If you’re looking for the best **A Mathematician’s Apology quotes** you’ve come to the right place. We compiled a list of 15 quotes that best summarise the message of G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician’s Apology. Let these quotes inspire you!

## A Mathematician’s Apology Quotes

[I was advised] to read Jordan’s ‘Cours d’analyse’; and I shall never forget the astonishment with which I read that remarkable work, the first inspiration for so many mathematicians of my generation, and learnt for the first time as I read it what mathematics really meant.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

The play is independent of the pages on which it is printed, and ‘pure geometries’ are independent of lecture rooms, or of any other detail of the physical world.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

I believe that mathematical reality lies outside us, that our function is to discover or observe it, and that the theorems which we prove, and which we describe grandiloquently as our ‘creations’, are simply our notes of our observations. This view has been held, in one form or another, by many philosophers of high reputation from Plato onwards.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

Most people have some appreciation of mathematics, just as most people can enjoy a pleasant tune; and there are probably more people really interested in mathematics than in music. Appearances suggest the contrary, but there are easy explanations. Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

[Regarding mathematics, ] there are now few studies more generally recognized, for good reasons or bad, as profitable and praiseworthy. This may be true; indeed it is probable, since the sensational triumphs of Einstein, that stellar astronomy and atomic physics are the only sciences which stand higher in popular estimation.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than their, it is because they are made with ideas.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

The geometer offers to the physicist a whole set of maps from which to choose. One map, perhaps, will fit the facts better than others, and then the geometry which provides that particular map will be the geometry most important for applied mathematics.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

Reductio ad absurdum, which Euclid loved so much, is one of a mathematician’s finest weapons. It is a far finer gambit than any chess play: a chess player may offer the sacrifice of a pawn or even a piece, but a mathematician offers the game.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of poems. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

No mathematician should ever allow him to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man’s game. … Galois died at twenty-one, Abel at twenty-seven, Ramanujan at thirty-three, Riemann at forty. There have been men who have done great work later; … [but] I do not know of a single instance of a major mathematical advance initiated by a man past fifty. … A mathematician may still be competent enough at sixty, but it is useless to expect him to have original ideas.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

Real mathematics must be justified as art if it can be justified at all.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

[It] is hardly possible to maintain seriously that the evil done by science is not altogether outweighed by the good. For example, if ten million lives were lost in every war, the net effect of science would still have been to increase the average length of life.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

It seems that mathematical ideas are arranged somehow in strata, the ideas in each stratum being linked by a complex of relations both among themselves and with those above and below. The lower the stratum, the deeper (and in general more difficult) the idea. Thus the idea of an ‘irrational’ is deeper than that of an integer; and Pythagoras’s theorem is, for that reason, deeper than Euclid’s.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

In these days of conflict between ancient and modern studies, there must surely be something to be said for a study which did not begin with Pythagoras, and will not end with Einstein, but is the oldest and the youngest of all.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. “Immortality” may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean.

— G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology