##### Luther, Martin (1483-1546)

Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad and theology makes them sinful.

##### Locke, John

[M]athematical
proofs, like
diamonds, are hard
and clear, and will
be touched with
nothing but strict
reasoning.

In D. Burton,
Elementary Number
Theory, Boston:
Allyn and Bacon,
1980.

##### Lobatchevsky, Nikolai

There is no branch
of mathematics,
however abstract,
which may not some
day be applied to
phenomena of the
real world.

In N. Rose,
Mathematical Maxims
and Minims, Raleigh
NC: Rome Press Inc.,
1988.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

The theory of
numbers is
particularly liable
to the accusation
that some of its
problems are the
wrong sort of
questions to ask. I
do not myself think
the danger is
serious; either a
reasonable amount of
concentration leads
to new ideas or
methods of obvious
interest, or else
one just leaves the
problem alone.
"Perfect numbers"
certainly never did
any good, but then
they never did any
particular harm.

A Mathematician's
Miscellany, Methuen
Co. Ltd., 1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

We come finally,
however, to the
relation of the
ideal theory to real
world, or "real"
probability. If he
is consistent a man
of the mathematical
school washes his
hands of
applications. To
someone who wants
them he would say
that the ideal
system runs parallel
to the usual theory:
"If this is what you
want, try it: it is
not my business to
justify application
of the system; that
can only be done by
philosophizing; I am
a mathematician." In
practice he is apt
to say: "Try this;
if it works that
will justify it."
But now he is not
merely
philosophizing; he
is committing the
characteristic
fallacy. Inductive
experience that the
system works is not
evidence.

*A Mathematician's
Miscellany,*
Methuen Co. Ltd,
1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

I read in the proof
sheets of Hardy on
Ramanujan: "As
someone said, each
of the positive
integers was one of
his personal
friends." My
reaction was, "I
wonder who said
that; I wish I had."
In the next
proof sheets I read
(what now stands),
"It was Littlewood
who said ..."

A Mathematician's
Miscellany, Methuen
Co. Ltd, 1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

The surprising thing
about this paper is
that a man who could
write it would.

A Mathematician's
Miscellany, Methuen
Co. Ltd., 1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

A precisian
professor had the
habit of saying:
"... quartic
polynomial
ax^4+bx^3+cx^2+dx+e,
where e need not be
the base of the
natural logarithms."

*A Mathematician's
Miscellany,*
Methuen Co. Ltd.,
1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885-1977)

A linguist would be
shocked to learn
that if a set is not
closed this does not
mean that it is
open, or again that
"E is dense in E"
does not mean the
same thing as "E is
dense in itself."

*A Mathematician's
Miscellany,*
Methuen Co. Ltd.,
1953.

##### Littlewood, J. E. (1885 -1977)

In presenting a mathematical argument the great thing is to give the educated reader the chance to catch on at once to the momentary point and take details for granted: his successive mouthfuls should be such as can be swallowed at sight; in case of accidents, or in case he wishes for once to check in detail, he should have only a clearly circumscribed little problem to solve (e.g. to check an identity: two trivialities omitted can add up to an impasse). The unpractised writer, even after the dawn of a conscience, gives him no such chance; before he can spot the point he has to tease his way through a maze of symbols of which not the tiniest suffix can be skipped.

A Mathematician's Miscellany, Methuen Co. Ltd., 1953.