Be not content with the commonplace in character anymore than with the commonplace in ambition or intellectual attainment. Do not expect that you will make any lasting or very strong impression on the world through intellectual power without the use of an equal amount of conscience and heart.
To wisdom belongs the intellectual apprehension of eternal things; to knowledge, the rational knowledge of temporal things.
Men of splendid talents are generally too quick, too volatile, too adventurous, and too unstable to be much relied on; whereas men of common abilities, in a regular, plodding routine of business, act with more regularity and greater certainty. Men of the best intellectual abilities are apt to strike off suddenly, like the tangent of a circle, and cannot be brought into their orbits by attraction or gravity - they often act with such eccentricity as to be lost in the vortex of their own reveries. Brilliant talents in general are like the ignes fatui; they excite wonder, but often mislead. They are not, however, without their use; like the fire from the flint, once produced, it may be converted, by solid, thinking men, to very salutary and noble purposes.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
One of the great problems that must be solved in any attempt to work out a scientific world-view is that of bringing the being who puts forward the world-view within the world-view. By treating man, including his mental processes, as a purely, as a purely physical object, operating according to exactly the same laws as all other physical things, this object is achieved with the greatest possible intellectual economy. The knower differs from the world he knows only in the greater complexity of his physical organization.
The goal of our intellectual efforts cannot be a static, polished possession; it can only be further, more successful efforts of the same general kind. In science as in life it is the process, not the terminus, that should concern us - if we are wise.