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But, you might say, "none of this shakes my belief that 2 and 2 are 4." You are quite right, except in marginal cases -- and it is only in marginal cases that you are doubtful whether a certain animal is a dog or a certain length is less than a meter. Two must be two of something, and the proposition "2 and 2 are 4" is useless unless it can be applied. Two dogs and two dogs are certainly four dogs, but cases arise in which you are doubtful whether two of them are dogs. "Well, at any rate there are four animals," you may say. But there are microorganisms concerning which it is doubtful whether they are animals or plants. "Well, then living organisms," you say. But there are things of which it is doubtful whether they are living organisms or not. You will be driven into saying: "Two entities and two entities are four entities." When you have told me what you mean by "entity," we will resume the argument.

In N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC:Rome Press Inc., 1988.

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# Loci: Convergence

## Mathematical Quotations

Our library of quotations is organized alphabetically by surname of the author.

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## Newman, James R.

The most painful thing about mathematics is how far away you are from being able to use it after you have learned it.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

[His epitaph:]
Who, by vigor of mind almost divine, the motions and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, and the tides of the seas first demonstrated.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

The latest authors, like the most ancient, strove to subordinate the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

Hypotheses non fingo.
I feign no hypotheses.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, and leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things.

## Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)

[F]rom the same principles, I now demonstrate the frame of the System of the World.

## Nightingale, Florence (1820-1910)

[Of her:]
Her statistics were more than a study, they were indeed her religion. For her Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed -- and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief -- that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator -- to say nothing of the politician -- too often failed for want of this knowledge. Nay, she went further; she held that the universe -- including human communities -- was evolving in accordance with a divine plan; that it was man's business to endeavor to understand this plan and guide his actions in sympathy with it. But to understand God's thoughts, she held we must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose. Thus the study of statistics was for her a religious duty.

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