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44 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Alfred North Whitehead

Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher
Born On: February 15, 1861
Died On: December 30, 1947
Born In: Ramsgate, Kent, England
Died At Age: 86
Alfred North Whitehead was an eminent English philosopher and mathematician. He is considered as a defining figure in ‘Process Philosophy’, which is a philosophical school that has now been applied to various disciplines which include economics, education, ecology, psychology, theology, physics and biology. In the early days of his career his writings, thoughts and viewpoints revolved around physics, mathematics and logic. ‘Principia Mathematica’ is considered to be the most renowned and important work in mathematical logic that Whitehead has written along with Bertrand Russell. Later, he concentrated towards metaphysics and philosophy of science. We bring to you a corpus of thoughts, opinions, views, sayings and observations presented by the distinguished philosopher. Go through the quotes and sayings by Alfred North Whitehead on western philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics and process, reality, knowledge, victory, virtue, courage, history, development, art, recognition, intelligence, thought, life ideas, wisdom, morality, universe religion, mankind, motto, simplicity etc.
Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.

Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.

Alfred North Whitehead
It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

Alfred North Whitehead
Philosophy begins in wonder. And at the end when philosophic thought has done its best the wonder remains.

Philosophy begins in wonder. And at the end when philosophic thought has done its best the wonder remains.

Alfred North Whitehead
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.

Alfred North Whitehead
We think in generalities, but we live in details.

We think in generalities, but we live in details.

Alfred North Whitehead
...the only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity.

...the only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity.

Alfred North Whitehead
Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.

Alfred North Whitehead
From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery.

From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery.

Alfred North Whitehead
The art of progress is to reserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.

The art of progress is to reserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.

Alfred North Whitehead
Every really new idea looks crazy at first.

Every really new idea looks crazy at first.

Alfred North Whitehead
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.

Alfred North Whitehead
Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.

Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.

Alfred North Whitehead
Great dreamers' dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended.

Great dreamers' dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended.

Alfred North Whitehead
Error is the price we pay for progress.

Error is the price we pay for progress.

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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
All of Western philosophy is but a footnote to Plato.

All of Western philosophy is but a footnote to Plato.

Alfred North Whitehead
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.

Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.

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.

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 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.

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
The

The "silly" question is the first intimation of some totally new development

Alfred North Whitehead
A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.

A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.

Alfred North Whitehead
Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks.

Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks.

Alfred North Whitehead
We think in generalities, but we live in detail.

We think in generalities, but we live in detail.

Alfred North Whitehead
Life is complex in its expression, involving more than percipience, namely desire, emotion, will, and feeling.

Life is complex in its expression, involving more than percipience, namely desire, emotion, will, and feeling.

Alfred North Whitehead
Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.

Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.

Alfred North Whitehead
In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed.

In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed.

Alfred North Whitehead
Nature is probably quite indifferent to the aesthetic preferences of mathematicians.

Nature is probably quite indifferent to the aesthetic preferences of mathematicians.

Alfred North Whitehead
It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression.

It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression.

Alfred North Whitehead
A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view

A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view

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.

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
The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory.

The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory.

Alfred North Whitehead
Rationalism is an adventure in the clarification of thought.

Rationalism is an adventure in the clarification of thought.

Alfred North Whitehead
It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties.

It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties.

Alfred North Whitehead
Each creative act is the universe incarnating itself as one, and there is nothing above it by way of final condition.

Each creative act is the universe incarnating itself as one, and there is nothing above it by way of final condition.

Alfred North Whitehead
The degeneracy of mankind is distinguished from its uprise by the dominance of chill abstractions, divorced from aesthetic content.

The degeneracy of mankind is distinguished from its uprise by the dominance of chill abstractions, divorced from aesthetic content.

Alfred North Whitehead
From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.

From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.

Alfred North Whitehead
My criticism of Hegel procedure is that when in his discussion he arrives at a contradiction, he construes it as a crisis in the universe.

My criticism of Hegel procedure is that when in his discussion he arrives at a contradiction, he construes it as a crisis in the universe.

Alfred North Whitehead
Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness.

Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness.

Alfred North Whitehead
The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.

The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.

Alfred North Whitehead
Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them.

Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them.

Alfred North Whitehead
If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.

If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.

Alfred North Whitehead