A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on certainty, clarity, duty, preparation, purity, work, and world

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. Certain characteristics of the subject are clear. To begin with, we do not, in this subject, deal with particular things or particular properties: we deal formally with what can be said about "any" thing or "any" property. We are prepared to say that one and one are two, but not that Socrates and Plato are two, because, in our capacity of logicians or pure mathematicians, we have never heard of Socrates or Plato. A world in which there were no such individuals would still be a world in which one and one are two. It is not open to us, as pure mathematicians or logicians, to mention anything at all, because, if we do so we introduce something irrelevant and not formal.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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

Contributed by: Zaady