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Talk:Henri Poincaré

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This quote should be added, although I am not sure where/how Newman got the source from:

"Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything."

Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics (New York 1956). Sepiraph 06:02, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Help, pleaseEdit

Maths is the art of giving the same name to different things.

Can anybody tell me what work of Poincaré is this quote from? Please leave me a message here if you can help me. Thanx v. m. 80.98.54.134 06:57, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

on functionsEdit

Does this qualify as a quote? It's from 1899, dunno the publication though. 128.113.144.115 04:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Logic sometimes makes monsters. For half a century we have seen a mass of bizarre functions which appear to be forced to resemble as little as possible honest functions which serve some purpose. More of continuity, or less of continuity, more derivatives, and so forth. Indeed, from the point of view of logic, these strange functions are the most general; on the other hand those which one meets without searching for them, and which follow simple laws appear as a particular case which does not amount to more than a small corner.

In former times when one invented a new function it was for a practical purpose; today one invents them purposely to show up defects in the reasoning of our fathers and one will deduce from them only that.

If logic were the sole guide of the teacher, it would be necessary to begin with the most general functions, that is to say with the most bizarre. It is the beginner that would have to be set grappling with this teratologic museum.


This is a Poincare quote I find in Carl Sagan's book The Demon-Haunted World on page 368.

"We also know how cruel the truth often is, and we wonder whether delusion is not more consoling". 66.242.67.194 18:38, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Also quoted by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter in

The Light of Other Days.

, page 11.