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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Morris Kline Quotes

Morris Kline
(1 May 1908 - 10 Jun 1992)

American mathematician who wrote papers on books about the teaching of mathematics in which he held the belief that the subject should be applied to comprehending real life. His books include Why Johnny Can't Add: The Failure of the New Math (1973).

Science Quotes by Morris Kline (5 quotes)

On all levels primary, and secondary and undergraduate - mathematics is taught as an isolated subject with few, if any, ties to the real world. To students, mathematics appears to deal almost entirely with things whlch are of no concern at all to man.
— Morris Kline
In editorial in Focus, a Journal of the Mathematical Association of America (1986), quoted in obituary by Eric Pace, New York Times (11 Jun 1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Education (177)  |  Isolated (5)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Relevance (9)

Perhaps the best reason for regarding mathematics as an art is not so much that it affords an outlet for creative activity as that it provides spiritual values. It puts man in touch with the highest aspirations and lofiest goals. It offers intellectual delight and the exultation of resolving the mysteries of the universe.
— Morris Kline
Mathematics: a Cultural Approach (1962), 671. Quoted in H. E. Hunter, The Divine Proportion (1970), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Aspiration (8)  |  Creative (8)  |  Delight (22)  |  Exultation (4)  |  Goal (36)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Man (258)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Mystery (74)  |  Reason (173)  |  Resolution (10)  |  Spiritual (11)  |  Universe (291)

The stone that Dr. Johnson once kicked to demonstrate the reality of matter has become dissipated in a diffuse distribution of mathematical probabilities. The ladder that Descartes, Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz erected in order to scale the heavens rests upon a continually shifting, unstable foundation.
— Morris Kline
Mathematics in Western Culture (1953), 382.
Science quotes on:  |  Renι Descartes (32)  |  Foundation (31)  |  Galileo Galilei (64)  |  Samuel Johnson (26)  |  Ladder (3)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (24)  |  Matter (135)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)

There is no rigorous definition of rigor.

— Morris Kline
In Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1982), 315.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (86)  |  Rigour (9)

[The error in the teaching of mathematics is that] mathematics is expected either to be immediately attractive to students on its own merits or to be accepted by students solely on the basis of the teacher's assurance that it will be helpful in later life. [And yet,] mathematlcs is the key to understanding and mastering our physical, social and biological worlds.
— Morris Kline
In editorial in Focus, a Journal of the Mathematical Association of America (1986), quoted in obituary by Eric Pace, New York Times (11 Jun 1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Assurance (5)  |  Helpful (3)  |  Life (460)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Merit (14)  |  Relevance (9)  |  Teacher (54)  |  Understanding (231)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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