Quotes about wisdom

A collection of quotes on the topic of wisdom.

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Maimónides photo
Mikhail Bakunin photo

„I eagerly await tomorrow's mail to have news of Russia and Poland. For now, I have to content myself with a few vague rumors which float around. I have heard about new, bloody skirmishes in Poland between the people and troops; I was told that, even in Russia, there was a conspiracy against the czar and the whole royal family.
I am equally passionate about the struggle between the North and the Southern American states. Of course, my heart goes out to the North. But alas! It is the South who acted with the most force, wisdom, and solidarity, which makes them worthy of the triumph they have received in every encounter so far. It is true that the South has been preparing for war for three years now, while the North has been forced to improvise. The surprising success of the ventures of the American people, for the most part happy; the banality of the material well being, where the heart is absent; and the national vanity, altogether infantile and sustained with very little cost; all seem to have helped deprave these people, and perhaps this stubborn struggle will be beneficial to them in so much as it helps the nation regain its lost soul. This is my first impression; but it could very well be that I will change my mind upon seeing things up close. The only thing is, I will not have enough time to examine really closely.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876

Letter http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/bakunin/letters/toherzenandogareff.html to Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen and Ogareff from San Francisco (3 October 1861); published in Correspondance de Michel Bakounine (1896) edited by Michel Dragmanov

Paracelsus photo
T.S. Eliot photo

„Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in infomation?“

—  T.S. Eliot 20th century English author 1888 - 1965

Choruses from The Rock (1934)
Variant: Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Context: O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of The Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

Pythagoras photo

„Wisdom thoroughly learned, will never be forgotten.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC

The Sayings of the Wise (1555)
Context: Wisdom thoroughly learned, will never be forgotten.
Science is got by diligence; but Discretion and Wisdom cometh of GOD. <!-- p. 128

Isaac Asimov photo

„The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.“

—  Isaac Asimov American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, known for his works of science fiction and popular … 1920 - 1992

Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), edited with Jason A. Shulman, p. 281
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Witold Gombrowicz photo
Petronius photo
Hermann Hesse photo

„There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist.“

—  Hermann Hesse, book The Glass Bead Game

The Glass Bead Game (1943)
Context: "If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?"
The Master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said, "There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun."

Hermann Hesse photo

„Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish… Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.“

—  Hermann Hesse German writer 1877 - 1962

Siddhartha (1922)
Context: Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

Adam Weishaupt photo
Buckminster Fuller photo

„I am convinced that human continuance depends entirely upon: the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983

From 1980s onwards, Critical Path (1981)
Context: I am convinced that human continuance depends entirely upon: the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual... the individual's integrity of speaking and acting only on the individual's own within-self-intuited and reasoned initiative... the individual's never joining action with others as motivated only by crowd-engendered-emotionalism, or a sense of the crowd's power to overwhelm, or in fear of holding to the course indicated by one's own intellectual convictions.

Plautus photo

„He gains wisdom in a happy way, who gains it by another’s experience.“

—  Plautus, Mercator

Mercator, Act IV, scene 7, line 40
Mercator (The Merchant)
Original: (la) Feliciter is sapit, qui alieno periculo sapit.

Marilyn vos Savant photo

„To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.“

—  Marilyn vos Savant US American magazine columnist, author and lecturer 1946

As quoted in Courage: the heart and spirit of every woman : reclaiming the forgotten virtue (2001) by Sandra Ford Walston

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