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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Farkas Bolyai Quotes

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Farkas Bolyai
(9 Feb 1775 - 20 Nov 1856)

Hungarian mathematician, poet and dramatist who was a friend and lifelong correspondent of Gauss. He was the father of Jαnos Bolyai.


Science Quotes by Farkas Bolyai (5 quotes)

Detest it as lewd intercourse, it can deprive you of all your leisure, your health, your rest, and the whole happiness of your life.
Having himself spent a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to prove Euclid’s postulate that parallel lines do not meet, Farkas discouraged his son Jαnos from any further attempt.
— Farkas Bolyai
Letter (1820), to his son, Jαnos Bolyai. Translation as in Dirk Jan Struik, A concise history of mathematics (2nd Ed., 1948), 253.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Deprive (12)  |  Detest (5)  |  Do (1908)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Happiness (116)  |  Health (193)  |  Himself (461)  |  Leisure (24)  |  Lewd (2)  |  Life (1799)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Postulate (39)  |  Prove (252)  |  Rest (281)  |  Spent (85)  |  Trying (144)  |  Whole (738)

Do not try the parallels in that way: I know that way all along. I have measured that bottomless night, and all the light and all the joy of my life went out there.
Having himself spent a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to prove Euclid's postulate that parallel lines do not meet, Farkas discouraged his son Jαnos from any further attempt.
— Farkas Bolyai
Letter (4 Apr 1820), to his son, Jαnos Bolyai. In J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson, 'Farkas Wolfgang Bolyai' (Mar 2004), web article in MacTutor..
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Bottomless (6)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Do (1908)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Himself (461)  |  Joy (107)  |  Know (1519)  |  Life (1799)  |  Light (609)  |  Night (120)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Postulate (39)  |  Prove (252)  |  Spent (85)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Way (1216)

For God’s sake, please give it up. Fear it no less than the sensual passion, because it, too, may take up all your time and deprive you of your health, peace of mind and happiness in life.
Having himself spent a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to prove Euclid's postulate that parallel lines do not meet, Farkas discouraged his son Jαnos from any further attempt.
— Farkas Bolyai
Letter (1820) to his son, Jαnos Bolyai. Translation as in Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh, The Mathematical Experience (1981), 220. In Bill Swainson, Encarta Book of Quotations (2000), 124.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Deprive (12)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Do (1908)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Fear (199)  |  God (758)  |  Happiness (116)  |  Health (193)  |  Himself (461)  |  Life (1799)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Passion (114)  |  Peace (108)  |  Peace Of Mind (4)  |  Please (65)  |  Postulate (39)  |  Prove (252)  |  Sake (58)  |  Sensual (2)  |  Spent (85)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trying (144)

The mathematical giant [Gauss], who from his lofty heights embraces in one view the stars and the abysses …
— Farkas Bolyai
Kurzer Grundriss eines Versuchs (1851), 44. As translated in Robert Ιdouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (29)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Carl Friedrich Gauss (78)  |  Giant (68)  |  Height (33)  |  Lofty (13)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Star (430)  |  Stars (304)  |  View (488)

When the time is ripe for certain things, these things appear in different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.
— Farkas Bolyai
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (118)  |  Certain (550)  |  Coming (114)  |  Different (577)  |  Early (186)  |  Light (609)  |  Manner (58)  |  Place (177)  |  Ripe (5)  |  Spring (133)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Violet (11)


See also:
  • 9 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Bolyai's birth.

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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