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The Little Retreat Quotes: Knowledge for its own sake
According to legend, a beginning student of geometry asked Euclid, "What shall I get by learning these things?" Euclid called his slave, saying, "Give him a coin, since he must make gain out of what he learns." To this day, this attitude toward application persists among many pure mathematicians - they study mathematics for its own sake, for its intrinsic beauty and elegance. Surprisingly enough ... pure mathematics often turns out to have applications never dreamt of by its creators ... Moreover, those parts of mathematics that have not been applied are also valuable ... as aesthetic works ... or as contributions to the expansion of human consciousness and understanding.
Marvin Jay Greenberg, in "Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometries," 2nd edition, W.H. Freeman and Co., New York, 1973, pp. 7-8

"... I also want to know everything I can. You yourself have said that knowledge is power." "No!" he said emphatically. "Power rests on the kind of knowledge one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless?"
Carlos Castaneda, in "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge"

The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and an almost fanatical love of justice ... these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my lucky stars that I belong to it.
Albert Einstein

"Knowledge for its own sake" - that is the last snare of morality: with that one becomes completely entangled in it once more.
Friedrich Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil, Epigrams and Interludes : 64

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