Thursday, July 11, 2013


From Alfred North Whitehead, in Charles P. Curtis, Jr., and Ferris Greenslet, comps., The Practical Cogitator, or the Thinker's Anthology (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1945), 112.

When I was a young man in the University of Cambridge, I was taught science and mathematics by brilliant men and I did well in them; since the turn of the century I have lived to see every one of the basic assumptions of both set aside; not, indeed, discarded, but of use as qualifying clauses instead of as major propositions; and all this in one life-span—the most fundamental assumptions of supposedly exact sciences set aside. And yet, in the face of that, the discoverers of the new hypotheses in science are declaring, "Now at last, we have certitude.”

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