Date: Nov 28, 2006 9:59 AM
Author: reuben hersh
Subject: [HM] Russell quote


The following quote is attributed to Bertrand Russell in Steve Krantz's
"Mathematical Apocrypha Redux," MAA 2006, p. 100


"The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than
man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in
mathematics as surely as in poetry. What is best in mathematics deserves
not merely to be learned as a task, but to be assimilated as a part of daily
thought, and brought again and again before the mind with ever-renewed
encouragement. Real life, is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual
compromise between the real and the possible, but the world of pure reason
knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative
activity embodying in splendid edifices the passionate aspiration after the
perfect from which all great work springs. Remote from human passions,
remote even from the pitiful facts of nature, the generations have gradually
created an ordered cosmos, where pure thought can dwell as in its natural
home, and where one, at least, of our nobler impulses can escape from the
dreary exile of the natural world."
Can anyone tell me where in Russells's writings this appeared?

Reuben Hersh
rhersh@gmail.com