# Mathematicians

From Wikiquote

A **mathematician** is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics.

## Quotes[edit]

- Quapropter bono christiano, sive mathematici, sive quilibet impie divinantium... cavendi sunt, ne consortio daemoniorum irretiant.
*Translation:*Therefore, a good Christian should beware that mathematicians, and any others who prophesy impiously... may be entangled in the companionship of demons.- St. Augustine,
*De Genesi ad Litteram* - Augustine uses "mathematicians" in this context to refer mainly to astrologers and occultists using numerology.

- A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
- Popularly attributed to Paul Erdős, who was quoting Alfréd Rényi (Bruce Schechter,
*My Brain Is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdős*, 1998, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0684846357).

- Popularly attributed to Paul Erdős, who was quoting Alfréd Rényi (Bruce Schechter,

- Die Mathematiker sind eine Art Franzosen; redet man zu ihnen, so übersetzen sie es in ihre Sprache, und dann ist es alsobald ganz etwas anders.
*Translation:*Mathematicians are [like] a sort of Frenchmen; if you talk to them, they translate it into their own language, and then it is immediately something quite different.- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
*Maximen und Reflexionen*, 2006 (Helmut Koopmann, ed.) ISBN 3423343788

- The mathematician's best work is art, a high perfect art, as daring as the most secret dreams of imagination, clear and limpid. Mathematical genius and artistic genius touch one another.
- Gösta Mittag-Leffler
- Quoted in N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC:Rome Press Inc., 1988.

- Mathematicians seem to have no difficulty in creating new concepts faster than the old ones become well understood.
- Edward Norton Lorenz (1991) "A scientist by choice". Speech by acceptance of the Kyoto Prize in 1991.

- I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
- Plato, from Benjamin Jowett's interpretive vernacular translation (1871) of
*Plato's Republic*, Book VII, 531-e. Plato actually has Socrates say that few mathematicians are dialecticians (*διαλεκτικοί*) (Jowett,*Plato's Republic: The Greek Text*, Vol. I "Text", 1894), by which he refers to step by step reasoning based on mutual agreement, (G. M. A. Grube,*Plato's Republic*(1974), Book VII, note 13). It is an accurate observation on the primitive mathematics of his day.

- Plato, from Benjamin Jowett's interpretive vernacular translation (1871) of

- Aristotle, so far as I know, was the first man to proclaim explicitly that man is a rational animal. His reason for this view was one which does not now seem very impressive; it was, that some people can do sums.
- Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", in
*Unpopular Essays*(1950), p. 71

- Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", in

- Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
- Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish",
*Unpopular Essays*(1950).

- Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish",

- These experiences are not 'religious' in the ordinary sense. They are
*natural*, and can be studied naturally. They are not 'ineffable' in the sense the sense of incommunicable by language. Maslow also came to believe that they are far commoner than one might expect, that many people tend to suppress them, to ignore them, and certain people seem actually afraid of them, as if they were somehow feminine, illogical, dangerous. 'One sees such attitudes more often in engineers, in mathematicians, in analytic philosophers, in book keepers and accountants, and generally in obsessional people'.

The peak experience tends to be a kind of bubbling-over of delight, a moment of pure happiness. 'For instance, a young mother scurrying around her kitchen and getting breakfast for her husband and young children. The sun was streaming in, the children clean and nicely dressed, were chattering as they ate. The husband was casually playing with the children: but as she looked at them she was suddenly so overwhelmed with their beauty and her great love for them, and her feeling of good fortune, that she went into a peak experience . . .- Colin Wilson in
*New Pathways In Psychology*, p. 17 (1972)

- Colin Wilson in