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E T Bell QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
Abstractness, sometimes hurled as a reproach at mathematics, is its chief glory and its surest title to practical usefulness. It is also the source of such beauty as may spring from mathematics.
Quotation of E T Bell
All of these dislikes and objections are of course themselves meaningless unless they can be backed by a definite program to replace what is rejected.
Quotation of E T Bell
Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions.
Quotation of E T Bell
Fashion as King is sometimes a very stupid ruler.
Quotation of E T Bell
Guided only by their feeling for symmetry, simplicity, and generality, and an indefinable sense of the fitness of things, creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness.
Quotation of E T Bell
I have always hated machinery, and the only machine I ever understood was a wheelbarrow, and that but imperfectly.
Quotation of E T Bell
If a lunatic scribbles a jumble of mathematical symbols it does not follow that the writing means anything merely because to the inexpert eye it is indistinguishable from higher mathematics.
Quotation of E T Bell
If indeed, as Hilbert asserted, mathematics is a meaningless game played with meaningless marks on paper, the only mathematical experience to which we can refer is the making of marks on paper.
Quotation of E T Bell
Intuition (male, female or mathematical) has been greatly overrated. Intuition is the root of all superstition.
Quotation of E T Bell
It is the perennial youthfulness of mathematics itself which marks it off with a disconcerting immortality from the other sciences.
Quotation of E T Bell
Nevertheless, the consuming hunger of the uncritical mind for what it imagines to be certainty or finality impels it to feast upon shadows in the prevailing famine of substance.
Quotation of E T Bell
"Obvious" is the most dangerous word in mathematics.
Quotation of E T Bell
Out of fifty mathematical papers presented in brief at such a meeting, it is a rare mathematician indeed who really understands what more than half a dozen are about.
Quotation of E T Bell
Science makes no pretension to eternal truth or absolute truth.
Quotation of E T Bell
The cowboys have a way of trussing up a steer or a pugnacious bronco which fixes the brute so that it can neither move nor think. This is the hog-tie, and it is what Euclid did to geometry.
Quotation of E T Bell
The longer mathematics lives the more abstract - and therefore, possibly also the more practical - it becomes.
Quotation of E T Bell
The mistakes and unresolved difficulties of the past in mathematics have always been the opportunities of its future.
Quotation of E T Bell
The pursuit of pretty formulas and neat theorems can no doubt quickly degenerate into a silly vice, but so can the quest for austere generalities which are so very general indeed that they are incapable of application to any particular.
Quotation of E T Bell
Time makes fools of us all. Our only comfort is that greater shall come after us.
Quotation of E T Bell
Wherever groups disclosed themselves, or could be introduced, simplicity crystallized out of comparative chaos.
Quotation of E T Bell