Quotations

Carl Jacobi


View the biography of Carl Jacobi


It is true that Fourier had the opinion that the principal aim of mathematics was public utility and explanation of natural phenomena; but a philosopher like him should have known that the sole end of science is the honor of the human mind, and that under this title a question about numbers is worth as much as a question about the system of the world.
Quoted in N Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims (Raleigh N C 1988).
God ever arithmetizes.
Quoted in H Eves Mathematical Circles Revisited (Boston 1971).
Man muss immer generalisieren
One should always generalize.
Quoted in P Davis and R Hersh The Mathematical Experience (Boston 1981).
The real end of science is the honour of the human mind.
Quoted in H Eves In Mathematical Circles (Boston 1969).
It is often more convenient to possess the ashes of great men than to possess the men themselves during their lifetime.
[Commenting on the return of Descartes' remains to France]
Quoted in H Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (Boston 1977).
Mathematics is the science of what is clear by itself.
Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics (New York 1956).
The God that reigns in Olympus is Number Eternal.
Quoted in T Dantzig, Number: the Language of Science
Mathematics exists solely for the honour of the human mind.
Quoted in W R Fuchs, Mathematics for the Modern Mind
Dirichlet alone, not I, nor Cauchy, nor Gauss knows what a completely rigorous mathematical proof is. Rather we learn it first from him. When Gauss says that he has proved something, it is very clear; when Cauchy says it, one can wager as much pro as con; when Dirichlet says it, it is certain ...
Quoted in G Schubring, Zur Modernisierung des Studiums der Mathematik in Berlin, 1820-1840.