Quotes by Alfred North Whitehead


True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Actors are loved because they are unoriginal. Actors stick to their script. The unoriginal man is loved by the mediocrity because this kind of artistic expression is something to which the merest five-eighth can climb.
– Alfred North Whitehead
An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
– Alfred North Whitehead
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.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Common sense is genius in homespun.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Every philosophy is tinged with the coloring of some secret imaginative background, which never emerges explicitly into its train of reasoning.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.
– Alfred North Whitehead
I would be a billionaire if I was looking to be a selfish boss. That's not me.
– Alfred North Whitehead
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.
– Alfred North Whitehead
In every age of well-marked transition, there is the pattern of habitual dumb practice and emotion which is passing and there is oncoming a new complex of habit.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct form ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.
– Alfred North Whitehead
It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the Universe.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Necessity is the mother of invention is a silly proverb. Necessity is the mother of futile dodges is much nearer the truth.
– Alfred North Whitehead
No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
– Alfred North Whitehead
No period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, idealistic motives, and idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it.
– Alfred North Whitehead
Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.
– Alfred North Whitehead