Sunday, May 22, 2016

Great Quotations on Mathematics


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Following are some of the quotations that have been used at different times in the decoration of a frieze above the blackboard in the writer's recitation room:
Let no one who is unacquainted with geometry Leave here. (This near the door and on the inside— an adaptation of the motto that Plato is said to have had over the outside of the entrance to his school of philosophy, the Academy: "Let no one who is unacquainted with geometry enter here.")

God geometrizes continually. Plato.

There is no royal road to geometry. Euclid.

Mathematics, the queen of the sciences. Gauss.

Mathematics is the glory of the human mind. Leibnitz.

Mathematics is the most marvelous instrument created by the genius of man for the discovery of truth. Laisant.

Mathematics is the indispensable instrument of all physical research. Bert helot.

All my physics is nothing else than geometry. Descartes.

There is nothing so prolific in utilities as abstractions. Faraday.

The two eyes of exact science are mathematics and logic. De Morgan.

All scientific education which does not commence with mathematics is, of necessity, defective at its foundation. Compte.

It is in mathematics we ought to learn the general method always followed by the human mind in its positive researches. Compte.

A natural science is a science only in so far as it is mathematical. Kant.

The progress, the improvement of mathematics are linked to the prosperity of the state. Napoleon.

If the Greeks had not cultivated conic sections, Kepler could not have superseded Ptolemy. Whewell.

No subject loses more than mathematics by any attempt to dissociate it from its history. Glaisher.

D’Israeli speaks of the “six follies of science,” —the quadrature, the duplication, the perpetual motion, the philosopher’s stone, magic, and astrology. He might as well have added the trisection, to make the mystic number seven; but had he done so, he would still have been very lenient; only seven follies in all science, from mathematics to chemistry! Science might have said to such a judge—as convicts used to 366 say who got seven years, expecting it for life, “Thank you, my Lord, and may you sit there until they are over,” —may the Curiosities of Literature outlive the Follies of Science!—De Morgan, A.

There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics.... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.—Voltaire

Till the fifteenth century little progress appears to have been made in the science or practice of music; but since that era it has advanced with marvelous rapidity, its progress being curiously parallel with that of mathematics, inasmuch as great musical geniuses appeared suddenly among different nations, equal in their possession of this special faculty to any that have since arisen. As with the mathematical so with the musical faculty—it is impossible to trace any connection between its possession and survival in the struggle for existence.—Wallace, A. R.

Pure mathematics is the magician’s real wand.—Novalis.

Infinity is the land of mathematical hocus pocus. There Zero the magician is king. When Zero divides any number he changes it without regard to its magnitude into the infinitely small [great?], and inversely, when divided by any number he begets the infinitely great [small?]. In this domain the circumference of the circle becomes a straight line, and then the circle can be squared. Here all ranks are abolished, for Zero reduces everything to the same level one way or another. Happy is the kingdom where Zero rules!—Carus, Paul.

There was a time when he [Newton] was possessed with the old fooleries of astrology; and another when he was so far gone in those of chemistry, as to be upon the hunt after the philosopher’s stone.—Rev. J. Spence.

It is the embarrassment of metaphysics that it is able to accomplish so little with the many things that mathematics offers her.—Kant.

Without mathematics one cannot fathom the depths of philosophy; without philosophy one cannot fathom the depths of mathematics; without the two one cannot fathom anything.—Bordas-Demoulins.

Number was born in superstition and reared in mystery,... numbers were once made the foundation of religion and philosophy, and the tricks of figures have had a marvellous effect on a credulous people.—Parker, F. W.

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