Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Error

"Our understanding are always liable to error. Nature and certainty is very hard to come at; and infallibility is mere vanity and pretense." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A small error in the beginning is a great one in the end." -

"People first abandon reason, and then become obstinate; and the deeper they are in error the more angry they are." - Hugh Blair

"The trouble of the many and various aims of mortal men bring them much care, and herein they go forward by different paths but strive to reach one end, which is happiness. And that good is that, to which if any man attain, he can desire nothing further... Happiness is a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things. This end all men seek to reach, as I said, though by different paths. For there is implanted by nature in the minds of men a desire for the true good; but error leads them astray towards false goods by wrong paths." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as some must trifle away age because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"Every error is truth abused." -

"Error is discipline through which we advance." - William Ellery Channing

"Mistake, error, is the discipline through which we advance." - William Ellery Channing

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed; and discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"Thought precedes the will to think, and error lives ere reason can be born. Reason, the power to guess at right and wrong, the twinkling lamp of wand'ring life, that winks and wakes by turns fooling the follower 'twixt shade and shining." - William Congreve

"With endless patience you shall carry out your duty, and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall lodge in your mind, and all your words and actions shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all your deliberations in the Council, in your efforts at lawmaking, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not away the warnings of any others, if they should chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law, which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the earth - the unborn of the future Nation." - Constitution of the Five Nations NULL

"Wine is like anger; for it make us strong; blind and impatient; and leads us wrong; the strength is quickly lost; we feel the error long." - George Crabbe

"Some of the best lessons we ever learn we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future." - Tyron Edwards

"What we give out as scientific truth is only the product of our own needs and desires, as they are formulated under varying external conditions; that is to say, it is illusion once more. Ultimately we find only what we need to find, and see only what we desire to see. We can do nothing else. And since the criterion of truth, correspondence with an external world, disappears, it is absolutely immaterial what views we accept. All of them are equally true and false. And no one has a right to accuse any one else of error." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"All men are good when free from passion, interest, or error." -

"We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because for a time they are not remembered; he may, therefore, justly be numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences that may early be impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to occur habitually to the mind." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase, which, if we suppose it put to its best use by those that posses it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to corporal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages to anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed, that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error, and harden stupidity." -

"Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Vanity indeed is a venial error; for it usually carries its own punishment with it." -

"Every error of the mind is the more conspicuous and culpable in proportion to the rank of the person who commits it." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Justice is immortal, eternal, and immutable, like God Himself; and the development of law is only then a progress when it is directed towards those principles which always like Him, are eternal; and whenever prejudice of error succeeds in establishing in customary law any doctrine contrary to eternal justice." - Louis Kossuth, also Lajos Kossuth, fully Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva

"It is, I think, an error to believe that there is any need of religion to make life seem worth living." - Sinclair Lewis, fully Harry Sinclair Lewis

"The unexamined life, said Socrates, is unfit to be lived by man. This is the virtue of liberty, and the ground on which we may justify our belief in it, that it tolerates error in order to serve truth." - Walter Lippmann

"It is one thing to show a man that his is in an error, and another to put him in possession of truth." - John Locke

"Truth is by its very nature intolerant, exclusive, for every truth is the denial of its opposing error." - Christoph Ernst Luthardt

"Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"Inquiry is a duty, and error in research is not a sin." - Benjamin ben Moses, or Benjamin Nahawandi or Benyamin ben Moshe al-Nahawendi

"Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value of life is ultimately decisive." -

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." - Thomas Paine

"Speak the truth by all means; be bold and fearless in your rebuke of error, and in your keener rebuke of wrong doing; but be human, and loving, and gentle, and brotherly the while." - William Morley Punshon

"May those who represent advanced views bear in mind that true wisdom is always joined with mildness, that malice never converts the erring but strengthens him in his attitude, and that it is very unfitting to combat error (so long as this does not assume the aspect of injustice) with the weapons of hatred." - Gabriel Riesser

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life, are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life: and as some must trifle away age, because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error, because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"Be not ashamed to confess that you have been in the wrong. It is but owning what you need not be ashamed of - that you now have more sense than you had before, to see your error; more humility to acknowledge it, more grace to correct it." - Jeremiah Seed

"Behold the wretched and dismal slavery of him who is in thrall to pleasures and pains, those utterly capricious and tyrannical master. We, however, must escape to freedom. But this is only possible if we are indifferent to Fortune. Then we shall attain that one overriding blessing - the serenity and exhaltation of a firmly anchored mind. For when error is banished, we shall have the great and satisfying joy that comes from the discovery of truth, plus a kind of disposition and cheerfulness of mind. The source of our pleasure in these things will not derive from their being good, but that they emerge from a good that is one’s own." -

"There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trail and error: experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately 'works.'" -

"Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error to an afflicted truth." - Jeremy Taylor

"Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth." -

"The more secure we feel against our liability to any error to which, in fact, we are liable, the greater must be our danger of falling into it." - Richard Whately

"Every failure is a step to success; every detection of what is false directs us toward what is true; every trial exhausts some tempting form of error. Not only so, but scarcely any attempt is entirely a failure; scarcely any theory, is the result of steady thought, is altogether false; no tempting form of error is without some latent charm derived from truth." - William Whewell

"Man is born for action; he ought to do something. Work, at each step, awakens a sleeping force and roots our error. Who does nothing, knows nothing. Rise! to work! If thy knowledge is real, employ it; wrestle with nature; test the strength of thy theories; see if they will support the trial; act!" - Alfred "Trader Horn" Aloysius, born Alfred Aloysius Smith

"An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains." -

"When we return from error, it is through knowing that we return." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"A simple-minded believer would say, ‘God is in Heaven.’ A man of trained mind, knowing that God must be represented as a physical entity in space, would say, ‘God is everywhere, and not merely in Heaven.’ But if the omnipresence of God be taken only in a physical and spatial sense, that formula, too, is likely in error. Accordingly, the philosopher more adequately expresses the purely spiritual nature of God when he asserts that God is nowhere but in Himself; in fact, rather than say that God is in spaced he might more justly say that space and matter are in God." - Averroes, full name ʾAbū l-Walīd Muḥammad bin ʾAḥmad bin Rušd NULL

"The confirmed prejudices of the thoughtful life, are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as most must trifle away age, because they trifled away youth, others must labor on the maze of error, because they have wandered there too long to find their way." - Henry Bolingbroke, Henry IV of England

"It is only an error of judgment to make a mistake, but it argues an infirmity of character to adhere to it when discovered. The Chinese say, "The glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall."" - John Christian Bovee

"Truth gets well if she is run over by a locomotive, while error dies of lockjaw if she scratches her finger." - William Cullen Bryant

""It is destiny" - Phrase of the weak human heart! "It is destiny" - dark apology for every error! The strong and virtuous admit no destiny." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"All extremes are error. The reverse of error is not truth, but error still. Truth lies between these extremes." - Richard Cecil

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed. Discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"Understand your antagonist before you answer him... Discussion, even if story, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing