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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin Quotes

Thumbnail of  Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin
Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin
(21 Dec 1842 - 8 Feb 1921)

Russian geographer and revolutionary.


Science Quotes by Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin (2 quotes)

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense—not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.
— Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin
Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Age (509)  |  Aid (101)  |  Animal (651)  |  Arm (82)  |  Arms (37)  |  Association (49)  |  Attain (126)  |  Best (467)  |  Condition (362)  |  Contrary (143)  |  Course (413)  |  Charles Darwin (322)  |  Decay (59)  |  Development (441)  |  Doom (34)  |  Evolution (635)  |  Existence (481)  |  Experience (494)  |  Extension (60)  |  Find (1014)  |  Greatest (330)  |  Growth (200)  |  Habit (174)  |  Individual (420)  |  Intellectual (258)  |  Invariably (35)  |  Life (1870)  |  Limit (294)  |  Live (650)  |  Maintenance (21)  |  Majority (68)  |  Mean (810)  |  Means (587)  |  Most (1728)  |  Mutual (54)  |  Natural (810)  |  Numerous (70)  |  Obtain (164)  |  Old (499)  |  Old Age (35)  |  Open (277)  |  Possibility (172)  |  Practice (212)  |  Progress (492)  |  Protection (41)  |  Sense (785)  |  Society (350)  |  Species (435)  |  Struggle (111)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (43)  |  Understood (155)  |  Vast (188)  |  Wide (97)  |  World (1850)

Then followed months of intense thought in order to find out what the bewildering chaos of scattered observations meant until one day all of a sudden the whole became as clear and comprehensible as if it were illuminated with a flash of light … There are not many joys in human life equal to the joy of the sudden birth of a generalisation illuminating the mind after a long period of patient research.”
— Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin
In Memoirs of a Revolutionist, 226-227. Concerning his geographical “meticulous research which resulted in his discovery of the configuration of the mountains of Asia—a discovery which he regarded as his most significant contribution to science.” As quoted, commented and cited in Caroline Cahm, Kropotkin: And the Rise of Revolutionary Anarchism, 1872-1886 (2002), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Bewildering (5)  |  Chaos (99)  |  Generalization (61)  |  Human Life (32)  |  Intense (22)  |  Intuition (82)  |  Joy (117)  |  Observation (593)  |  Patient (209)  |  Research (753)  |  Revelation (51)  |  Sudden (70)  |  Thinking (425)


See also:
  • 21 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kropotkin's birth.
  • Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, by Peter Kropotkin. - 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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