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These estimates may well be enhanced by one from F. Klein (1849-1925), the leading German mathematician of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 'Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of self-evident things.'... If mathematics is indeed the science of self-evident things, mathematicians are a phenomenally stupid lot to waste the tons of good paper they do in proving the fact. Mathematics is abstract and it is hard, and any assertion that it is simple is true only in a severely technical sense-that of the modern postulational method which, as a matter of fact, was exploited by Euclid. The assumptions from which mathematics starts are simple; the rest is not.

**Eric Temple Bell**

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The full impact of the Lobachevskian method of challenging axioms has probably yet to be felt. It is no exaggeration to call Lobachevsky the Copernicus of Geometry [as did Clifford], for geometry is only a part of the vaster domain which he renovated; it might even be just to designate him as a Copernicus of all thought.

**Eric Temple Bell**

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In his wretched life of less than twenty-seven years Abel accomplished so much of the highest order that one of the leading mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century could say without exaggeration, "Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years." Asked how he had done all this in the six or seven years of his working life, Abel replied, "By studying the masters, not the pupils."

**Eric Temple Bell**

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