# Jules Henri Poincaré citáty

## Jules Henri Poincaré

**Datum narození:** 29. duben 1854**Datum úmrtí:** 17. červenec 1912**Další jména:**Анри Пуанкаре

Jules Henri Poincaré [ʒyl ɑ̃ʁi pwɛ̃kaʁe] IPA byl francouzský matematik, fyzik, astronom a filosof, zakladatel konvencionalismu a člen Francouzské akademie .

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### Citáty Jules Henri Poincaré

### „All that is not thought is pure nothingness“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: All that is not thought is pure nothingness; since we can think only thought and all the words we use to speak of things can express only thoughts, to say there is something other than thought, is therefore an affirmation which can have no meaning.
And yet—strange contradiction for those who believe in time—geologic history shows us that life is only a short episode between two eternities of death, and that, even in this episode, conscious thought has lasted and will last only a moment. Thought is only a gleam in the midst of a long night. But it is this gleam which is everything.<!--p.142
Ch. 11: Science and Reality

### „The task of the educator is to make the child's spirit pass again where its forefathers have gone, moving rapidly through certain stages but suppressing none of them.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: The task of the educator is to make the child's spirit pass again where its forefathers have gone, moving rapidly through certain stages but suppressing none of them. In this regard, the history of science must be our guide.
"La logique et l'intuition dans la science mathématique et dans l'enseignement" [Logic and intuition in the science of mathematics and in teaching], L'enseignement mathématique (1899)

### „Does the mathematical method proceed from particular to the general, and, if so, how can it be called deductive? …If we refuse to admit these consequences, it must be conceded that mathematical reasoning has of itself a sort of creative virtue and consequently differs from a syllogism.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: The very possibility of the science of mathematics seems an insoluble contradiction. If this science is deductive only in appearance, whence does it derive that perfect rigor no one dreams of doubting? If, on the contrary, all the propositions it enunciates can be deduced one from another by the rules of formal logic, why is not mathematics reduced to an immense tautology? The syllogism can teach us nothing essentially new, and, if everything is to spring from the principle of identity, everything should be capable of being reduced to it. Shall we then admit that the enunciations of all those theorems which fill so many volumes are nothing but devious ways of saying A is A!... Does the mathematical method proceed from particular to the general, and, if so, how can it be called deductive?... If we refuse to admit these consequences, it must be conceded that mathematical reasoning has of itself a sort of creative virtue and consequently differs from a syllogism.<!--pp.5-6
Ch. I: On the Nature of Mathematical Reasoning (1905) Tr. https://books.google.com/books?id=5nQSAAAAYAAJ George Bruce Halstead

### „When we say force is the cause of motion, we talk metaphysics“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: What is mass? According to Newton, it is the product of the volume by the density. According to Thomson and Tait, it would be better to say that density is the quotient of the mass by the volume. What is force? It, is replies Lagrange, that which moves or tends to move a body. It is, Kirchhoff will say, the product of the mass by the acceleration. But then, why not say the mass is the quotient of the force by the acceleration?
These difficulties are inextricable.
When we say force is the cause of motion, we talk metaphysics, and this definition, if one were content with it, would be absolutely sterile. For a definition to be of any use, it must teach us to measure force; moreover that suffices; it is not at all necessary that it teach us what force is in itself, nor whether it is the cause or the effect of motion.
We must therefore first define the equality of two forces. When shall we say two forces are equal? It is, we are told, when, applied to the same mass, they impress upon it the same acceleration, or when, opposed directly one to the other, they produce equilibrium. This definition is only a sham. A force applied to a body can not be uncoupled to hook it up to another body, as one uncouples a locomotive to attach it to another train. It is therefore impossible to know what acceleration such a force, applied to such a body, would impress upon such an other body, if it were applied to it. It is impossible to know how two forces which are not directly opposed would act, if they were directly opposed.
We are... obliged in the definition of the equality of the two forces to bring in the principle of the equality of action and reaction; on this account, this principle must no longer be regarded as an experimental law, but as a definition.<!--pp.73-74
Ch. VI: The Classical Mechanics (1905) Tr. https://books.google.com/books?id=5nQSAAAAYAAJ George Bruce Halstead

### „For a definition to be of any use, it must teach us to measure force; moreover that suffices; it is not at all necessary that it teach us what force is in itself, nor whether it is the cause or the effect of motion.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: What is mass? According to Newton, it is the product of the volume by the density. According to Thomson and Tait, it would be better to say that density is the quotient of the mass by the volume. What is force? It, is replies Lagrange, that which moves or tends to move a body. It is, Kirchhoff will say, the product of the mass by the acceleration. But then, why not say the mass is the quotient of the force by the acceleration?
These difficulties are inextricable.
When we say force is the cause of motion, we talk metaphysics, and this definition, if one were content with it, would be absolutely sterile. For a definition to be of any use, it must teach us to measure force; moreover that suffices; it is not at all necessary that it teach us what force is in itself, nor whether it is the cause or the effect of motion.
We must therefore first define the equality of two forces. When shall we say two forces are equal? It is, we are told, when, applied to the same mass, they impress upon it the same acceleration, or when, opposed directly one to the other, they produce equilibrium. This definition is only a sham. A force applied to a body can not be uncoupled to hook it up to another body, as one uncouples a locomotive to attach it to another train. It is therefore impossible to know what acceleration such a force, applied to such a body, would impress upon such an other body, if it were applied to it. It is impossible to know how two forces which are not directly opposed would act, if they were directly opposed.
We are... obliged in the definition of the equality of the two forces to bring in the principle of the equality of action and reaction; on this account, this principle must no longer be regarded as an experimental law, but as a definition.<!--pp.73-74
Ch. VI: The Classical Mechanics (1905) Tr. https://books.google.com/books?id=5nQSAAAAYAAJ George Bruce Halstead

