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Chapter 1 • Conversations


"When you suddenly see the problem, something happens that you have the answer — before you are able to put it into words. It is all done subconsciously." [2]
Barbara McClintock, scientist

"The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know." [2]
Blaise Pascal, mathematician and philosopher

"I have had my results for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them." [2]
Carl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician

"Feeling alone guides the mind." [2]
"Just as in other human activities, feeling releases an act by putting forth the idea which gives a motive to action." [4]
Claude Bernard, physiologist

"I don't know in advance what I am going to put on canvas any more than I decide beforehand what colors I am going to use." [2]
"All the arts are the same: you can write a picture in words just as you can paint sensations in a poem." [7]
Pablo Picasso, painter

"...intuitive grasp of an unknown entity already possessed but not yet intelligible." [2]
Igor Stravinsky, composer

"Somehow inside me — I can say this after having written five books — I know that I know where I am going. I know that I know the end of the book even though I don't know it. It's so difficult to explain." [2]
Isabel Allende, novelist

"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you that mine are still greater." [3]
"The words of the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in the mechanism of thought." [3]
Albert Einstein, novelist

"Was it science? Our later tests showed that it was. But the processes I used and the responses that I felt were more like those of an artist." [4]
William Lipscomb, chemist

"Intuition or mathematics? Do we use models to help us find the truth? Or do we know the truth first, and then develop the mathematics to explain it?" [5]
"No scientist thinks in formulae." [5]
Arthur C. Clarke, author

"The stage of discovery was entirely sensual and mathematics was only necessary to be able to communicate with other people." [5]
Cyril Stanley Smith, metalurgist

"In certain problems that I have done, it was necessary to continue the development of the picture as the method, before the mathematics could really be done." [5]
Richard Feynman, physicist

"I have a body language that is difficult to explain. A lot of my work is about body orientation, both in the making of the work and in the sensing of space, comparing it to my own physical orientation." [6]
Susan Rothenberg, painter

"It was not my eyes or my mind that learned. It was my body." [7]
Anne Truitt, sculptor