„To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.“

Confucius, as quoted in Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau, Ch. 1
Misattributed

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update May 22, 2020. History
Nicolaus Copernicus photo
Nicolaus Copernicus20
Renaissance mathematician, Polish astronomer, physician 1473 - 1543

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Confucius photo

„To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

As quoted in Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau, Ch. 1
Attributed

Henry David Thoreau photo
Huston Smith photo

„In mysteries what we know, and our realization of what we do not know, proceed together; the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.“

—  Huston Smith, book The World's Religions

Part of this quote may actually be by Ralph Washington Sockman.
The World's Religions (1991)
Source: Beyond the Post-Modern Mind: The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization
Context: In mysteries what we know, and our realization of what we do not know, proceed together; the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. It is like the quantum world, where the more we understand its formalism, the stranger that world becomes.

Bell Hooks photo

„Knowledge rooted in experience shapes what we value and as a consequence how we know what we know as well as how we use what we know.“

—  Bell Hooks American author, feminist, and social activist 1952

Source: Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom

Woody Allen photo

„Is Knowledge knowable? If not, how do we know?“

—  Woody Allen American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician 1935

Source: The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose

Charlemagne photo

„Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right.“

—  Charlemagne King of the Franks, King of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor 748 - 814

"De Litteris Colendis", in Jean-Barthélemy Hauréau De la philosophie scolastique (1850) p. 10; translation from T. H. Huxley Science and Education ([1893] 2007) p. 132; in Latin, Quamvis enim melius sit benefacere quam nosse, prius tamen est nosse quam facere.

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Karl Popper photo

„The more we learn about the world, and the deeper our learning, the more conscious, specific, and articulate will be our knowledge of what we do not know, our knowledge of our ignorance.“

—  Karl Popper Austrian-British philosopher of science 1902 - 1994

Variant translation: The more we learn about the world, and the deeper our learning, the more conscious, clear, and well-defined will be our knowledge of what we do not know, our knowledge of our ignorance. The main source of our ignorance lies in the fact that our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963)
Context: The more we learn about the world, and the deeper our learning, the more conscious, specific, and articulate will be our knowledge of what we do not know, our knowledge of our ignorance. For this, indeed, is the main source of our ignorance — the fact that our knowledge can be only finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.

Horace Mann photo

„To know how much there is that we do not know, is one of the most valuable parts of our attainments; for such knowledge becomes both a lesson of humility and a stimulus to exertion.“

—  Horace Mann American politician 1796 - 1859

Lecture 6
Lectures on Education (1855)
Context: The most ignorant are the most conceited. Unless a man knows that there is something more to be known, his inference is, of course, that he knows every thing. Such a man always usurps the throne of universal knowledge, and assumes the right of deciding all possible questions. We all know that a conceited dunce will decide questions extemporaneous which would puzzle a college of philosophers, or a bench of judges. Ignorant and shallow-minded men do not see far enough to see the difficulty. But let a man know that there are things to be known, of which he is ignorant, and it is so much carved out of his domain of universal knowledge. And for all purposes of individual character, as well as of social usefulness, it is quite as important for a man to know the extent of his own ignorance as it is to know any thing else. To know how much there is that we do not know, is one of the most valuable parts of our attainments; for such knowledge becomes both a lesson of humility and a stimulus to exertion.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer photo
Albert Schweitzer photo

„The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery.“

—  Albert Schweitzer French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosopher 1875 - 1965

Source: The Spiritual Life (1947), p. 102
Context: When Christianity becomes conscious of its innermost nature, it realizes that it is godliness rising our of inward constraint. The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery. Neither knowledge nor hope for the future can be the pivot of our life or determine its direction. It is intended to be solely determined by our allowing ourselves to be gripped by the ethical God, who reveals Himself in us, and by our yielding our will to His.

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Confucius photo

„You [a disciple], shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know, what you don't know, you don't know. This is true wisdom.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

Original: (zh_Hant) 由,誨女知之乎,知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。
Source: The Analects, Chapter II

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