Alfred North Whitehead

English philosopher and mathematician who collaborated with Bertrand Russell (1861-1947)

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A clash of doctrines is not a disaster--it is an opportunity.Rate it:
Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.Rate it:
An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.Rate it:
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.Rate it:
But you can catch yourself entertaining habitually certain ideas and setting others aside; and that, I think, is where our personal destinies are largely decided.Rate it:
Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.Rate it:
Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking.Rate it:
Every philosophy is tinged with the coloring of some secret imaginative background, which never emerges explicitly into its train of reasoning.Rate it:
Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.Rate it:
Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.Rate it:
I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning , or destroyed it altogether.Rate it:
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. . . 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.Rate it:
Ideas won't keep something must be done about them.Rate it:
Ideas won't keep, something must be done about them.Rate it:
If a dog jumps in 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.Rate it:
If a dog jumps in 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.Rate it:
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.Rate it:
It does not matter what men say in words, so long as their activities are controlled by settled instincts. The words may ultimately destroy the instincts. But until this has occurred, words do not count. - from Science and the Modern WorldRate it:
It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.Rate it:
It takes a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.Rate it:
Nature gets credit which should in truth be reserved for ourselves: the rose for its scent, the nightingale for its song; and the sun for its radiance. The poets are entirely mistaken. They should address their lyrics to themselves and should turn them into odes of self congratulation on the excellence of the human mind.Rate it:
Periods of tranquility are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.Rate it:
Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.Rate it:
Philosophy is the product of wonder.Rate it:
Religion is what a person does in his solitariness.Rate it:
Seek simplicity, and distrust it.Rate it:
The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.Rate it:
The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.Rate it:
The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future.Rate it:
The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them.Rate it:
There are no whole truths all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.Rate it:
There are no whole truths; all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.Rate it:
Through and through the world is infested with quantity. To talk sense is to talk quantities, It is no use saying the nation is large- how large? It is no use s aying that radium is scarce- how scarce? You can not evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and music and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves.Rate it:
We cannot think first and act afterward. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.Rate it:
We think in generalities, but we live in detail.Rate it:
What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike.Rate it:
Without adventure civilization is in full decay.Rate it:

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