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Alfred North Whitehead Quotes (106 Quotes)


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  • Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • '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.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Without adventure civilization is in full decay.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)


  • 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.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct form ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • I have always noticed that deeply and truly religious persons are fond of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who aren't.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)

  • 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.
    (Alfred North Whitehead)


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