# Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace, 1749 - 1827

4205Born: 23 March 1749, Beaumont-en-Auge, Normandy, France

Died: 5 March 1827, Paris, France

Biography from Wikipedia

### Pierre-Simon Laplace quotes:

Quotes found: 20 — (15 per page, this is page 1 of 2) **1 **2 Next

Click here to find books by

**Pierre-Simon Laplace**at Amazon.com

- All the effects of Nature are only the mathematical consequences of a small number of immutable laws.
*permalink**Oeuvres de Laplace, Vol. VII: Théorie des probabilités*, introduction (1847) - An intelligence which at a given instant knew all the forces acting in nature and the position of every object in the universe — if endowed with a brain sufficiently vast to make all necessary calculations — could describe with a single formula the motions of the largest astronomical bodies and those of the smallest atoms. To such an intelligence, nothing would be uncertain; the future, like the past, would be an open book.
*permalink*quoted by Jacqueline D. Spears and Dean Zollman in

*The Fascination of Physics*(1986) - Here I shall present, without using Analysis [mathematics], the principles and general results of the Théorie, applying them to the most important questions of life, which are indeed, for the most part, only problems in probability. One may even say, strictly speaking, that almost all our knowledge is only probable; and in the small number of things that we are able to know with certainty, in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means of arriving at the truth — induction and analogy — are based on probabilities, so that the whole system of human knowledge is tied up with the theory set out in this essay.
*permalink**Philosophical Essay on Probabilities*(1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995) - It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.
*permalink*quoted by Howard Eves in

*Return to Mathematical Circles*(1988) - It is natural for man to relate the units of distance by which he travels to the dimensions of the globe that he inhabits. Thus, in moving about the earth, he may know by the simple denomination of distance its proportion to the whole circuit of the earth. This has the further advantage of making nautical and celestial measurements correspond. The navigator often needs to determine, one from the other, the distance he has traversed from the celestial arc lying between the zeniths at his point of departure and at his destination. It is important, therefore, that one of these magnitudes should be the expression of the other, with no difference except in the units. But to that end, the fundamental linear unit must be an aliquot part of the terrestrial meridian. ... Thus, the choice of the metre was reduced to that of the unity of angles.
*permalink*Lecture at the École Normale to the Year III (Apr 1795) in

*Oeuvres complète de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912)*, Vol. XIV - It is remarkable that a science which began with the consideration of games of chance should have become the most important object of human knowledge.
*permalink**Théorie Analytique des Probabilitiés* - [It] may be laid down as a general rule that, if the result of a long series of precise observations approximates a simple relation so closely that the remaining difference is undetectable by observation and may be attributed to the errors to which they are liable, then this relation is probably that of nature.
*permalink*"Mémoire sur les Inégalites Séculaires des Planètes et des Satellites", trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie (1785, published 1787) in

*Oeuvres complète de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912)*, Vol. 11 - Man follows only phantoms.
*permalink*last words, according to Augustus De Morgan in

*Budget of Paradoxes*(1866) - Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.
*permalink*quoted by Isabel S Gordon; Sophie Sorkin in

*The Armchair Science Reader*(1959) - 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.
*permalink**Essai philosophique sur les Probabilités*(1814) - Such is the advantage of a well constructed language that its simplified notation often becomes the source of profound theories.
*permalink*quoted by N. Rose in

*Mathematical Maxims and Minims*(1988) - The mind has its illusions as the sense of sight; and in the same manner that the sense of feeling corrects the latter, reflection and calculation correct the former.
*permalink**A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities*, translated by F.W. Truscott and F.L. Emory (1902) - The simplicity of nature is not to be measured by that of our conceptions. Infinitely varied in its effects, nature is simple only in its causes, and its economy consists in producing a great number of phenomena, often very complicated, by means of a small number of general laws.
*permalink**Philosophical Essay on Probabilities*(1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995) - The theory of probabilities is basically only common sense reduced to a calculus. It makes one estimate accurately what right-minded people feel by a sort of instinct, often without being able to give a reason for it.
*permalink**Philosophical Essay on Probabilities*(1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995) - The word 'chance' then expresses only our ignorance of the causes of the phenomena that we observe to occur and to succeed one another in no apparent order. Probability is relative in part to this ignorance, and in part to our knowledge.
*permalink*"Mémoire sur les Approximations des Formules qui sont Fonctions de Très Grands Nombres", trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie (1783, published 1786), in

*Oeuvres complète de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912)*, Vol. 10

Quotes found : 20 — (15 per page, this is page 1 of 2) **1 **2 Next

Please report any problems on this page! If you see any typos, incorrect attributions, deformed characters, or any other problem with this page, we want to fix it as soon
as possible. Please click here to report errors.

**Note:** Do not use titles in author searches, we don't use them, including president, senator, prime minister, king, queen, saint, or doctor, or abbreviations thereof. See explanation here.