44 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Alfred North Whitehead
Ramsgate, Kent, England
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. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious. Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. ...the only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. We think in generalities, but we live in details. Philosophy begins in wonder. And at the end when philosophic thought has done its best the wonder remains. From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery. The art of progress is to reserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order. Every really new idea looks crazy at first. Great dreamers' dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended. Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it. There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. Error is the price we pay for progress. 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. All of Western philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. 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. 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. Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended. A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost. 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 the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Nature is probably quite indifferent to the aesthetic preferences of mathematicians. We think in generalities, but we live in detail. Life is complex in its expression, involving more than percipience, namely desire, emotion, will, and feeling. It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression. Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions. The "silly" question is the first intimation of some totally new development Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks. 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 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. 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. The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory. Rationalism is an adventure in the clarification of thought. The degeneracy of mankind is distinguished from its uprise by the dominance of chill abstractions, divorced from aesthetic content. Each creative act is the universe incarnating itself as one, and there is nothing above it by way of final condition.
From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.
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.
Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness.
The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.
Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them. 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.