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I think that it is a relatively good approximation to truthwhich is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations — that mathematical ideas originate in empirics. But, once they are conceived, the subject begins to live a peculiar life of its own and is ... governed by almost entirely aesthetical motivations. In other words, at a great distance from its empirical source, or after much "abstract" inbreeding, a mathematical subject is in danger of degeneration. Whenever this stage is reached the only remedy seems to me to be the rejuvenating return to the source: the reinjection of more or less directly empirical ideas.
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John von Neumann

John von Neumann

United States mathematician who contributed to the development of atom bombs and of stored-program digital computers (1903-1957)

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"John von Neumann Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Feb. 2018. <https://www.quotes.net/quote/51220>.

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