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Quotations About Knowledge And Wisdom

Updated on November 18, 2016
Colleen Swan profile image

A lover of the written word Colleen has a Master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes

How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that’s wise.

Quote about wisdom by Sophocles
Quote about wisdom by Sophocles | Source

Clever and knowledgeable people are constantly asking and explaining. This is their motivation, that propels them into social interaction; yet, as party animals they are dull and rarely smile. This is because they have-not the naivety to enjoy and share the innocent pleasures of bewilderment. Terence Darcy

If we be so insecure that we must determine what opinion of us belongs to others; then we must carefully arouse the anger in those closest to us, in order to hear what is enacted and rumored to our detriment. Amy McDonald

The thing about going too far is that you can only come back wiser. John Simon

Morning is often a time when fancies which flourished the night before fade like April snowflakes. Myra Sims

Attaining the perfect peace of mind requires one to see the future with morbid optimism coupled with complete lack of opinion. Terence Darcy

The bed of knowledge is in the mind, and wisdom in the soul. If we are not of this character we are a mistaken person. Charles Renard

During my first year at university, I was shocked and appalled to hear, from several objective sources, that my most articulate, brilliant professor had an enduring fascination with the most sordid aspects of human life. Recently, having read that this man is deceased, I feel glad I did not allow my moral outrage to impact upon my ability to absorb his knowledge, and all I needed to learn from him was on an academic level. Tina H. Barnes

Knowledge is not an abstract homogeneous good, of which there cannot be enough. Beyond the last flutter of actual or possible significance, pedantry begins.

— Jacques Barzun

Follow your integrity

There is no man in this world without some manner of tribulation or anguish, though he is king or pope. Thomas A Kempis

Never turn thy cheek away from hope for it is thy only comfort from the miseries of the world; without hope; fear, may destroy you. Mark Toll

Right from wrong; the principle of honesty is the claimed possession of mankind, we hear this every day, yet it is the only principle that must be enforced. Gilbert Mann

Success mostly comes from following your integrity rather than your intellect, and if failure must be endured, integrity will provide good reason. This is why there are more honest people then there are intellectuals. Marcia B. Bowen

The betrayed wife who magnanimously forgives everything, yet never forgets, shall torture him with shame; and doubly hate him with impunity. Gilbert Mann

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast; full of sad experience, moving towards the stillness of his rest. Alfred Lord Tennyson

The consideration extended to a seemingly undeserving person is not intended for his or her personal benefit, but expresses the moral integrity of the one who extends it. It enhances the dignity of human life, especially in situations where extending it seems to be hopelessly misspent. Edgar Bright

He, who preaches his own standards of morality with earnest and doctrine to match, is outraged that the skeptic should find reason to debate his morals; for he expects, he demands that others marvel and follow him; but never to examine or doubt. Peers Rayne

Knowledge of the fact differs from knowledge of the reason for the fact. Aristotle

Quote about knowledge by Aristotle
Quote about knowledge by Aristotle | Source

Perfection will always remain a desire

The joy of tormenting lasts only as long as its target shows anguish. Daniel Ventnor

The compassion shown by a wise man may appear to be veracity by every expression, but in truth, masks the indifference and level headedness of his true character. Daniel Ventnor

Goodness springs from strength; wickedness from weakness, and timidity from the countenance of both. Bernard Shanks

It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. Oliver Wendell Holmes

In a lot of situations, you can hardly tell that there is anything really wrong with me. I just have basically too much personality for one person, and not quite enough for two. Paul Simon

Gladly we desire to make other men perfect but we will not amend our own fault. Thomas Kempis

I admit I've always had trouble accepting responsibility for my actions, but I blame my parents for that. Mike Peters

It is better to have wisdom without learning, than to have learning without wisdom; just as it is better to be rich without being the possessor of a mine, than to be possessor of a mine without being rich. Charles Caleb Colton

True vision is always twofold. It involves emotional comprehension as well as physical perception. Yet how rarely we have either. We generally only glance at an object long enough to tag it with a name. Ross Parmenter

To know things well, we must know them in detail; but as that is almost endless, our knowledge is always superficial and imperfect.

