(source) 
Augustus De Morgan
(27 Jun 1806  18 Mar 1871)

Augustus De Morgan Quotes on Mathematics (19 quotes)
>> Click for 42 Science Quotes by Augustus De Morgan
>> Click for 42 Science Quotes by Augustus De Morgan
Bacon himself was very ignorant of all that had been done by mathematics; and, strange to say, he especially objected to astronomy being handed over to the mathematicians. Leverrier and Adams, calculating an unknown planet into a visible existence by enormous heaps of algebra, furnish the last comment of note on this specimen of the goodness of Bacon’s view… . Mathematics was beginning to be the great instrument of exact inquiry: Bacon threw the science aside, from ignorance, just at the time when his enormous sagacity, applied to knowledge, would have made him see the part it was to play. If Newton had taken Bacon for his master, not he, but somebody else, would have been Newton.
— Augustus De Morgan
Common integration is only the memory of differentiation...
— Augustus De Morgan
During the last two centuries and a half, physical knowledge has been gradually made to rest upon a basis which it had not before. It has become mathematical. The question now is, not whether this or that hypothesis is better or worse to the pure thought, but whether it accords with observed phenomena in those consequences which can be shown necessarily to follow from it, if it be true
— Augustus De Morgan
Euler was a believer in God, downright and straightforward. The following story is told by Thiebault, in his Souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin, … Thiebault says that he has no personal knowledge of the truth of the story, but that it was believed throughout the whole of the north of Europe. Diderot paid a visit to the Russian Court at the invitation of the Empress. He conversed very freely, and gave the younger members of the Court circle a good deal of lively atheism. The Empress was much amused, but some of her counsellors suggested that it might be desirable to check these expositions of doctrine. The Empress did not like to put a direct muzzle on her guest’s tongue, so the following plot was contrived. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician was in possession of an algebraical demonstration of the existence of God, and would give it him before all the Court, if he desired to hear it. Diderot gladly consented: though the name of the mathematician is not given, it was Euler. He advanced toward Diderot, and said gravely, and in a tone of perfect conviction:
Monsieur, (a + b^{n}) / n = x, donc Dieu existe; repondez!
Diderot, to whom algebra was Hebrew, was embarrassed and disconcerted; while peals of laughter rose on all sides. He asked permission to return to France at once, which was granted.
Diderot, to whom algebra was Hebrew, was embarrassed and disconcerted; while peals of laughter rose on all sides. He asked permission to return to France at once, which was granted.
— Augustus De Morgan
I was x years old in the year x^{2}.
When asked about his age (43).
When asked about his age (43).
— Augustus De Morgan
Imagine a person with a gift of ridicule [He might say] First that a negative quantity has no logarithm; secondly that a negative quantity has no square root; thirdly that the first nonexistent is to the second as the circumference of a circle is to the diameter.
— Augustus De Morgan
It is admitted by all that a finished or even a competent reasoner is not the work of nature alone; the experience of every day makes it evident that education develops faculties which would otherwise never have manifested their existence. It is, therefore, as necessary to learn to reason before we can expect to be able to reason, as it is to learn to swim or fence, in order to attain either of those arts. Now, something must be reasoned upon, it matters not much what it is, provided it can be reasoned upon with certainty. The properties of mind or matter, or the study of languages, mathematics, or natural history, may be chosen for this purpose. Now of all these, it is desirable to choose the one which admits of the reasoning being verified, that is, in which we can find out by other means, such as measurement and ocular demonstration of all sorts, whether the results are true or not. When the guiding property of the loadstone was first ascertained, and it was necessary to learn how to use this new discovery, and to find out how far it might be relied on, it would have been thought advisable to make many passages between ports that were well known before attempting a voyage of discovery. So it is with our reasoning faculties: it is desirable that their powers should be exerted upon objects of such a nature, that we can tell by other means whether the results which we obtain are true or false, and this before it is safe to trust entirely to reason. Now the mathematics are peculiarly well adapted for this purpose, on the following grounds:
1. Every term is distinctly explained, and has but one meaning, and it is rarely that two words are employed to mean the same thing.
2. The first principles are selfevident, and, though derived from observation, do not require more of it than has been made by children in general.
3. The demonstration is strictly logical, taking nothing for granted except selfevident first principles, resting nothing upon probability, and entirely independent of authority and opinion.
4. When the conclusion is obtained by reasoning, its truth or falsehood can be ascertained, in geometry by actual measurement, in algebra by common arithmetical calculation. This gives confidence, and is absolutely necessary, if, as was said before, reason is not to be the instructor, but the pupil.
