My dear Watson," said [Sherlock Holmes], "I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one's self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one's own powers.

— Arthur Conan Doyle

## Most Powerful Logicians quotations

I am not a logician. I am an existentialist. I believe in this meaningless, beautiful chaos of existence, and I am ready to go with it wherever it leads.

### Practice has a logic which is not that of the logician.

It is obvious that [leftists] are not cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality.

Of course I'm inconsistent! Only logicians and cretins are consistent!

From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.

I think logicians hate my work, they detest it! And I'm like pornography, I'm sort of an unmentionable subject in the world of logic, because my results are so disgusting!

Mathematicians care no more for logic than logicians for mathematics.

If we may believe our logicians, man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter. He has a heart capable of mirth, and naturally disposed to it.

### Logic is in the eye of the logician.

As to the most prudent logicians might venture to deduce from a skein of wool the probable existence of a sheep; so you, from the raw stuff of perception, may venture to deduce a universe which transcends the reproductive powers of your loom.

Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.

### Logicians may reason about abstractions.

But the great mass of men must have images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to idolatry can be explained on no other principle.

Every step in the progress of this study has tended to obliterate the technical barriers by which logicians have sought to separate the inquiries relating to the several parts of man's nature.

The pedant and the priest have always been the most expert of logicians - and the most diligent disseminators of nonsense and worse.

To understand this for sense it is not required that a man should be a geometrician or a logician, but that he should be mad.

Le Corbusier was the sort of relentlessly rational intellectual that only France loves wholeheartedly, the logician who flies higher and higher in ever-decreasing circles until, with one last, utterly inevitable induction, he disappears up his own fundamental aperture and emerges in the fourth dimension as a needle-thin umber bird.

### The question of "unreality"is a very important one.

Misled by grammar, the great majority of those logicians who have dealt with this question have dealt with it on mistaken lines. They have regarded grammatical form as a surer guide in analysis than, in fact, it is. And they have not known what differences in grammatical form are important.

There are things so deep and complex that only intuition can reach it in our stage of development as human beings. And to Poe... well, a great logician could be an enemy to him, what he called conventional world reason.

Remember this: one can be a strict logician or grammarian and at the same time full of imagination and music.

### Among mathematicians in general, three main categories may be distinguished;

and perhaps the names logicians, formalists, and intuitionists may serve to characterize them.

When asked why he doesn't believe in astrology, the logician Raymond Smullyan responds that he's a Gemini and Geminis never believe in astrology.

### The method of not erring is sought by all the world.

The logicians profess to guide it, the geometricians alone attain it, and apart from science, and the imitations of it, there are no true demonstrations.

The element of the unexpected and the unforeseeable is what gives some of its relish to life and saves us from falling into the mechanical thralldom of the logicians.

There are in this world two kinds of natures, - those that have wings, and those that have feet, - the winged and the walking spirits. The walking are the logicians; the winged are the instinctive and poetic.

People who are unable to use their hands skillfully for all kinds of work, will not become good thinkers and will behave awkwardly in life. It is not the head alone, but the whole human being that is a logician. Activities demanding manual and bodily skill, such as knitting, leads to the enhancement of the faculty of judgment. This faculty is actually developed least of all by exercises in logic.

...[T]he Constitution conferred only a few specific powers on the federal government, all others being denied to it (as the Tenth Amendment would make plain). Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population today - subtle logicians like you - can grasp such nuances. Too bad. The Constitution wasn't meant to be a brain-twister.

### Logicians have but ill defined As rational the human mind;

Reason, they say, belongs to man, But let them prove it if they can.

The seed haunted by the sun never fails to find its way between the stones in the ground. And the pure logician, if no sun draws him forth, remains entangled in his logic.

### Logicians may reason about abstractions.

But the great mass of men must have images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to idolatry can be explained on no other principle.

### The heart is the best logician.

More than sixty years ago, mathematical logicians, by defining precisely the concept of an algorithm, gave content to the ancient human idea of an effective calculation. Their definitions led to the creation of the digital computer, an interesting example of thought bending matter to its ends.

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.

The one [the logician] studies the science of drawing conclusions, the other [the mathematician] the science which draws necessary conclusions.