TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®  •  TODAYINSCI ®
Celebrating 24 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Bertrand Russell Quotes > Aristotle

Thumbnail of Bertrand Russell (source)
Bertrand Russell
(18 May 1872 - 2 Feb 1970)

Welsh mathematician, logician and philosopher known for his work in mathematical logic, but was also active in social and political campaigns, advocating pacifism and nuclear disarmament.



Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
— Bertrand Russell
In The Impact of Science on Society (1951), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (179)  |  Experiment (736)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Mouth (54)  |  Never (1089)  |  Statement (148)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Verify (24)

Aristotle, in spite of his reputation, is full of absurdities. He says that children should be conceived in the Winter, when the wind is in the North, and that if people marry too young the children will be female. He tells us that the blood of females is blacker then that of males; that the pig is the only animal liable to measles; that an elephant suffering from insomnia should have its shoulders rubbed with salt, olive-oil, and warm water; that women have fewer teeth than men, and so on. Nevertheless, he is considered by the great majority of philosophers a paragon of wisdom.
— Bertrand Russell
From An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1937, 1943), 19. Collected in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (2009), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (34)  |  Animal (651)  |  Aristotle (179)  |  Black (46)  |  Blood (144)  |  Child (333)  |  Children (201)  |  Conception (160)  |  Consider (428)  |  Elephant (35)  |  Female (50)  |  Fewer (11)  |  Great (1610)  |  Insomnia (3)  |  Majority (68)  |  Male (26)  |  Marriage (39)  |  Measles (4)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  North (12)  |  Oil (67)  |  Paragon (4)  |  People (1031)  |  Philosopher (269)  |  Pig (8)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Rub (4)  |  Salt (48)  |  Say (989)  |  Shoulder (33)  |  Spite (55)  |  Suffering (68)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Tell (344)  |  Warm (74)  |  Water (503)  |  Will (2350)  |  Wind (141)  |  Winter (46)  |  Wisdom (235)  |  Woman (160)  |  Young (253)

If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
— Bertrand Russell
In An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1943), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (179)  |  Asking (74)  |  Avoid (123)  |  Count (107)  |  Device (71)  |  Error (339)  |  Experiment (736)  |  Matter (821)  |  Mistake (180)  |  Mouth (54)  |  Observation (593)  |  Open (277)  |  Proof (304)  |  Settled (34)  |  Simple (426)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Tooth (32)

Man is a rational animal—so at least I have been told. … Aristotle, so far as I know, was the first man to proclaim explicitly that man is a rational animal. His reason for this view was … that some people can do sums. … It is in virtue of the intellect that man is a rational animal. The intellect is shown in various ways, but most emphatically by mastery of arithmetic. The Greek system of numerals was very bad, so that the multiplication table was quite difficult, and complicated calculations could only be made by very clever people.
— Bertrand Russell
From An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1937, 1943), 5. Collected in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (2009), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (651)  |  Aristotle (179)  |  Arithmetic (144)  |  Bad (185)  |  Calculation (134)  |  Clever (41)  |  Complicated (117)  |  Complication (30)  |  Difficult (263)  |  Difficulty (201)  |  Do (1905)  |  Emphatically (8)  |  First (1302)  |  Greece (9)  |  Greek (109)  |  Intellect (251)  |  Know (1538)  |  Man (2252)  |  Mastery (36)  |  Most (1728)  |  Multiplication (46)  |  Multiplication Table (16)  |  People (1031)  |  Proclaim (31)  |  Rational (95)  |  Reason (766)  |  Sum (103)  |  System (545)  |  Table (105)  |  Various (205)  |  View (496)  |  Virtue (117)  |  Way (1214)

The Italian Renaissance, though not medieval, is not modern; it is more akin to the best age of Greece. … No Italian of the Renaissance would have been unintelligible to Plato or Aristotle…. With the seventeenth century it is different: Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas and Occam, could not have made head or tail of Newton.
— Bertrand Russell
In History of Western Philosophy (1979, 2004) 484.
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (20)  |  Saint Thomas Aquinas (18)  |  Aristotle (179)  |  Different (595)  |  Greece (9)  |  Italy (6)  |  Medieval (12)  |  Modern (402)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (363)  |  Plato (80)  |  Renaissance (16)  |  Unintelligible (17)

The modern development of mathematical logic dates from Boole’s Laws of Thought (1854). But in him and his successors, before Peano and Frege, the only thing really achieved, apart from certain details, was the invention of a mathematical symbolism for deducing consequences from the premises which the newer methods shared with Aristotle.
— Bertrand Russell
From a Lowell Lecture delivered in Boston (Apr 1914), 'Logic as the Essence of Philosophy". Published in Our Knowledge of the External World: As A Field For Scientific Method in Philosophy (1914), Lecture II, 40. Also quoted in William Bragg Ewald, From Kant to Hilbert: A Source Book in the Foundations of Mathematics (1996), Vol. 1, footnote, 442. In the Footnote, Ewalt contrasts a more “romantic” view of Boole written by Russell for a popular audience. Refer to the latter quote elsewhere on this Bertrand Russell webpage, which begins “Pure mathematics was discovered by Boole….”
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (75)  |  Aristotle (179)  |  George Boole (12)  |  Consequence (220)  |  Deduce (27)  |  Detail (150)  |  Gottlob Frege (12)  |  Invention (400)  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Mathematics And Logic (27)  |  Method (531)  |  New (1273)  |  Giuseppe Peano (3)  |  Premise (40)  |  Share (82)  |  Successor (16)  |  Symbolism (5)


See also:
  • 18 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Russell's birth.
  • Bertrand Russell - context of quote “A process which led from the amoeba to man” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Bertrand Russell - context of quote “A process which led from the amoeba to man” - Large image (800 x 600 px)

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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Thank you for sharing.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.