Alfred North Whitehead Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Alfred North Whitehead Sayings

#1. Culture is activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling. Scraps of information have nothing to do with it. A merely well informed man is the most useless bore on God's earth. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#2. War can protect; it cannot create. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#3. A clash of doctrine is not a disaster, it is an opportunity. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#4. Human nature loses its most precious quality when it is robbed of its sense of things beyond, unexplored and yet insistent. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#5. I consider Christian theology to be one of the greatest disasters of the human race. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#6. The oneness of the universe, and the oneness of each element of the universe, repeat themselves to the crack of doom in the creative advance from creature to creature, each creature including in itself the whole of history and exemplifying the self-identity of things and their mutual diversities. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#7. Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#8. Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#9. There is no nature at an instant. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#10. Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#11. Mathematics, in its widest significance, is the development of all types of formal, necessary, deductive reasoning. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#12. Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#13. Algebra is the intellectual instrument which has been created for rendering clear the quantitative aspects of the world. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#14. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#15. 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. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#16. The vastest knowledge of today cannot transcend the buddhi of the Rishis in ancient India; and science in its most advanced stage now is closer to Vedanta than ever before. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#17. Every intellectual revolution which has ever stirred humanity into greatness has been a passionate protest against inert ideas. Then, alas, with pathetic ignorance of human psychology, it has proceeded by some educational scheme to bind humanity afresh with inert ideas of its own fashioning. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#18. Education should turn out the pupil with something he knows well and something he can do well. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#19. The many become one and are increased by one. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#20. It takes an extraordinary intelligence to contemplate the obvious. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#21. No Roman ever died in contemplation over a geometrical diagram. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#22. Error itself may be happy chance. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#23. True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#24. The absolute pacifist is a bad citizen; times come when force must be used to uphold right, justice and ideals. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#25. It builds cathedrals before the workmen have moved a stone, and it destroys them before the elements have worn down their arches. It is the architect of the buildings of the spirit, and it is also their solvent: - and the spiritual precedes the material. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#26. Common sense is genius in homespun. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#27. Not a sentence or a word is independent of the circumstances under which it is uttered. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#28. 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. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#29. It is natural to think that an abstract science cannot be of much importance in affairs of human life, because it has omitted from its consideration everything of real interest. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#30. There is a technique, a knack, for thinking, just as there is for doing other things. You are not wholly at the mercy of your thoughts, any more than they are you. They are a machine you can learn to operate. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#31. Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#32. The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#33. All of Western philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#34. Our rate of progress is such that an individual human being, of ordinary length of life, will be called on to face novel situations which find no parallel in his past. The fixed person, for the fixed duties, who, in older societies was such a godsend, in the future will be a public danger. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#35. The chief danger to philosophy is narrowness in the selection of evidence. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#36. Peace is self-control at its widest-at the width where the "self" has been lost, and interest has been transferred to coordinations wider than personality. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#37. An open mind is all very well in its way, but it ought not to be so open that there is no keeping anything in or out of it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#38. In order to acquire learning, we must first shake ourselves free of it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#39. On the ostensible exactitude of certain branches of human knowledge, including mathematics. The exactness is a fake. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#40. We must not expect simple answers to far-reaching questions. However far our gaze penetrates, there are always heights beyond which block our vision. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#41. The factor in human life provocative of a noble discontent is the gradual emergence of a sense of criticism, founded upon appreciation of beauty, and of intellectual distinction, and of duty. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#42. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#43. It is this union of passionate interest in the detailed facts with equal devotion to abstract generalisation which forms the novelty in our present society . - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#44. In all education the main cause of failure is staleness. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#45. Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#46. Fertilization of the soul is the reason for the necessity of art. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#47. I am also greatly indebted to Bergson, William James, and John Dewey. One of my preoccupations has been to rescue their type of thought from the charge of anti-intellectualism, which rightly or wrongly has been associated with it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#48. With the sense of sight, the idea communicates the emotion, whereas, with sound, the emotion communicates the idea, which is more direct and therefore more powerful. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#49. A great society is a society in which its men of business think greatly of their functions. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#50. Each creative act is the universe incarnating itself as one, and there is nothing above it by way of final condition. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#51. The whole of mathematics consists in the organization of a series of aids to the imagination in the process of reasoning. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#52. I have always noticed that deeply and truly religious persons are fond of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who aren't. