Zitate von Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace

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Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace

Geburtstag: 23. März 1749
Todesdatum: 5. März 1827

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Pierre-Simon Laplace war ein französischer Mathematiker, Physiker und Astronom. Er beschäftigte sich unter anderem mit der Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie und mit Differentialgleichungen.

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Zitate Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace

„All these efforts in the search for truth tend to lead it“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Context: All these efforts in the search for truth tend to lead it [the human mind] back continually to the vast intelligence... but from which it will always remain infinitely removed. This tendency peculiar to the human race is that which renders it superior... and their progress in this respect distinguishes nations and ages and constitutes their true glory.<!--pp.4-5

„The theory of chance consists in reducing all the events of the same kind to a certain number of cases equally possible“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Context: The theory of chance consists in reducing all the events of the same kind to a certain number of cases equally possible, that is to say, to such as we may be equally undecided about in regard to their existence, and in determining the number of cases favorable to the event whose probability is sought.<!--p.6

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„Imaginary causes have gradually receded with the widening bounds of knowledge“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Context: Imaginary causes have gradually receded with the widening bounds of knowledge and disappear entirely before sound philosophy, which sees in them only the expression of our ignorance of the true causes.<!--p.3

„Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Context: Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings who compose it—an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis—it would embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the lightest atom; for it, nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past, would be present to its eyes. The human mind offers, in the perfection which it has been able to give to astronomy, a feeble idea of this intelligence. Its discoveries in mechanics and geometry, added to that of universal gravity, have enabled it to comprehend in the same analytical expressions the past and future states of the system of the world.<!--p.4

„Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Quoted in I. Gordon and S. Sorkin, The Armchair Science Reader, New York, 1959.

„What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Allegedly his last words, reported in Joseph Fourier's "Éloge historique de M. le Marquis de Laplace" (1829) with the comment, "This was at least the meaning of his last words, which were articulated with difficulty." Quoted in Augustus De Morgan's Budget of Paradoxes (1866).

„The most important questions of life... are indeed for the most part only problems of probability.“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Context: The most important questions of life... are indeed for the most part only problems of probability. Strictly speaking it may even be said that nearly all our knowledge is problematical; and in the small number of things which we are able to know with certainty, even in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means for ascertaining truth—induction and analogy—are based on probabilities.<!--p.1

„The last thing we expect of you, General, is a lesson in geometry!“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Laplace to Napoléon, after the latter had reported on some new elementary geometry results

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„"It is therefore obvious that..."“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
Frequently used in the Traité de mécanique céleste when he had proved something and mislaid the proof, or found it clumsy. Notorious as a signal for something true, but hard to prove.

„Man follows only phantoms.“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
His true last words, according to Augustus De Morgan's Budget of Paradoxes (1866). Compare Edmund Burke's famous remark, after a parliamentary candidate's sudden death, about ""what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue"".

„One sees, from this Essay, that the theory of probabilities is basically just common sense reduced to calculus; it makes one appreciate with exactness that which accurate minds feel with a sort of instinct, often without being able to account for it.“

—  Pierre-Simon Laplace
From the Introduction to Théorie Analytique des Probabilités http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Visualiseur?Destination=Gallica&O=NUMM-88764, second and later editions; also published separately as Essai philosophique sur les Probabilités (1814). Œuvres complètes de Laplace, tome VII, p. cliii, Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1878-1912. Also reported as: ""The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus; it enables us to appreciate with exactness that which accurate minds feel with a sort of instinct for which ofttimes they are unable to account.""<!--- http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Quotations/Laplace.html ---> Or as: ""Probability theory is nothing but common sense reduced to calculation.""

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