Opinion

From obedience and submission spring all other virtues, as all sin does form self-opinion.

I care not so much what I am in the opinion of others, as what I am in my own; I would be rich of myself, and not by borrowing.

One often contradicts an opinion when it is really only the tone in which it has been presented that is unsympathetic.

The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it. The question is how far it is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving.

There is nothing a man can less afford to leave at home than his conscience or his good habits; for it is not to be denied that travel is, in its immediate circumstances, unfavorable to habits of self-discipline, regulation of thought, sobriety of conduct, and dignity of character. Indeed, one of the great lessons of travel is the discovery how much our virtues owe to the support of constant occupation, to the influence of public opinion, and to the force of habit; a discovery very dangerous, if it proceed from an actual yielding to temptations resisted at home, and not from a consciousness of increased power put forth in withstanding them.

It is safer to learn than teach; and who conceals his opinion has nothing to answer for.

Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known.

Opinion is a bold bastard.

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.

Your life will be good and secure when aliveness will mean more to you than security; love more than money; your freedom more than partyline line or public opinion; when the mood of Beethoven or Bach will be the mood of your total existence; when the teachers of your children will be better paid than the politicians.

The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skilled direct it.

The savage lives within himself, while social man lives constantly outside himself, and only knows how to live in the opinion of others, so that he seems to receive the consciousness of his own existence merely from the judgment of others concerning him.

When a law is proposed in the people’s assembly, what is asked of them is not precisely whether they approve of the proposition or reject it, but whether it is in conforming with the general will which is theirs; each by giving his vote gives his opinion on this question, and the counting of votes yields a declaration of the general will. When, therefore, the opinion contrary to my own prevails, this proves only that I have made a mistake, and that what I believed to be the general will was not so. If my particular opinion had prevailed against the general will, I should have done something other than what I had willed, and then I should not have been free. This presupposes, it is true, that all characteristics of the general will are still to be found in the majority; when these cease to be there, no matter what position men adopt, there is no longer any freedom.

The fundamental argument for freedom of opinion is the doubtfulness of all our beliefs. If we certainly knew the truth, there would be something to be said for teaching it. But in that case it could be taught without invoking authority, by means of its inherent reasonableness.

They who are of the opinion that Money will do everything, may; very well be suspected to do everything for Money.

Don't judge a man by his opinion of himself.

Idolatry is in a man's own thought, not in the opinion of another.

Nothing is more certain of destroying any good feeling that may be cherished towards us than to show distrust. To be suspected as an enemy is often enough to make a man become so; the whole matter is over, there is no farther use of guarding against it. On the contrary, confidence leads us naturally to act kindly, we are affected by the good opinion which others entertain of us, and we are not easily induced to lose it.

It will easily be seen in what consist the difference between a man who is led by affect or opinion alone and one who is led by reason. The former, whether he wills it or not, does those things of which he is entirely ignorant, but the latter does the will of no one but himself, and does those things only which he knows are of greatest importance in life, and which he therefore desires above all things. I call the former, therefore, a slave, and the latter free.

Men seldom take the opinion of their equal, or of a man like themselves, upon trust.