5. There are no words whose meanings are so much alike that the ideas which they stand for may be confounded. Between the meaning of terms there is no distinction, except a total distinction, and all adjectives and adverbs expressing difference of degrees are avoided.
1. Every term is distinctly explained, and has but one meaning, and it is rarely that two words are employed to mean the same thing.
2. The first principles are selfevident, and, though derived from observation, do not require more of it than has been made by children in general.
3. The demonstration is strictly logical, taking nothing for granted except selfevident first principles, resting nothing upon probability, and entirely independent of authority and opinion.
4. When the conclusion is obtained by reasoning, its truth or falsehood can be ascertained, in geometry by actual measurement, in algebra by common arithmetical calculation. This gives confidence, and is absolutely necessary, if, as was said before, reason is not to be the instructor, but the pupil.
5. There are no words whose meanings are so much alike that the ideas which they stand for may be confounded. Between the meaning of terms there is no distinction, except a total distinction, and all adjectives and adverbs expressing difference of degrees are avoided.
— Augustus De Morgan
It is easier to square the circle than to get round a mathematician.
— Augustus De Morgan
It was long before I got at the maxim, that in reading an old mathematician you will not read his riddle unless you plough with his heifer; you must see with his light, if you want to know how much he saw.
— Augustus De Morgan
Lagrange, in one of the later years of his life, imagined that he had overcome the difficulty (of the parallel axiom). He went so far as to write a paper, which he took with him to the Institute, and began to read it. But in the first paragraph something struck him that he had not observed: he muttered: 'Il faut que j'y songe encore', and put the paper in his pocket.' [I must think about it again]
— Augustus De Morgan
Of my own age I may say … I was x years old in the year x × x. … I dare say Professor De Morgan, or some of your mathematical correspondents, will be able to find my age.
— Augustus De Morgan
The gambling reasoner is incorrigible; if he would but take to the squaring of the circle, what a load of misery would be saved.
— Augustus De Morgan
The genius of Laplace was a perfect sledge hammer in bursting purely mathematical obstacles; but, like that useful instrument, it gave neither finish nor beauty to the results. In truth, in truism if the reader please, Laplace was neither Lagrange nor Euler, as every student is made to feel. The second is power and symmetry, the third power and simplicity; the first is power without either symmetry or simplicity. But, nevertheless, Laplace never attempted investigation of a subject without leaving upon it the marks of difficulties conquered: sometimes clumsily, sometimes indirectly, always without minuteness of design or arrangement of detail; but still, his end is obtained and the difficulty is conquered.
— Augustus De Morgan
The imaginary expression √(a) and the negative expression b, have this resemblance, that either of them occurring as the solution of a problem indicates some inconsistency or absurdity. As far as real meaning is concerned, both are imaginary, since 0  a is as inconceivable as √(a).
— Augustus De Morgan
The invention of what we may call primary or fundamental notation has been but little indebted to analogy, evidently owing to the small extent of ideas in which comparison can be made useful. But at the same time analogy should be attended to, even if for no other reason than that, by making the invention of notation an art, the exertion of individual caprice ceases to be allowable. Nothing is more easy than the invention of notation, and nothing of worse example and consequence than the confusion of mathematical expressions by unknown symbols. If new notation be advisable, permanently or temporarily, it should carry with it some mark of distinction from that which is already in use, unless it be a demonstrable extension of the latter.
— Augustus De Morgan
The moving power of mathematical invention is not reasoning but imagination.
— Augustus De Morgan
The number of mathematical students … would be much augmented if those who hold the highest rank in science would condescend to give more effective assistance in clearing the elements of the difficulties which they present.
— Augustus De Morgan
The student should not lose any opportunity of exercising himself in numerical calculation and particularly in the use of logarithmic tables. His power of applying mathematics to questions of practical utility is in direct proportion to the facility which he possesses in computation.
— Augustus De Morgan
We know that mathematicians care no more for logic than logicians for mathematics. The two eyes of science are mathematics and logic; the mathematical set puts out the logical eye, the logical set puts out the mathematical eye; each believing that it sees better with one eye than with two.
Note that De Morgan, himself, only had sight with only one eye.
Note that De Morgan, himself, only had sight with only one eye.
— Augustus De Morgan
See also:
 27 Jun  short biography, births, deaths and events on date of De Morgan's birth.
 Memoir of Augustus De Morgan, by Sophia Elizabeth (Frend) De Morgan.  book suggestion.
 Booklist for Augustus De Morgan.