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Religion increasingly is tending to degenerate into a decent formula wherewith to embellish a comfortable life.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the fine qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
The progress of Science consists in observing interconnections and in showing with a patient ingenuity that the events of this ever-shifting world are but examples of a few general relations, called laws. To see what is general in what is particular, and what is permanent in what is transitory, is the aim of scientific thought.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
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 saying the radium is scarce ... How scarce? You cannot evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and music, and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
Familiar things happen, and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
I regret that it has been necessary for me in this lecture to administer a large dose of four-dimensional geometry. I do not apologize, because I am really not responsible for the fact that nature in its most fundamental aspect is four-dimensional. Things are what they are.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
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. That would be claiming too much. 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.
—  Alfred North Whitehead
Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the Universe.
—  Alfred North Whitehead

   

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