### „Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: The Scientist must set in order. Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.
Ch. IX: Hypotheses in Physics, Tr. George Bruce Halsted (1913)

### „It is only through science and art that civilization is of value“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: It is only through science and art that civilization is of value. Some have wondered at the formula: science for its own sake; an yet it is as good as life for its own sake, if life is only misery; and even as happiness for its own sake, if we do not believe that all pleasures are of the same quality...
Every act should have an aim. We must suffer, we must work, we must pay for our place at the game, but this is for seeing's sake; or at the very least that others may one day see.<!--p.142
Ch. 11: Science and Reality

### „When shall we say two forces are equal?“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: What is mass? According to Newton, it is the product of the volume by the density. According to Thomson and Tait, it would be better to say that density is the quotient of the mass by the volume. What is force? It, is replies Lagrange, that which moves or tends to move a body. It is, Kirchhoff will say, the product of the mass by the acceleration. But then, why not say the mass is the quotient of the force by the acceleration?
These difficulties are inextricable.
When we say force is the cause of motion, we talk metaphysics, and this definition, if one were content with it, would be absolutely sterile. For a definition to be of any use, it must teach us to measure force; moreover that suffices; it is not at all necessary that it teach us what force is in itself, nor whether it is the cause or the effect of motion.
We must therefore first define the equality of two forces. When shall we say two forces are equal? It is, we are told, when, applied to the same mass, they impress upon it the same acceleration, or when, opposed directly one to the other, they produce equilibrium. This definition is only a sham. A force applied to a body can not be uncoupled to hook it up to another body, as one uncouples a locomotive to attach it to another train. It is therefore impossible to know what acceleration such a force, applied to such a body, would impress upon such an other body, if it were applied to it. It is impossible to know how two forces which are not directly opposed would act, if they were directly opposed.
We are... obliged in the definition of the equality of the two forces to bring in the principle of the equality of action and reaction; on this account, this principle must no longer be regarded as an experimental law, but as a definition.<!--pp.73-74
Ch. VI: The Classical Mechanics (1905) Tr. https://books.google.com/books?id=5nQSAAAAYAAJ George Bruce Halstead

### „The essential characteristic of reasoning by recurrence is that it contains, condensed, so to speak, in a single formula, an infinity of syllogisms.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: This procedure is the demonstration by recurrence. We first establish a theorem for n = 1; then we show that if it is true of n - 1, it is true of n, and thence conclude that it is true for all the whole numbers... Here then we have the mathematical reasoning par excellence, and we must examine it more closely.
... The essential characteristic of reasoning by recurrence is that it contains, condensed, so to speak, in a single formula, an infinity of syllogisms.
... to arrive at the smallest theorem [we] can not dispense with the aid of reasoning by recurrence, for this is an instrument which enables us to pass from the finite to the infinite.
This instrument is always useful, for, allowing us to overleap at a bound as many stages as we wish, it spares us verifications, long, irksome and monotonous, which would quickly become impracticable. But it becomes indispensable as soon as we aim at the general theorem...
In this domain of arithmetic,.. the mathematical infinite already plays a preponderant rôle, and without it there would be no science, because there would be nothing general.<!--pp.10-12
Ch. I. (1905) Tr. George Bruce Halstead

### „We must, for example, use language, and our language is necessarily steeped in preconceived ideas.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: It is often said that experiments should be made without preconceived ideas. That is impossible. Not only would it make every experiment fruitless, but even if we wished to do so, it could not be done. Every man has his own conception of the world, and this he cannot so easily lay aside. We must, for example, use language, and our language is necessarily steeped in preconceived ideas.
Ch. IX: Hypotheses in Physics, Tr. George Bruce Halsted (1913)

### „Thought is only a gleam in the midst of a long night. But it is this gleam which is everything“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: All that is not thought is pure nothingness; since we can think only thought and all the words we use to speak of things can express only thoughts, to say there is something other than thought, is therefore an affirmation which can have no meaning.
And yet—strange contradiction for those who believe in time—geologic history shows us that life is only a short episode between two eternities of death, and that, even in this episode, conscious thought has lasted and will last only a moment. Thought is only a gleam in the midst of a long night. But it is this gleam which is everything.<!--p.142
Ch. 11: Science and Reality

### „Every definition implies an axiom, since it asserts the existence of the object defined.“

— Henri Poincaré

Context: Every definition implies an axiom, since it asserts the existence of the object defined. The definition then will not be justified, from the purely logical point of view, until we have proved that it involves no contradiction either in its terms or with the truths previously admitted.
Part II. Ch. 2 : Mathematical Definitions and Education, p. 131