Quotes about intelligence

A collection of quotes on the topic of intelligence.

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Stephen Hawking photo

„We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

Also quoted in "Stephen Hawking warns over making contact with aliens" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8642558.stm at BBC News (25 April 2010).
Context: If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans. … We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.

Mikhail Bakunin photo
Mikhail Bakunin photo

„I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin, book God and the State

God and the State (1871; publ. 1882)
Context: Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.

Hannah Arendt photo
Georgy Zhukov photo
Stephen Hawking photo

„Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart photo

„I must give you a piece of intelligence that you perhaps already know — namely, that the ungodly arch-villain Voltaire has died miserably like a dog — just like a brute. That is his reward!“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian Romantic composer 1756 - 1791

Letter to Leopold Mozart (3 July 1778), from The letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1769-1791, translated, from the collection of Ludwig Nohl, by Lady [Grace] Wallace (Oxford University Press, 1865, digitized 2006) vol. I, # 107 (p. 218) http://books.google.com/books?vid=0SGwLiCNxu7qZ5ch&id=KEgBAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=%22The+letters+of+Wolfgang+Amadeus+Mozart,+1769-1791%22#PRA1-PA218,M1

Ernest Hemingway photo

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Nas photo

„Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined“

—  Nas American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur 1973

N.Y. State of Mind
On Albums, Illmatic (1994)

Marilyn vos Savant photo
Citát „The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid one are full of confidence.“
Charles Bukowski photo

„The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid one are full of confidence.“

—  Charles Bukowski American writer 1920 - 1994

Variant: The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Antonio Gramsci photo

„I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.“

—  Antonio Gramsci Italian writer, politician, theorist, sociologist and linguist 1891 - 1937

Letter from Prison (19 December 1929); also attributed to Romain Rolland.
Source: Gramsci's Prison Letters

Max Planck photo

„As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clearheaded science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about the atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together…. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Spirit. This Spirit is the matrix of all matter.“

—  Max Planck German theoretical physicist 1858 - 1947

Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], a 1944 speech in Florence, Italy, Archiv zur Geschichte der Max‑ Planck‑ Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797; the German original is as quoted in The Spontaneous Healing of Belief https://archive.org/stream/GreggBradenTheSpontaneousHealingOfBelief/Gregg%20Braden/Gregg%20Braden%20-%20The%20Spontaneous%20Healing%20Of%20Belief#page/n1 (2008) by Gregg Braden, p. 212; Braden mistranslates intelligenten Geist as "intelligent Mind", which is an obvious tautology.

Maya Angelou photo
Margaret Mead photo
Alexis Carrel photo

„Intelligence is almost useless to the person whose only quality it is.“

—  Alexis Carrel French surgeon and biologist 1873 - 1944

L'intelligence est presque inutile à celui qui ne possède qu'elle.
(1935)

Witold Pilecki photo
Louis Pasteur photo

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