Euclid’s Theorem I

Oft-Repeated Statement, Supreme Court Judges: “STATUTES SHOULD BE CONSTRUED NOT AS THEOREM OF EUCLID… WORDS MUST BE CONSTRUED WITH SOME IMAGINATION OF THE PURPOSES WHICH LIE BEHIND THEM“.

Theorem of Euclid not purposively imagined? A strange notion has been harbored all these years that mathematics is purely mechanical.

Euclid’s Theorem: “THERE ARE INFINITELY MANY PRIMES”.

Without a purposive interpretation, barely understood. And yet in October, 2014 – Euclid found his 68th mention [Inbasegaran, 2015 (11) SCC 12].

Quoted statement is originally ascribed to Famous, Revered, Judge Learned Hand. In United States v. Carroll Towing, (1947) 159 F.2d 169 C.A.2, Judge Learned Hand attempted to devise “THE CALCULUS OF NEGLIGENCE” and suggested “3 QUANTIFIABLE VARIABLES“.

It would be out of line to share any last words on the scientific abilities of Judge Learned Hand. But, yes, several Supreme Court Judges know nothing about Euclid.

Portrait Of Greek Geometer Euclid

“No proposition Euclid wrote

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar’s downward blow.

Strike hard who cares – shoot straight who can

The odds are on the cheaper man.”

Rudyard Kipling, Arithmetic on the Frontier, 1886