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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Charles Babbage Quotes > Invention

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Charles Babbage
(26 Dec 1791 - 18 Oct 1871)

English mathematician.


Charles Babbage Quotes on Invention (4 quotes)

>> Click for 46 Science Quotes by Charles Babbage

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For one person who is blessed with the power of invention, many will always be found who have the capacity of applying principles.
— Charles Babbage
Reflections on the Decline of Science in England and on Some of its Causes (1830), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Bless (25)  |  Blessed (20)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Invention (369)  |  Person (363)  |  Power (746)  |  Principle (507)  |  Will (2355)

Long intervals frequently elapse between the discovery of new principles in science and their practical application… Those intellectual qualifications, which give birth to new principles or to new methods, are of quite a different order from those which are necessary for their practical application.
— Charles Babbage
Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Birth (147)  |  Creativity (76)  |  Different (577)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Invention (369)  |  Long (790)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Order (632)  |  Practical (200)  |  Principle (507)  |  Qualification (14)  |  Science (3879)

Precedents are treated by powerful minds as fetters with which to bind down the weak, as reasons with which to mistify the moderately informed, and as reeds which they themselves fearlessly break through whenever new combinations and difficult emergencies demand their highest efforts.
— Charles Babbage
A Word to the Wise (1833), 3-6. Quoted in Anthony Hyman (ed.), Science and Reform: Selected Works of Charles Babbage (1989), 202.
Science quotes on:  |  Break (99)  |  Combination (144)  |  Demand (123)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Down (456)  |  Effort (227)  |  Fetters (7)  |  Inform (47)  |  Invention (369)  |  Mind (1338)  |  New (1216)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Precedent (7)  |  Reason (744)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Through (849)  |  Weak (71)  |  Whenever (81)

The influence of electricity in producing decompositions, although of inestimable value as an instrument of discovery in chemical inquiries, can hardly be said to have been applied to the practical purposes of life, until the same powerful genius [Davy] which detected the principle, applied it, by a singular felicity of reasoning, to arrest the corrosion of the copper-sheathing of vessels. … this was regarded as by Laplace as the greatest of Sir Humphry's discoveries.
— Charles Babbage
Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (177)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Copper (25)  |  Corrosion (4)  |  Sir Humphry Davy (47)  |  Decomposition (18)  |  Detect (44)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Electrolysis (7)  |  Felicity (4)  |  Genius (284)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Influence (222)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Invention (369)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (62)  |  Life (1795)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Practical (200)  |  Principle (507)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Regard (305)  |  Singular (23)  |  Value (365)  |  Vessel (63)


See also:
  • 26 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Babbage's birth.
  • Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer, by Anthony Hyman. - book suggestion.

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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