The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.

The mind uses its faculty for creativity only when experience forces it to do so.

It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover. To know how to criticize is good, to know how to create is better.

Geometry is the art of correct reasoning from incorrectly drawn figures.

Mathematicians are born, not made.

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.

There are no solved problems; there are only problems that are more or less solved.

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things. [As opposed to the quotation: Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing].

...the feeling of mathematical beauty, of the harmony of numbers and of forms, of geometric elegance. It is a genuinely aesthetic feeling, which all mathematicians know

Later generations will regard Mengenlehre (set theory) as a disease from which one has recovered.

Thus, be it understood, to demonstrate a theorem, it is neither necessary nor even advantageous to know what it means. The geometer might be replaced by the "logic piano" imagined by Stanley Jevons; or, if you choose, a machine might be imagined where the assumptions were put in at one end, while the theorems came out at the other, like the legendary Chicago machine where the pigs go in alive and come out transformed into hams and sausages. No more than these machines need the mathematician know what he does.

The mathematical facts worthy of being studied are those which, by their analogy with other facts, are capable of leading us to the knowledge of a physical law. They reveal the kinship between other facts, long known, but wrongly believed to be strangers to one another.

Talk with M. Hermite. He never evokes a concrete image, yet you soon perceive that the more abstract entities are to him like living creatures.

. . . by natural selection our mind has adapted itself to the conditions of the external world. It has adopted the geometry most advantageous to the species or, in other words, the most convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.

Absolute space, that is to say, the mark to which it would be necessary to refer the earth to know whether it really moves, has no objective existence.... The two propositions: "The earth turns round" and "it is more convenient to suppose the earth turns round" have the same meaning; there is nothing more in the one than in the other.

A scientist worthy of his name, about all a mathematician, experiences in his work the same impression as an artist; his pleasure is as great and of the same nature.

[T]he different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition [G]eometry is not true, it is advantageous.

Mathematical discoveries, small or great are never born of spontaneous generation They always presuppose a soil seeded with preliminary knowledge and well prepared by labour, both conscious and subconscious.

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