Quotations by Jacob Bronowski


... I find both a special pleasure and constraint in describing the progress of mathematics, because it has been part of so much speculation: a ladder for mystical as well as rational thought in the intellectual ascent of man.
The Ascent of Man

The world can only be grasped by action, not contemplation...The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
The Ascent of Man

Physics becomes in those years the greatest collective work of art of the twentieth century.
The Ascent of Man

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.
The Ascent of Man

The essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.
The Ascent of Man

The basis for poetry and scientific discovery is the ability to comprehend the unlike in the like and the like in the unlike.

Einstein was a man who could ask immensely simple questions. And what his work showed is that when the answers are simple too, then you can hear God thinking.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

The wish to hurt, the momentary intoxication with pain, is the loophole through which the pervert climbs into the minds of ordinary men.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).


JOC/EFR February 2006

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