A Quote by Edward Kasner on danger, home, logic, mathematics, order, progress, seriousness, and suffering

When the mathematician says that such and such a proposition is true of one thing, it may be interesting, and it is surely safe. But when he tries to extend his proposition to everything, though it is much more interesting, it is also much more dangerous. In the transition from one to all, from the specific to the general, mathematics has made its greatest progress, and suffered its most serious setbacks, of which the logical paradoxes constitute the most important part. For, if mathematics is to advance securely and confidently, it must first set its affairs in order at home.

Edward Kasner

Source: E. Kasner and J. Newman, Mathematics and the Imagination, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940.

Contributed by: Zaady