Famous Quotes By Alfred North Whitehead


  1. An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.
  2. Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
  3. Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
  4. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.
  5. Fools act on imagination without knowledge, pedants act on knowledge without imagination.
  6. If a dog jumps into 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.
  7. In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.
  8. Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct form ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.
  9. 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.
  10. It takes an extraordinary intelligence to contemplate the obvious.
  11. Knowledge shrinks as wisdom grows.
  12. No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
  13. 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.
  14. Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.
  15. Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.
  16. Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.
  17. Speech is human nature itself, with none of the artificiality of written language.
  18. The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
  19. The task of a university is the creation of the future, so far as rational thought and civilized modes of appreciation can affect the issue.
  20. The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
  21. True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.
  22. Wisdom alone is true ambition's aim, wisdom is the source of virtue and of fame obtained with labour, for mankind employed, and then, when most you share it, best enjoyed.

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