##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

Through and through
the world is
infected with
quantity: To talk
sense is to talk in
quantities. It is no
use saying the
nation is large ..
How large? It is no
use saying the
radium is scarce ...
How scarce? You
cannot evade
quantity. You may
fly to poetry and
music, and quantity
and number will face
you in your rhythms
and your octaves.

In J. R. Newman
(ed.), The World of
Mathematics, New
York: Simon and
Schuster, 1956.

##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

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.

W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger The Viking Book of Aphorisms, New York: Viking Press, 1966.

##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which is named after him. That would be claiming too much. But it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia. This simile is singularly exact. For Ophelia is quite essential to the play, she is very charming ... and a little mad.

W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger The Viking Book of Aphorisms, New York: Viking Press, 1966.

##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

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 greatest science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.

An Introduction to Mathematics

##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.

In J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

##### Whitehead, Alfred North (1861 - 1947)

Familiar things happen, and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

Science and the Modern World.

##### Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

##### Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,

When the proofs, the figure, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

##### Wiener, Norbert (1894 - 1964)

A professor is one who can speak on any subject -- for precisely fifty minutes.

##### Wiener, Norbert (1894-1964)

The modern physicist is a quantum theorist on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a student of gravitational relativity theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sunday he is neither, but is praying to his God that someone, preferably himself, will find the reconciliation between the two views.