Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Alfred North Whitehead.

Alfred North Whitehead Alfred North Whitehead > Quotes


Alfred North Whitehead quotes Showing 1-30 of 97

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Religion carries two sorts of people in two entirely opposite directions: the mild and gentle people it carries towards mercy and justice; the persecuting people it carries into fiendish sadistic cruelty. Mind you, though this may seem to justify the eighteenth-century Age of Reason in its contention that religion is nothing but an organized, gigantic fraud and a curse to the human race, nothing could be farther from the truth. It possesses these two aspects, the evil one of the two appealing to people capable of naïve hatred; but what is actually happening is that when you get natures stirred to their depths over questions which they feel to be overwhelmingly vital, you get the bad stirred up in them as well as the good; the mud as well as the water. It doesn't seem to matter much which sect you have, for both types occur in all sects....”
Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead
“It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“The misconception which has haunted philosophic literature throughout the centuries is the notion of 'independent existence.' There is no such mode of existence; every entity is to be understood in terms of the way it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. ”
Alfred North Whitehead
“We think in generalities, but we live in details.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“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.”
Alfred North Whitehead, The Concept of Nature: The Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, 11/1919
“...the only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Philosophy begins in wonder. And at the end when philosophic thought has done its best the wonder remains.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery.”
Alfred 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.”
Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics
“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality
“Great dreamers' dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended.”
Alfred Whitehead
“The art of progress is to reserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Error is the price we pay for progress.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Every really new idea looks crazy at first.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“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.”
Alfred North Whitehead
tags: math
“We think in generalities, but we live in detail. To make the past live, we must perceive it in detail in addition to thinking of it in generalities.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“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.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“The foundation of reverence is this perception, that the present holds within itself the complete sum of existence, backwards and forwards, that whole amplitude of time, which is eternity.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“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.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“The ideas of Freud were popularized by people who only imperfectly understood them, who were incapable of the great effort required to grasp them in their relationship to larger truths, and who therefore assigned to them a prominence out of all proportion to their true importance.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“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.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“We cannot think first and act afterwards. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action and can only guide it by taking thought.”
Alfred North Whitehead
“Nature is probably quite indifferent to the aesthetic preferences of mathematicians.”
Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World
“A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.”
Alfred North Whitehead

« previous 1 3 4

All Quotes | Add A Quote


Process and Reality Process and Reality
587 ratings
Open Preview
Adventures of Ideas Adventures of Ideas
183 ratings
The Aims of Education The Aims of Education
165 ratings