Quotes by Alfred North Whitehead

A collection of the most quoted words from Alfred North Whitehead such as “We think in generalities, but we live in details”.

Best Alfred North Whitehead Quotes

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) was an English mathematician, philosopher, and polymath. He is best known for his work in mathematical logic and philosophy of science.

In mathematics, Whitehead is known for his collaboration with Bertrand Russell on the “Principia Mathematica,” a three-volume work published between 1910 and 1913 that attempted to provide a formal logical foundation for mathematics.

In philosophy, Whitehead is known for his work on process philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of change and becoming in the universe. His major philosophical works include “Process and Reality” and “Adventures of Ideas.”

Whitehead’s contributions to both mathematics and philosophy have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including election to the Royal Society in 1903 and the Order of Merit in 1945.

Famous Quotes By Alfred North Whitehead

Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development.

In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of a defeat; but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress towards a victory.

It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them

Quotes From Alfred North Whitehead

The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment… We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet’s father, this great science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.

Rightness of limitation is essential for growth of reality. Unlimited possibility and abstract creativity can procure nothing. The limitation, and the basis arising from what is already actual, are both of them necessary and interconnected

The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, ‘Seek simplicity and distrust it’.

Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.

Well Known Quotes Alfred North Whitehead

The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention.

Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.

A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the five qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.

Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.

It is the first step in sociological wisdom, to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur.

When you’re average, you’re just as close to the bottom as you are the top.

We think in generalities, but we live in detail.

Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks.

It is a safe rule to apply that, when a mathematical or philosophical author writes with a misty profundity, he is talking nonsense.

Education is the acquisition of the art of the utilisation of knowledge.

The point about zero is that we do not need to use it in the operation of daily life. No one goes out to buy zero fish.

Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.

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

The mentality of mankind and the language of mankind created each other.

There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.

Shakespeare wrote better poetry for not knowing too much; Milton, I think, knew too much finally for the good of his poetry.

If a dog jumps 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.

Education which is not modern share the fate of all organic things which are kept too long.

Seek simplicity, and distrust it.

Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.

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