Quotations by Benjamin Peirce


Mathematics is the science which draws necessary conclusions.
Memoir read before the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, 1870.

[after proving Euler's formula eπ i = -1 in a lecture]
Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it is the truth.
Quoted in E Kasner and J Newman Mathematics and the Imagination (New York 1940)


JOC/EFR February 2006

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