Quotes about fake

A collection of quotes on the topic of falseness.

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Robert K. Merton photo

„The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true".“

—  Robert K. Merton, book Social Theory and Social Structure

Source: Social Theory and Social Structure (1949), p. 477 (1968 Enlarged edition)
Context: The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true". This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali photo
Jacque Fresco photo
Hannah Arendt photo

„The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i. e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i. e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.“

—  Hannah Arendt, book The Origins of Totalitarianism

Part 3, Ch. 13, § 3.
Source: On the subject the ideal subjects for a totalitarian authority. Source: The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951. As quoted by Scroll Staff (December 04, 2017): Ideas in literature: Ten things Hannah Arendt said that are eerily relevant in today’s political times https://web.archive.org/web/20191001213756/https://scroll.in/article/856549/ten-things-hannah-arendt-said-that-are-eerily-relevant-in-todays-political-times. In: Scroll.in. Archived from the original https://scroll.in/article/856549/ten-things-hannah-arendt-said-that-are-eerily-relevant-in-todays-political-times on October 1, 2019.

Adam Weishaupt photo
Elliott Smith photo
Margaret Mead photo

„It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary… to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.“

—  Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1901 - 1978

As quoted in Teacher's Treasury of Stories for Every Occasion (1958) by Millard Dale Baughman, p. 69
1950s

Denis Diderot photo

„He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment…
The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles…“

—  Denis Diderot French Enlightenment philosopher and encyclopædist 1713 - 1784

Article on Philosophy, Vol. 25, p. 667, as quoted in Main Currents of Western Thought : Readings in Western European Intellectual History from the Middle Ages to the Present (1978) by Franklin Le Van Baumer
Variant translation: Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian. Grace moves the Christian to act, reason moves the philosopher. Other men walk in darkness; the philosopher, who has the same passions, acts only after reflection; he walks through the night, but it is preceded by a torch. The philosopher forms his principles on an infinity of particular observations. … He does not confuse truth with plausibility; he takes for truth what is true, for forgery what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is probable. … The philosophical spirit is thus a spirit of observation and accuracy.
L'Encyclopédie (1751-1766)
Context: Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian.
Grace causes the Christian to act, reason the philosopher. Other men are carried away by their passions, their actions not being preceded by reflection: these are the men who walk in darkness. On the other hand, the philosopher, even in his passions, acts only after reflection; he walks in the dark, but by a torch.
The philosopher forms his principles from an infinity of particular observations. Most people adopt principles without thinking of the observations that have produced them, they believe the maxims exist, so to speak, by themselves. But the philosopher takes maxims from their source; he examines their origin; he knows their proper value, and he makes use of them only in so far as they suit him.
Truth is not for the philosopher a mistress who corrupts his imagination and whom he believes to be found everywhere; he contents himself with being able to unravel it where he can perceive it. He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment...
The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles...

Socrates photo

„False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.“

—  Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC

Phaedo 115e
literally: 'For know well', he said, 'o dearest Kriton, that to not speak well is not only sinful by itself, but lets evil intrude into the soul.'(εὖ γὰρ ἴσθι, ἦ δ᾽ ὅς, ὦ ἄριστε Κρίτων, τὸ μὴ καλῶς λέγειν οὐ μόνον εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο πλημμελές, ἀλλὰ καὶ κακόν τι ἐμποιεῖ ταῖς ψυχαῖς.)
Plato, Phaedo

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi photo

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Hans Reichenbach photo
Greta Thunberg photo
Alexander Fleming photo
Lotfi A. Zadeh photo
Lotfi A. Zadeh photo
Lotfi A. Zadeh photo

„To what degree is something true or false?“

—  Lotfi A. Zadeh Electrical engineer and computer scientist 1921 - 2017

Attributed to Zadeh in: " What is Fuzzy Logic? http://www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/24_folder/24_articles/24_fuzzywhat.html" in: Azerbaijan international Vol 2.4 (Winter 1994). p. 47
This quote is introduced as "The question Zadeh always insists upon asking".
1990s

Barack Obama photo

„Much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

2011, Address on interventions in Libya (March 2011)
Context: Much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all — even in limited ways — in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing needs here at home.
It’s true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country — Libya — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.
To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

Harry Harlow photo
Paul Ricoeur photo
Homér photo

„He knew how to say many false things that were like true sayings.“

—  Homér Ancient Greek epic poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“