Quotes about Knowledge
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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 - 1965), speech at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 8, 1952

All men by nature desire knowledge.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Metaphysics

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), Sybil, 1845

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it - this is knowledge.
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects

Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849), Berenice

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.
Enrico Fermi (1901 - 1954)

None of us is as smart as all of us.
Eric Schmidt, University of Pennsylvania Commencement Address, 2009

We have an opportunity for everyone in the world to have access to all the world's information. This has never before been possible. Why is ubiquitous information so profound? It's a tremendous equalizer. Information is power.
Eric Schmidt, University of Pennsylvania Commencement Address, 2009

We have come out of the time when obedience, the acceptance of discipline, intelligent courage, and resolution were most important, into that more difficult time when it is a man's duty to understand his world rather than to simply fight for it.
Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961), 1946

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986)

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

His priority did not seem to be to teach them what he knew, but rather to impress upon them that nothing, not even... knowledge, was foolproof.
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.
John Green, An Abundance of Katherines, 2008

When a true genius appears in this world you may know him by this sign, that the dines are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745)

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931), The Voice of the Master

People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.
Lao-tzu (604 BC - 531 BC), The Way of Lao-tzu

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
Margaret Fuller (1810 - 1850)

We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), A Tramp Abroad, vol. 2, 1879

To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.
Olin Miller

Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894), The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.
Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988), Letter to Armando Garcia J, December 11, 1985

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson

Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people who can't make up their own minds.
Seth Hoffman, House M.D., 2010

Knowledge is power.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626), Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.
Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC), from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Knowledge must come through action; you can have no test which is not fanciful, save by trial.
Sophocles (496 BC - 406 BC), Trachiniae
A little learning is not a dangerous thing to one who does not mistake it for a great deal.
William Allen White

This page was last updated: July 12, 2013
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