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Alfred North Whitehead Quotes

Almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.

An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.

Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.

But you can catch yourself entertaining habitually certain ideas and setting others aside; and that, I think, is where our personal destinies are largely decided.

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.

Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized.

Common sense is genius in homespun.

Every philosophy is tinged with the coloring of some secret imaginative background, which never emerges explicitly into its train of reasoning.

Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.

Familiar things happen, and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

Fools act on imagination without knowledge, pedants act on knowledge without imagination.

Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.

Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.

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

I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning, or destroyed it altogether.

I would be a billionaire if I was looking to be a selfish boss. That's not me.

Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them.

If a dog jumps into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.