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#53. When success turns a man's head he faces failure - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#54. In a living civilization there is always an element of unrest, for sensitiveness to ideas means curiosity, adventure, change. Civilized order survives on its merits and is transformed by its power of recognizing its imperfections. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#55. Philosophy asks the simple question: What is it all about? - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#56. So far as the mere imparting of information is concerned, no university has had any justification for existence since the popularization of printing in the fifteenth century. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#57. The true method of discovery is like the flight of an aeroplane. It starts from the ground of particular observation; it makes a flight in the thin air of imaginative generalization; and it again lands for renewed observation rendered acute by rational interpretation. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#58. Every really new idea looks crazy at first. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#59. 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. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#60. "One and one make two" assumes that the changes in the shift of circumstance are unimportant. But it is impossible for us to analyze this notion of unimportant change. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#61. I always feel that I have two duties to perform with a parting guest: one, to see that he doesn't forget anything that is his; the other, to see that he doesn't take anything that is mine. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#62. A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the fine qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#63. Nature, even in the act of satisfying anticipation, often provides a surprise. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#64. To come very near to a true theory, and to grasp its precise application, are two different things, as the history of science teaches us. Everything of importance has been said before by someone who did not discover it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#65. The fixed person for the fixed duties who in older societies was such a godsend, in future will be a public danger. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#66. A man really writes for an audience of about ten persons. Of course if others like it, that is clear gain. But if those ten are satisfied, he is content. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#67. Speak out in acts; the time for words has passed, and only deeds will suffice. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#68. Seek simplicity but distrust it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#69. Above all things we must be aware of what I will call 'inert ideas'
- that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind
without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#70. Mathematics as a science, commenced when first someone, probably a Greek, proved propositions about "any" things or about "some" things, without specifications of definite particular things. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#71. The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order. Life refuses to be embalmed alive. The more prolonged the halt in some unrelieved system of order, the greater the crash of the dead society. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#72. The real history does not get written, because it is not in people's brains but in their nerves and vitals. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#73. [In many circumstances,] the most important thing about a proposition is not that it be true, but that it be interesting. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#74. 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. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#75. Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness. Thus religion is solitariness; and if you are never solitary, you are never religious. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#76. Dogmatism is the anti-Christ of learning. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#77. Philosophy is the product of wonder. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#78. The only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#79. Art heightens the sense of humanity. It gives an elation to feeling which is supernatural ... A million sunsets will not spur us on towards civilization. It requires Art to evoke into consciousness the finite perfections which lie ready for human achievement. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#80. No reason can be given for the nature of God, because that nature is the ground of rationality. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#81. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#82. Each generation criticizes the unconscious assumptions made by its parent. It may assent to them, but it brings them out in the open. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#83. Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#84. Our minds are finite, and yet even in these circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of life is to grasp as much as we can out of that infinitude. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#85. The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and if need be, die for it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#86. Democracy ... is a society in which the unbeliever feels undisturbed and at home. If there were only a half dozen unbelievers in America, their well-being would be a test of our democracy. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#87. Vigorous societies harbour a certain extravagance of objectives. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#88. It belongs to the self-respect of intellect to pursue every tangle of thought to its final unravelment. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#89. What the learned world tends to offer is one second-hand scrap of information illustrating ideas derived from another second-hand scrap of information. The second-handedness of the learned world is the secret of its mediocrity. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#90. From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#91. No period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, idealistic motives, and idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#92. The result of teaching small parts of a large number of subjects is the passive reception of disconnected ideas, not illumed with any spark of vitality. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#93. Each human being is a more complex structure than any social system to which he belongs. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#94. Great people plant trees they'll never sit under. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#95. Religion increasingly is tending to degenerate into a decent formula wherewith to embellish a comfortable life. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#96. The self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of existing modes of knowledge. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#97. Religion is the reaction of human nature to its search for God. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#98. Life is the enjoyment of emotion, derived from the past and aimed at the future. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#99. Every philosophy is tinged with the coloring of some secret imaginative background, which never emerges explicitly into its train of reasoning. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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#100. 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. - Author: Alfred North Whitehead
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