The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanation of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, “Seek Simplicity and distrust it.”
Alfred North Whitehead Quotes
Philosophy asks the simple question: what is it all about?
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Philosophy begins in wonder, and, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.
The absolute pacifist is a bad citizen; times come when force must be used to uphold right, justice and ideals.
We think in generalities, but we live in details. To make the past live, we must perceive it in detail in addition to thinking of it in generalities.
The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order. Life refuses to be embalmed alive.
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 about what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the numbers of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. […]
Nobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a silly proverb. “Necessity is the mother of futile dodges” is much nearer the truth.