Alfred North Whitehead

Profession : Mathematician ,Philosopher
Nationality : British
Birth : 15th February, 1861
Death : 30th December, 1947
About : Whitehead was born in Ramsgate, Kent, England. Although his grandfather, Thomas Whitehead, was known for having founded Chatham House Academy, a fairly successful school for boys, Alfred North was educated at Sherborne School, Dorset, then considered the best public school in the country. His childhood was described as over-protected, but when at school he excelled in sports, mathematics and was head prefect of his class. In 1880, Whitehead matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was fourth wrangler and gained his BA in 1884. Elected a fellow of Trinity in 1884, Whitehead would teach and write mathematics at the college until 1910, spending the 1890s writing his Treatise on Universal Algebra (1898), and the 1900s collaborating with his former pupil, Russell, on the first edition of Principia Mathematica. In 1910, he resigned his position at Trinity College to protest the dismissal of a colleague because of an adulterous affair. He also ran afoul of a Cambridge by-law limiting the term of a Senior Lecturer to 25 years. The period between 1910 and 1926 was mostly spent at University College London and Imperial College London, where he taught and wrote on physics, the philosophy of science, and the theory and practice of education. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1903 and was elected to the British Academy in 1931. Whitehead had opinions about a vast range of human endeavors. These opinions pepper the many essays and speeches he gave on various topics between 1915 and his death.

Alfred North Whitehead Quotes

A civilized society is one that exhibits the five qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art and peace.
Tags : Civilization Topics : Uncategorized
A man really writes for an audience of about ten persons. Of course if others like it, that is clear gain. But if those ten are satisfied, he is content.
A race preserves its vigour so long as it harbours a real contrast between what has been and what may be, and so long as it is nerved by the vigour to adventure beyond the safeties of the past. Without adventure, civilization is in full decay.
Tags : Civilization Topics : Uncategorized
A science which hesitates to forget its founders is lost.
Tags : School Topics : Technology
Almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.
An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.
Tags : Adventure Topics : Art
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
Topics : Art
But you can catch yourself entertaining habitually certain ideas and setting others aside; and that, I think, is where our personal destinies are largely decided.
Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.
Topics : Technology
Education with inert ideas is not only useless; it is above all things harmful.
Topics : Education
Every organism requires an environment of friends, partly to shield it from violent changes, and partly to supply it with its wants.
Topics : Friendship
Familiar things happen, and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.
Topics : Uncategorized
Fools act on imagination without knowledge, pedants act on knowledge without imagination.
Tags : Imagination Topics : Uncategorized
From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.
Tags : Action Topics : Uncategorized
God is in the world, or nowhere, creating continually in us and around us. Insofar as man partakes of this creative process does he partake of the divine, of God, and that participation is his immortality ….
Tags : Creativity Topics : Uncategorized
How the past perishes is how the future becomes.
Topics : Past
Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.
Topics : Age , Life
Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.
Tags : Ideas Topics : Uncategorized
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.
Tags : Pet Topics : Uncategorized
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.
Topics : Intelligence
It is a safe rule to apply that, when a mathematical or philosophical author writes with a misty profundity, he is talking nonsense.
Topics : Uncategorized
It is the business of the future to be dangerous.
Topics : Risk
It must be admitted that there is a degree of instability which is inconsistent with civilization. But, on the whole, the great ages have been unstable ones.
Tags : Security Topics : Uncategorized
Knowledge does not keep any better than fish.
Topics : Uncategorized
Knowledge shrinks as wisdom grows: for details are swallowed up in principles.
Topics : Wisdom
Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the universe.
Topics : Life
Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself.
Topics : Achievement
Mathematics is thought moving in the sphere of complete abstraction from any particular instance of what it is talking about.
Topics : Uncategorized
Not a sentence or a word is independent of the circumstances under which it is uttered.
Tags : Conversation Topics : Uncategorized
Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.
Tags : Ignorance Topics : Uncategorized
Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophical thought has done its best, the wonder remains.
Tags : Philosophy Topics : Uncategorized
Religion is what a man does with his solitariness.
Topics : Uncategorized
Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness.
Tags : Solitude Topics : Religion
Routine is the god of every social system; it is the seventh heaven of business, the essential component in the success of every factory, the ideal of every statesman.
Topics : Work
Some of the finest moral intuitions come to quite humble people. The visiting of lofty ideas doesn’t depend on formal schooling. Think of those Galilean peasants.
Tags : Instincts
Speech is human nature itself, with none of the artificiality of written language.
Topics : Age , Nature
The antithesis between a technical and a liberal education is fallacious. There can be no adequate technical education which is not liberal, and no liberal education which is not technical.
Topics : Education
The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
Tags : Change/Growth , Order Topics : Uncategorized
The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.
Topics : Youth
The essence of Christianity is the appeal to the life of Christ as a revelation of the nature of God and of his agency in the world.
Topics : Uncategorized
The factor in human life provocative of a noble discontent is the gradual emergence of a sense of criticism, founded upon appreciation of beauty, and of intellectual distinction, and of duty.
Tags : Criticism , Critics Topics : Uncategorized
The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, seek simplicity and distrust it.
The major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur.
Topics : Progress
The only justification in the use of force is to reduce the amount of force necessary to be used.
Topics : Power
The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present.
Topics : Past
The power of Christianity lies in its revelation in act, of that which Plato divined in theory.
Topics : Uncategorized
The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future.
Tags : The Present Topics : Uncategorized
The record is fragmentary, inconsistent and uncertain… But there can be no doubt as to the elements in the record that have evoked the best in human nature.
Topics : Uncategorized
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Tags : Philosophy Topics : Uncategorized
The silly question is the first intimation of some totally new development.
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.
The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
Tags : Books Topics : Uncategorized
The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and if need be, die for it.
The worship of God is not a rule of safety – it is an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable. The death of religion comes with the repression of the high hope of adventure.
Topics : Uncategorized
There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
Topics : Truth
There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays to 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.
Topics : Truth
True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.
Tags : Courage Topics : Age
Vigorous societies harbour a certain extravagance of objectives.
Tags : Social Topics : Society
We cannot think first and act afterward. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought
We think in generalities, but we live in detail.
Topics : Positive
What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike.
Tags : Ethics , Morality
When you are average, you are just as close to the bottom as you are the top.
Topics : Age
Without adventure civilization is in full decay

Quote Of the Day

Anger and hatred lead to fear; compassion and concern for others allow us to develop self-confidence, which breeds trust and friendship.

Dalai Lama