
In the one branch he most needed
Henry Adams The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter IV (p. 60)



But how is one to make a scientist understand that there is something unalterably deranged about differential calculus, quantum theory, or the obscene and so inanely liturgical ordeals of the precession of the equinoxes.
Antonin Artaud



I
Isaac Asimov



How happy the lot of the mathematician! He is judged solely by his peers, and the standard is so high that no colleague or rival can ever win a reputation he does not deserve. No cashier writes a letter to the press complaining about the incomprehensibility of Modern Mathematics and comparing it unfavorably with the good old days when mathematicians were content to paper irregularly shaped rooms and fill bathtubs without closing the waste pipe.
W. H. Auden



If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics.
Francis Bacon Essays, 1625



All science requires mathematics. The knowledge of mathematical things is almost innate in us. This is the easiest of sciences, a fact which is obvious in that no one's brain rejects it; for laymen and people who are utterly illiterate know how to count and reckon.
Roger Bacon



I have often admired the mystical way of Pythagoras, and the secret magic of numbers.
Sir Thomas Browne Religio Medici, 1643



It is from this absolute indifference and tranquillity of the mind, that mathematical speculations derive some of the most considerable advantages; because there is nothing to interest the imagination; because the judgment sits free and unbiased to examine the point. All proportions, every arrangement of quantity, is alike to the understanding, because the same truths result to it from all; from greater from lesser, from equality and inequality.
Edmund Burke On the Sublime and Beautiful



The analytical geometry of Descartes and the calculus of Newton and Leibniz have expanded into the marvelous mathematical method
Nicholas Murray Butler The Meaning of Education and Other Essays and Addresses (p. 45)



In studying mathematics or simply using a mathematical principle, if we get the wrong answer in sort of algebraic equation, we do not suddenly feel that there is an antimathematical principle that is luring us into the wrong answers.
Eric Butterworth



I know that two and two make four  and should be glad to prove it too if I could  though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.
Lord (George Gordon) Byron



It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.
Thomas Carlyle Sartor Resartus, 1834



Yet what are all such gaieties to me whose thoughts are full of indices and surds?
Lewis Carroll



Math is like love  a simple idea but it can get complicated.
R. Drabek



There are no creeds in mathematics.
Peter Drucker



To the pure geometer the radius of curvature is an incidental characteristic  like the grin of the Cheshire cat. To the physicist it is an indispensable characteristic. It would be going too far to say that to the physicist the cat is merely incidental to the grin. Physics is concerned with interrelatedness such as the interrelatedness of cats and grins. In this case the cat without a grin and the grin without a cat are equally set aside as purely mathematical fantasies.
Sir Arthur Eddington The Expanding Universe



As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Albert Einstein



(I) once asked Richard Feynman whether he thought of mathematics and, by extension, the laws of physics as having an independent existence. He replied: The problem of existence is a very interesting and difficult one. if you do mathematics, which is simply working out the consequences of assumptions, you'll discover for instance a curious thing if you add the cubes of integers. One cubed is one, two cubed is two times two times two, that's eight, and three cubed is three times three times three, that's twentyseven. If you add the cubes of these, one plus eight plus twentyseven let's stop there  that would be thirtysix. And that's the square of of another number, six, and that number is the sum of those same integers. one plus two plus three...Now, that fact which I've just told you about might not have been known to you before. You might say Where is it, what is it, where is it located, what kind of reality does it have?' And yet you came upon it. When you discover these things, you get the feeling that they were true before you found them. So you get the idea that somehow they existed somewhere, but there's nowhere for such things. It's just a feeling...Well, in the case of physics we have double trouble. We come upon these mathematical interrelationships but they apply to the universe, so the problem of where they are is doubly confusing...Those are philosophical questions that I don't know how to answer.
Richard Feynman cited by Paul Davis in 'The Mind of God'



The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics...the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word.
Galileo Galilei quoted in M Kline, Mathematical thought from ancient to modern times



Mathematicians are like Frenchman: whatever you say to them they translate Into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.
Johann von Goethe



Mathematics has the completely false reputation of yielding infallible conclusions. Its infallibility is nothing but identity. Two times two is not four, but it is just two times two, and that is what we call four for short. But four is nothing new at all. And thus it goes on and on in its conclusions, except that in the higher formulas the identity fades out of sight.
page 1754
Johann von Goethe In J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster



One has to be able to count if only so that at fifty one doesn't marry a girl of twenty.
Maxim Gorky The Zykovs, 1914



Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds your stuff to any degree of fineness; but, nevertheless, what you get out depends on what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat flour from peas cods, so pages of formulae will not get a definite result out of loose data.
Thomas Henry Huxley



I would advise you Sir, to study algebra, if you are not already an adept in it: your head would be less muddy, and you will leave off tormenting your neighbors about paper and packthread, while we all live together in a world that is bursting with sin and sorrow.
Samuel Johnson



The teacher pretended that algebra was a perfectly natural affair, to be taken for granted, whereas I didn't even know what numbers were. Mathematics classes became sheer terror and torture to me. I was so intimidated by my incomprehension that I did not dare to ask any questions.
Carl Gustav Jung

