# hermann weyl Quotes

For mathematics, even to the logical forms in which it moves, is entirely dependent on the concept of natural number.

— Hermann Weyl

Symmetry, as wide or as narrow as you may define its meaning, is one idea by which man through the ages has tried to comprehend and create order, beauty and perfection.

— Hermann Weyl

It is impossible to discuss realism in logic without drawing in the empirical sciences... A truly realistic mathematics should be conceived, in line with physics, as a branch of the theoretical construction of the one real world and should adopt the same sober and cautious attitude toward hypothetic extensions of its foundation as is exhibited by physics.

— Hermann Weyl

Mathematics has been called the science of the infinite. Indeed, the mathematician invents finite constructions by which questions are decided that by their very nature refer to the infinite. This is his glory.

— Hermann Weyl

In geometric and physical applications, it always turns out that a quantity is characterized not only by its tensor order, but also by symmetry.

— Hermann Weyl

We are not very pleased when we are forced to accept a mathematical truth by virtue of a complicated chain of formal conclusions and computations, which we traverse blindly, link by link, feeling our way by touch. We want first an overview of the aim and of the road; we want to understand the idea of the proof, the deeper context.

— Hermann Weyl

A modern mathematical proof is not very different from a modern machine, or a modern test setup: the simple fundamental principles are hidden and almost invisible under a mass of technical details.

— Hermann Weyl

The whole is always more, is more capable of a much greater variety of wave states, than the combination of its parts. ... In this very radical sense, quantum physics supports the doctrine that the whole is more than the combination of its parts.

— Hermann Weyl

We must learn a new modesty. We have stormed the heavens, but succeeded only in building fog upon fog, a mist which will not support anybody who earnestly desires to stand upon it. What is valid seems so insignificant that it may be seriously doubted whether anlaysis is at all possible.

— Hermann Weyl

But it seems an irony of creation that man's mind knows how to handle things the better the farther removed they are from the center of his existence. Thus we are cleverest where knowledge matters least....

— Hermann Weyl

You can not apply mathematics as long as words still becloud reality.

— Hermann Weyl

Our mathematics of the last few decades has wallowed in generalities and formalizations.

— Hermann Weyl

Before you generalize, formalize, and axiomatize there must be mathematical substance.

— Hermann Weyl

The question for the ultimate foundations and the ultimate meaning of mathematics remains open; we do not know in which direction it will find its final solution nor even whether a final objective answer can be expected at all. "Mathematizing" may well be a creative activity of man, like language or music, of primary originality, whose historical decisions defy complete objective rationalization.

— Hermann Weyl

... numbers have neither substance, nor meaning, nor qualities. They are nothing but marks, and all that is in them we have put into them by the simple rule of straight succession.

— Hermann Weyl

Besides language and music, mathematics is one of the primary manifestations of the free creative power of the human mind.

— Hermann Weyl

God exists because arithmetic is consistent - the Devil exists because we can't prove it!

— Hermann Weyl

Mathematics is not the rigid and rigidity-producing schema that the layman thinks it is; rather, in it we find ourselves at that meeting point of constraint and freedom that is the very essence of human nature.

— Hermann Weyl

The introduction of numbers as coordinates is an act of violence.

— Hermann Weyl

Logic is the hygiene the mathematician practices to keep his ideas healthy and strong.

— Hermann Weyl

Besides language and music, it [mathematics] is one of the primary manifestations of the free creative power of the human mind, and it is the universal organ for world understanding through theoretical construction. Mathematics must therefore remain an essential element of the knowledge and abilities which we have to teach, of the culture we have to transmit, to the next generation.

— Hermann Weyl

Without the concepts, methods and results found and developed by previous generations right down to Greek antiquity one cannot understand either the aims or achievements of mathematics in the last 50 years. [Said in 1950]

— Hermann Weyl

No mathematician of equal stature has risen from our generation... Hilbert was singularly free from national and racial prejudices; in all public questions, be they political, social or spiritual, he stood forever on the side of freedom.

— Hermann Weyl

One may say that mathematics talks about the things which are of no concern to men. Mathematics has the inhuman quality of starlight - brilliant, sharp but cold ... thus we are clearest where knowledge matters least: in mathematics, especially number theory.

— Hermann Weyl