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Posts Tagged ‘A Mathematician’s Apology’

It is indeed rather astonishing how little practical value scientific knowledge has for ordinary men, how dull and commonplace such of it as has value is, and how its value seems almost to vary inversely to its reputed utility.
   —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
.

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A science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life.
  —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
.

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A man who sets out to justify his existence and his activities has to distinguish two different questions.  The first is whether the work which he does is worth doing; and the second is why he does it, whatever its value may be.
 —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
.

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If a man has any genuine talent, he should be ready to make almost any sacrifice in order to cultivate it to the full.
 

—  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
 

 

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The case for my life, then, or for that of any one else who has been a mathematician in the same sense in which I have been one, is this: that I have added something to knowledge, and helped others to add more; and that these somethings have a value which differs, in degree only, and not in kind, from that of the creations of the great mathematicians, or of any of the other artists, great or small, who have left some kind of memorial behind them.
 

—  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
 

 

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I have just one chance of escaping a verdict of complete triviality, that I may be judged to have created something worth creating.  And that I have created something is undeniable: the question is about its value.
  —  G. H. Hardy
From his book:  “A Mathematician’s Apology
.

 

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