Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts." - Bernard Baruch, fully Bernard Mannes Baruch

"The ambitious man grasps at opinion as necessary to his designs; the vain man sure for it as a testimony to his merit; the honest man demands it as his due; and most men consider it as necessary to their existence." - Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana

"Vanity, indeed, is the very antidote to conceit; for while the former makes us all nerve to the opinions of others, the latter is perfectly satisfied with its opinion of itself." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"If in the last few years you hadn't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead." - Frank Gelett Burgess

"The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty and death of public opinion." - Samuel Butler

"What is prejudice? An opinion, which is not based upon reason; a judgment, without having heard the argument; a feeling, without being able to trace from whence it came." - Carrie Chapman Catt

"I am of opinion that there are no proverbial sayings which are not true, because they are all sentences drawn from experience itself, who is the mother of all sciences." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"The world is governed much more by opinion than by laws. It is not the judgment of courts, but the moral judgment of individuals and masses of men, which is the chief wall of defense around property and life. With the progress of society, this power of opinion is taking the place of arms." - William Ellery Channing

"At the bottom of a good deal of bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"To say that every crime brings its own punishment is by way of being a platitude, and yet in my opinion nothing can be truer." - Agatha Christie, fully Dame Agatha Miller Christie

"An opinion may be controverted; a prejudice, never." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

"Change of opinion is often only the progress of sound thought and growing knowledge; and though sometimes regarded as an inconsistency, it is but the noble inconsistency natural to a mind ever ready for growth and expansion of thought, and that never fears to follow where truth and duty may lead the way." - Tyron Edwards

"The school should always have as its aim that the young man leave it as a harmonious personality, not as a specialist. This in my opinion is true in a certain sense even in technical schools.... The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"The only true knowledge of our fellowman is that which enables us to feel with him - which gives us a fine ear for the heart-pulses that are beating under the mere clothes of circumstance and opinion." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"No man is disturbed by things, but by his opinion about things." -

"The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forebearing." -

"To regard teachers - in our entire educational system from the primary grades to the university - as priests of our democracy is therefore not to indulge in hyperbole. It is the special task of teachers to foster those habits of open-mindedness and critical inquiry which alone make for responsible citizens, who in turn, make possible an enlightened and effective public opinion." - Felix Frankfurter

"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money." - Benjamin Franklin

"I develop the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence, never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any other that give the air of positiveness to an opinion, but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so: It appear to me or should not think it, so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so, or it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit I believe has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinion and persuade men into measures that I have been, time to time, engaged in promoting." - Benjamin Franklin

"May we never see another war! For in my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace." - Benjamin Franklin

"Public opinion cannot do for virtue what it does for vice. It is the essence of virtue to look above opinion. Vice is consistent with, and very often strengthened by, entire subservience to it." - Benjamin Franklin

"By means of rational thought we have reached the opinion that God knows in advance only the possibilities open to a man in his freedom, not the particular decisions he will make.. It is the opinion of our religion that God never changes... and yet we find in the words of the prophets that God does repent over some things... It is impossible to solve this contradiction if we adopt the view that God knows particular things as particulars." - Gersonides, abbreviation of first letters as RalBaG from Levi ben Gerson NULL

"The free expression of opinion, as experience has taught us, is the safety-valve of passion." - William Ewart Gladstone

"There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword." - Ulysses S. Grant, fully Ulysses Simpson Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant

"A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity." -

"A statesman should follow public opinion as a coachman follows his horses; having firm hold on the reins, and guiding them." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"A statesman should follow public opinion as a coachman follows his horses; having firm hold on the reins, and guiding them." -

"The nature of God is incomprehensible; that is to say, we understand nothing of what He is, but only that He is; and therefore the attributes we give Him are not to tell one another what He is, nor to signify our opinion of His nature, but our desire to honor Him with such names as we conceive most honorable amongst ourselves." - Thomas Hobbes

"Nothing so obstinately stands in the way of all sorts of progress, as price of opinion; while nothing is so foolish and baseless." -

"Public opinion, a vulgar, impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for anyone who is not content to be the average man." - William Ralph Inge

"In civilized life, where the happiness, and indeed almost the existence, of man depends so much upon the opinion of his fellow-men, he is constantly acting a studied part. The bold and peculiar traits of native character are refined away or softened down by the leveling influence of what is termed good-breeding, and he practices so many petty deceptions and affects so many generous sentiments for the purposes of popularity that it is difficult to distinguish his real from his artificial character. " - Washington Irving

"In civilized society we all depend upon each other, and our happiness is very much owing to the good opinion of mankind." -

"The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind. I do not know which makes man more conservative - to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past." - John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton

"He who has no opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste of others is a slave." - Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

"The artisan or scientist or the follower of whatever discipline who has the habit of comparing himself not with other followers but with the discipline itself will have a lower opinion of himself, the more excellent he is." - Giacomo Leopardi, fully al battesimo conte Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi

"Democracy, which began by liberating man politically, has developed a dangerous tendency to enslave him through the tyranny of majorities and the deadly power of their opinion." - Ludwig Lewisohn

"It is the man who does not want to express his opinion whose opinion I want." - Abraham Lincoln

"Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice." - Abraham Lincoln

"He that has found a way to keep a child's spirit easy, active, and free, and yet at the same time to restrain him from many things that are uneasy to him has, in my opinion, got the true secret of education." - John Locke

"It is an established opinion among some men that there are in the understanding certain innate principles, some primary notions, stamped, as it were, upon the mind of man which the soul receives in its very first being, and brings into the world with it. It would be sufficient to convince unprejudiced readers of the falseness of this supposition, if I should only show how many men obtain to all the knowledge they have, without the help of any such innate impressions... Let us suppose the mind to be a blank tablet; how comes it to be furnished? To this answer in one word, from experience." - John Locke

"Fly no opinion because it is new, but strictly search, and after careful view, reject it if false, embrace it if 'tis true." - Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus NULL

"In a discussion the difficulty lies, not in being able to defend your opinion, but to know it." - F. D. Maurice, fully John Frederick Denison "F.D." Maurice

"Unhappy is the man, in my opinion, who has not a spot at home where he can be at home to himself - to court himself and hide away." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The media are far more powerful than the President in creating public awareness and shaping public opinion, for the simple reason that the media always have the last word." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"In my opinion, the universe is governed by a committee; one Man couldn't have made so many mistakes." - Clifford Odets

"Public opinion is compounded by folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs." - Robert Peel, fully Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet

"There is no tyranny so despotic as that of public opinion among a free people." - Donn Piatt

"Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense weigh thy opinion against providence." - Alexander Pope

"Our aches and pains conform to opinion. A man's as miserable as he thinks he is." -