplify in its written structures the patterns which it is its purpose to convey. The pattern of the marks on paper is a particular instance of the pattern to be conveyed to thought. The algebraic method is our best approach to the expression of necessity, by reason of its reduction of accident to the ghostlike character of the real variable.

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 mind

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It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

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A Quote by Alfred North Whitehead on history, ideas, play, study, and thought

I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which is named after him. That would be claiming too much. But it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia. This simile is singularly exact. For Ophelia is quite essential to the play, she is very charming . . . and a little mad.

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 clarity and world

Algebra is the intellectual instrument which has been created for rendering clear the quantitative aspects of the world.

Alfred Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Source: The Organisation of Thought

Contributed by: Zaady

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