— LA Rochefoucauld

One is born every minute

According to the renowned writer Thomas Hardy, America had produced two cultural artifacts the skyscraper and the verse of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Dogs look up to us; cats look down on us; pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill

There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is terrible, wild and lawless. Plato

It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe. Pascal

The critic who gives insult to the author of his first book and neglects to comment on his second book insults him twice. Daniel Vent

All knowledge is of itself of some value. There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable, that I would not rather know it than not. Samuel Johnson

A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word. Emerson

The ultimate cynicism is to suspend judgment so that you are not judged. Marya Mann

All of us are more-or-less pawns. We're moved about like chessmen by circumstances over which we have no control. Theodore Dreiser

It is only in the lonely emergencies of life that our creed is tested: then routine maxims fail, and we fall back on our gods. William James

Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. William James

It is not that poisonous liquid will kill a man, but that its taste is awful; this is the reason that stops men from drinking it. Dean Martin

Quote by William Cowper
Quote by William Cowper | Source

Fate is pleasant for the humble man

Drink not, nor talk with your mouth full nor gaze about you while you are drinking. George Washington

He that has much to do will do something wrong. Samuel Johnson

It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set. Somerset Maugham

How strange it is to see with how much passion, people see things only in their own fashion. Moliere

The fate of the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the human psyche. Karl Jung

Everything that is ours comes to us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. Abraham Lincoln

What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. Thoreau

Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory. Emerson

People who are masters in their own house are never tyrants. Napoleon

Force works on servile natures, not the free. Ben Jonson

No man is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, his fondness of himself. Samuel Johnson

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value. Charles Dudley Warner

Every man believes that he has a greater possibility. Emerson

Our dignity is not in what we do, but in what we understand. Santayana

Sweets grown common lose their dear delight. Shakespeare

An extensive knowledge is needful to thinking people; it takes away the heat and fever; and helps by widening speculation, to ease the burden of the mystery.

— John Keats

Essence and absurdity

When we experience happiness we are not thinking of ourselves, but of our superlative. Peers Rayner

It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents, joyous positive and despairing negative. Whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it. Sylvia Plath

With regard to all human traits, the middle of the road is the right path. Avoid both hysterical gaiety and somber dejection. Instead, be calmly joyful always, showing cheerful countenance. Moses

Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth. William Blake

As far as possible, be on good terms with all people. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to all, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Max Hermann

The essence of hopefulness is its claim on the future without taking into account the present. Jodi Preston

Ideals are an imaginative understanding of that which is desirable in that which is possible. Walter Lippmann

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience. George Washington

Wisdom, I know, is social. She seeks her fellows, but beauty is jealous, and bears ill-will upon the presence of a rival. Thomas Jefferson

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing. Emerson

If a cause be good, the most violent attack of its enemies will not injure it so much as an injudicious defense of it by its friends. Charles Caleb Colton

But Lord; to see the absurd nature of Englishmen that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at everything that looks strange. Samuel Pepys

Life is one long process of getting tired. Samuel Butler

The hearts of the great can be changed. Homer

Quote by Sidney Hook
Quote by Sidney Hook | Source

We see more if we listen carefully

From what I can see of the people like me, we get better, but we never get well. Paul Simon

We deliberately remove a great deal of the past from our memory, and hold onto those images that praise our egotism and engage us in self-deception. Thomas Banks

If you would have me weep, you must first of all feel grief yourself. Horace

That knowledge, which stops at what it does not know, is the highest knowledge. Chuang Tzu

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. John Keats

The births of all things are weak and tender, and therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings. Montaigne

What a child does not receive, he can seldom later give. P D James

He who is not taught by his mother will be taught by the world. Kikuyu proverb

Despite all official efforts to downgrade family, to reduce its roll and even to stamp it out, men and women obstinately continue, not merely to mate and produce children but to insist on living in pairs together. Ferdinand Mount

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there can be in silence. Anon

Where there is not an immediate answer to a problem; the formulation of a solution becomes wrapped within philosophical application. Terence Darcy

The Difference Between Knowledge & Wisdom

There is no more merit in being able to attach a correct description to a picture than in being able to find what is wrong with a stalled motorcar. In each case it is special knowledge.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Do not mock the past on which we build our future

