J.J. Sylvester

1814 - 1897

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on certainty, mathematics, nature, and study

I know, indeed, and can conceive of no pursuit so antagonistic to the cultivation of the oratorical faculty ... as the study of Mathematics. An eloquent mathematician must, from the nature of things, ever remain as rare a phenomenon as a talking fish, and it is certain that the more anyone gives himself up to the study of oratorical effect the less will he find himself in a fit state to mathematicize.

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on laws, purity, and theory

[on graph theory...] The theory of ramification is one of pure colligation, for it takes no account of magnitude or position; geometrical lines are used, but these have no more real bearing on the matter than those employed in genealogical tables have in explaining the laws of procreation.

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Source: H. Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1977.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on future, ideas, instinct, learning, and nature

So long as a man remains a gregarious and sociable being, he cannot cut himself off from the gratification of the instinct of imparting what he is learning, of propagating through others the ideas and impressions seething in his own brain, without stunting and atrophying his moral nature and drying up the surest sources of his future intellectual replenishment.

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on action, mathematics, mind, study, and world

...there is no study in the world which brings into more harmonious action all the faculties of the mind than [mathematics], ... or, like this, seems to raise them, by successive steps of initiation, to higher and higher states of conscious intellectual being....

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Source: Presidential Address to British Association, 1869.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on acquaintance, body, life, soul, and time

Time was when all the parts of the subject were dissevered, when algebra, geometry, and arithmetic either lived apart or kept up cold relations of acquaintance confined to occasional calls upon one another; but that is now at an end; they are drawn together and are constantly becoming more and more intimately related and connected by a thousand fresh ties, and we may confidently look forward to a time when they shall form but one body with one soul.

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Source: Presidential Address to British Association, 1869.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J.J. Sylvester on beauty, concern, creation, divinity, ideas, mathematics, mind, order, universe, and world

The world of ideas which it [mathematics] discloses or illuminates, the contemplation of divine beauty and order which it induces, the harmonious connexion of its parts, the infinite hierarchy and absolute evidence of the truths with which it is concerned, these, and such like, are the surest grounds of the title of mathematics to human regard, and would remain unimpeached and unimpaired were the plan of the universe unrolled like a map at our feet, and the mind of man qualified to take in the whole scheme of creation at a glance.

J.J. Sylvester (1814 - 1897)

Source: Presidential Address to British Association, 1869.

Contributed by: Zaady

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