Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Knowledge

"Success depends on faith and good deeds... not upon the knowledge of the proofs which lead to them." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"Knowledge, love, power - there is the complete life." -

"Desire for knowledge is the path of honor: desire for wealth is the path of dishonor. Wealth is the chain that slaves wear; knowledge the kingly crown." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"Good is the cause of love, as being its object. But good is not the object of the appetite, except as apprehended. And therefore love demands some apprehension of the good that is loved... Accordingly knowledge is the cause of love for the same reason as good is, which can be loved only if known." -

"Knowledge is in inverse ratio to materiality... Moreover, among the senses, sight has the most perfect knowledge because it is the least material... while among intellects the more perfect is the more immaterial." -

"Knowledge is loved not that any good may come to it but that it may be possessed." -

"The intellectual soul, because it can comprehend universals, has a power extending to the infinite; therefore it cannot be limited by nature either to certain fixed natural judgments, or to certain fixed means whether of defense or of clothing, as is the case with other animals, the souls of which have knowledge and power in regard to fixed particular things. Instead of all these, man has by nature his reason and his hands, which are the organs of organs, since by their means man can make for himself instruments of an infinite variety, and for any number of purposes." -

"When... the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood, by comparison with such a thing the will is higher than the intellect. But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with the thing the intellect is higher than the will. Therefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God; but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love of them. Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will." -

"Spiritual knowledge cannot be communicated from one intellect to another, but must be sought for in the spirit of God." - Jacob Bohme, or Jacob Behmen or Jakob Böhme

"Knowledge and action... are only two aspects of one and the same faculty... There are things that intelligence alone is able to seek, but which, by itself, it will never find. These things instinct alone could find; but it will never seek them." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"That discipline which corrects the eagerness of worldly passions, which fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, which enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity than all the provisions which we can make of the goods of fortune." - Hugh Blair

"Willingness to be taught what we do not know, is the sure pledge of growth both in knowledge and wisdom." - Hugh Blair

"There is no knowledge for which so great a price is paid as a knowledge of the world; and no one ever became an adept in it except at the expense of a hardened or a wounded heart." - Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, Lady Blessington, born Margaret Power

"It is our duty to give meaning to the life of future generations by sharing our knowledge and experience; by teaching an appreciation of work well done and a respect for nature, the source of all life; by encouraging the young to venture off the beaten path and avoid complacency by challenging their emotions." - Paul Bocuse

"Since God hath always an eternal and present state, His knowledge, surpassing time’s notions, remaineth in the simplicity of His presence and, comprehending the infinite of what is past and to come, considereth all things as though they were in the act of being accomplished." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best a specious an ingenious sort of idleness; and the knowledge we acquire by it only a credible kind of ignorance, nothing more." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"The knowledge beyond all other knowledge is the knowledge how to excuse." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"Real knowledge never promoted either turbulence or unbelief; but its progress is the forerunner of liberality and enlightened toleration." -

"Profound ignorance makes a man dogmatic. The man who knows nothing thinks he is teaching others what he has just learned himself; the man who knows a great deal can't imagine that what he is saying is not common knowledge, and speaks indifferently." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Every branch of knowledge which a good man possesses, he may apply to some good purpose." - Claudius Buchanan

"I am not collecting my knowledge from letters and books, but I have it within my own Self; because heaven and earth with all their inhabitants, and moreover God himself, is in man." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Through zeal knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal knowledge is lost; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Without knowledge there is no meditation, without meditation there is no knowledge: he who has knowledge and meditation is near unto Nirvana." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Man is arrogant in proportion to his ignorance. Man’s natural tendency is to egotism. Man, in his infancy of knowledge, thinks that all creation was formed for him." -

"Not in the knowledge of things without, but in the perfection of the soul within, lies the empire of man aspiring to be more than man." -

"Patience is not passive: on the contrary it is active; it is concentrated strength... There is one form of hope which is never unwise, and which certainly does not diminish with the increase of knowledge. In that form it changes its name, and we call it patience." -

"Knowledge is not happiness, and science but an exchange of ignorance for that which is another kind of ignorance." -

"The knowledge of thyself will preserve thee from vanity." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Knowledge is boundless, human capacity, limited." -

"Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge; and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance." - William Ellery Channing

"Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - William Ellery Channing

"The wise person possesses humility. He knows that his small island of knowledge is surrounded by a vast sea of the unknown." - Harold C. Chase, Jr.

"Moderation, which consists in an indifference about little things, and in a prudent and well-proportioned zeal about things of importance, can proceed from nothing but true knowledge, which has its foundation in self-acquaintance." - William Pitt, Lord Chatham or Lord William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, aka The Elder Pitt and The Great Commander

"Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns." - John Maurice Clark

"A modern commentator made the observation that there re those who seek knowledge about everything and understand nothing. It is wonder - not mere curiosity - a sense of enchantment, of respect for the mysteries of love for the other, that is essential to the difference between a knowing that is simply a gathering of information and techniques and a knowing that seeks insight and understanding. It is wonder that reveals how intimate is the relationship between knowledge of the other and knowledge of the self, between inwardness and outwardness." - Seymour Cohen, fully Seymour Jay Cohen

"There is no truer and more abiding happiness than the knowledge that one is free to go on doing, day by day, the best work one can do, in the kind one likes best, and that this work is absorbed by a steady market, and thus supports one's own life. Perfect freedom is reserved for the man who lives by his own work and in that work does what he wants to do." -

"We do not need more national development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character... We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen." - Calvin Coolidge, fully John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

"Love and knowledge live not together." - Randle Cotgrave

"Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; wisdom is humble that he knows no more." - William Cowper

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. The devil never enters a man except one of these rooms be vacant." - Frederick Evan Crane

"Even a monotonously undeviating path of self-examination does not necessarily lead to a mountain of self-knowledge." -

"Genuine intellectual integrity is found in experimental knowing. Until this lesson is fully learned, it is not safe to dissociate knowledge from experiment nor experiment from experience." - John Dewey

"Neither wealth nor knowledge can provide effective ways to deal with human excesses." -

"Knowledge has outstripped character development, and the young today are given an education rather than an upbringing." - Ilya Ehrenburg, fully Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg

"It is a welcome symptom in an age which is commonly denounced as materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose goals lie wholly in the intellectual and moral sphere. This proves that knowledge and justice are ranked above wealth and power by a large section of the human race." - Albert Einstein

"It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he - with his specialized knowledge - more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person." - Albert Einstein

"There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead, choose death because we cannot forget quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings; remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do this, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death." - Albert Einstein

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." - Albert Einstein