I have long been flummoxed by the difficulty so many otherwise strong-minded people have with saying “no” on any number of levels. This proves especially puzzling in that the person requesting that difficult favor or intrusive question is of negligible or no significance in one’s past, present or future. Perhaps the most frustrating statement I've heard is: “What else could I do when He/she asked me straight out.” Why give that person such power? Roger T. Clarke

How strange it is that we of the present day are constantly praising that past age which our fathers abused, and as constantly abusing that present age, which our children will praise. Charles Caleb Colton

Mastery of others is strength; mastery of yourself is true power. Lao Tzu

No neurotic harbors thoughts of suicide which are not murderous impulses against others directed upon himself. Sigmund Freud

A commitment is what turns a promise into a reality. Abraham Lincoln

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. Alger Leopold

Whenever I speak in public, I give to my audience what they need to hear; I leave myself at home. Cyril Smith

A person, who talks with equal vivacity on every subject, excites no interest in any. Repose is as necessary in conversation as in a picture. William Hazlitt

Tread gently because you tread on my dreams. W B Yeats

Quote by Daniel Webster
Quote by Daniel Webster | Source

Life is merely more than zero

There's a long trail a-winding into the land of my dreams. Stoddard King.

A wise man associating with the vicious becomes an idiot; a dog traveling with good men becomes a rational being. Proverb

We seldom make mistakes when we walk diligently on the road to success. It is when we become nonchalant and satisfied that we fall over stones. Charles Dance

No matter the damage to our tattered souls, we still have the spark within us, the indomitable spirit to carry on, to never give up. We may be tattered and torn. I believe every person is redeemable. There are no disposable people. D. Hammock

We should scarcely desire a thing ardently if we were perfectly acquainted with what we desire. La Rochefoucauld

Do not deny your own vanity to such extent that you must close your eyes to your own image in order to evade the need of detesting what you see. Julius Poster

Vanity is said to be the terror of appearing to be original; bathed in pathetic egotism, and some originality. Taylor Swift

Without knowledge, life is no more than the shadow of death. Moliere

The point about zero is that we do not need to use it in the operations of daily life. No one goes out to buy zero fish. It is in a way the most civilized of all the cardinals, and its use is only forced on us by the needs of cultivated modes of thought. Alfred North Whitehead

Why do we make so much of knowledge, struggle so hard to get some little skill not worth the effort?

— Euripides

Could you choose

Which quality would you rather have more of within you?

See results

In the beginning and the end

Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething. Mark Twain

A man’s feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world. George Santayana

In the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. Shakespeare

Wisdom sets bounds even to knowledge. Nietzsche

A man should have the fine point of his soul taken off to become fit for this world. John Keats

We were the land before the land was ours. Robert Frost.

Creation is in part, merely the business of foregoing the great and small distractions. E. B. White

Much of the world’s wisdom is still acquired by necromancy; by consulting the oracular dead. Julius Hare

A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. Emerson

Walk boldly and wisely; there is a hand above that will help you on. Philip James Bailey

© 2013 Colleen Swan

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good quotes. My favorite? "It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." The older (wiser) I get the less I say and the more I listen. Still, there is plenty to think about in all the quotes.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you, yes some original ones and some old favorites. A new venture for me. Glad you enjoyed them.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      A great set of quotes. Many I hadn't seen before, and many to reflect on. Love the photos too.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Thomas, more quotes to come.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Colleen, there are so many wonderful quotes in here, some I have heard some I have not. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. Alger Leopold, this one I had not, but I like this one. Our land is being abused by the men who want to use it only for their benefit even to the point of taking it from our citizens by immenent domain, for the laying of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

      In your poll, I chose Wisdom, because in Wisdom is Knowledge, and if one has Wisdom they also have Knowledge.

      Voted up U/A/I, and shared

      Shyron

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you for looking in. Yes Wisdom is the choice.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Excellent quotes. My favourite there is the Christian saint, Thomas A Kempis. He features in my book. Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas!

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you. I am planning to add more quote hubs, but I think it is important to research and find and quote from material that has never been previously published. It is the spark of something new that impels one and then others.

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