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Alfred North Whitehead

Data de nascimento: 15. Fevereiro 1861
Data de falecimento: 30. Dezembro 1947

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Alfred North Whitehead foi um filósofo e matemático britânico .

Renomado pesquisador na área da filosofia da ciência, principalmente no que diz respeito aos fundamentos da matemática. Juntamente com Bertrand Russell, escreveu Principia Mathematica, livro que foi classificado pela Modern Library como o vigésimo terceiro de uma lista dos cem mais importantes livros em inglês de não ficção do século XX . É também o desenvolvedor da chamada teologia do processo.

Em 1880 Whitehead matriculou-se no Trinity College , onde foi o quarto wrangler, obtendo o grau de BA em 1884.

Citações Alfred North Whitehead

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„The mentality of mankind and the language of mankind created each other.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: The mentality of mankind and the language of mankind created each other. If we like to assume the rise of language as a given fact, then it is not going too far to say that the souls of men are the gift from language to mankind. The account of the sixth day should be written: He gave them speech, and they became souls. Modes of Thought (1938).

„Religion is an ultimate craving to infuse into the insistent particularity of emotion that non-temporal generality which primarily belongs to conceptual thought alone.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: Philosophy finds religion, and modifies it; and conversely religion is among the data of experience which philosophy must weave into its own scheme. Religion is an ultimate craving to infuse into the insistent particularity of emotion that non-temporal generality which primarily belongs to conceptual thought alone. In the higher organisms the differences of tempo between the mere emotions and the conceptual experiences produce a life-tedium, unless this supreme fusion has been effected. The two sides of the organism require a reconciliation in which emotional experiences illustrate a conceptual justification, and conceptual experiences find an emotional illustration. Pt. I, ch. 1, sec. 6.

„Philosophy is the self-correction by consciousness of its own initial excess of subjectivity.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: Philosophy is the self-correction by consciousness of its own initial excess of subjectivity. Each actual occasion contributes to the circumstances of its origin additional formative elements deepening its own peculiar individuality. Consciousness is only the last and greatest of such elements by which the selective character of the individual obscures the external totality from which it originates and which it embodies. An actual individual, of such higher grade, has truck with the totality of things by reason of its sheer actuality; but it has attained its individual depth of being by a selective emphasis limited to its own purposes. The task of philosophy is to recover the totality obscured by the selection. Pt. I, ch. 1, sec. 6.

„In the inescapable flux, there is something that abides; in the overwhelming permanence, there is an element that escapes into flux.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: In the inescapable flux, there is something that abides; in the overwhelming permanence, there is an element that escapes into flux. Permanence can be snatched only out of flux; and the passing moment can find its adequate intensity only by its submission to permanence.

„In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as if it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as if it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasoning grasps at straws for premises and float on gossamer for deductions. p. 91.

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„The universities are schools of education, and schools of research.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: The universities are schools of education, and schools of research. But the primary reason for their existence is not to be found either in the mere knowledge conveyed to the students or in the mere opportunities for research afforded to the members of the faculty. Both these functions could be performed at a cheaper rate, apart from these very expensive institutions. Books are cheap, and the system of apprenticeship is well understood. So far as the mere imparting of information is concerned, no university has had any justification for existence since the popularization of printing in the fifteenth century. Yet the chief impetus to the foundation of universities came after that date, and in more recent times has even increased. The justification for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge and the zest of life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning.

„It lies in the nature of things that the many enter into complex unity.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: Creativity is the universal of universals characterizing ultimate matter of fact. It is that ultimate principle by which the many, which are the universe disjunctively, become the one actual occasion, which is the universe conjunctively. It lies in the nature of things that the many enter into complex unity. Pt. I, ch. 2, sec. 2.

„Seek simplicity and distrust it.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, "Seek simplicity and distrust it." The Concept of Nature (1919), [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18835/18835-h/18835-h.htm#CHAPTER_VII Chapter VII, p.143].

„Ninety percent of our lives is governed by emotion.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: Ninety percent of our lives is governed by emotion. Our brains merely register and act upon what is telegraphed to them by our bodily experience. Intellect is to emotion as our clothes are to our bodies; we could not very well have civilized life without clothes, but we would be in a poor way if we had only clothes without bodies. Ch. 29, June 10, 1943.

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„The justification for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge and the zest of life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: The universities are schools of education, and schools of research. But the primary reason for their existence is not to be found either in the mere knowledge conveyed to the students or in the mere opportunities for research afforded to the members of the faculty. Both these functions could be performed at a cheaper rate, apart from these very expensive institutions. Books are cheap, and the system of apprenticeship is well understood. So far as the mere imparting of information is concerned, no university has had any justification for existence since the popularization of printing in the fifteenth century. Yet the chief impetus to the foundation of universities came after that date, and in more recent times has even increased. The justification for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge and the zest of life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning.

„The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, "Seek simplicity and distrust it." The Concept of Nature (1919), [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18835/18835-h/18835-h.htm#CHAPTER_VII Chapter VII, p.143].

„More and more it is becoming evident that what the West can most readily give to the East is its science and its scientific outlook.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: More and more it is becoming evident that what the West can most readily give to the East is its science and its scientific outlook. This is transferable from country to country, and from race to race, wherever there is a rational society. Ch. 1: "The Origins of Modern Science"

„Philosophy, in one of its functions, is the critic of cosmologies. It is its function to harmonise, refashion, and justify divergent intuitions as to the nature of things.“

— Alfred North Whitehead
Context: Philosophy, in one of its functions, is the critic of cosmologies. It is its function to harmonise, refashion, and justify divergent intuitions as to the nature of things. It has to insist on the scrutiny of the ultimate ideas, and on the retention of the whole of the evidence in shaping our cosmological scheme. Its business is to render explicit, and — so far as may be — efficient, a process which otherwise is unconsciously performed without rational tests. Preface

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