Quotations by Charles Hermite


There exists, if I am not mistaken, an entire world which is the totality of mathematical truths, to which we have access only with our mind, just as a world of physical reality exists, the one like the other independent of ourselves, both of divine creation.
Quoted in The Mathematical Intelligencer, v. 5, no. 4.

Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for 500 years.
Quoted in G F Simmons Calculus Gems (New York 1992).

We are servants rather than masters in mathematics.
Quoted by Hadamard.

Analysis takes back with one hand what it gives with the other. I recoil in fear and loathing from that deplorable evil: continuous functions with no derivatives.
Quoted in D MacHale, Comic Sections (Dublin 1993)

I believe that numbers and functions of Analysis are not the arbitrary result of our minds; I think that they exist outside of us, with the same character of necessity as the things of objective reality, and we meet them or discover them, and stuty them, as do the physicists, the chemists and the zoologists.


JOC/EFR December 2013

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