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Quotes About Knowledge and Wisdom

Colleen, a lover of the written word, 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.

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

Knowledge Quotes

  • "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 rumoured 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

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

Knowledge Quotes Continued

  • "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 sceptic 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

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

— Euripides

The power of knowledge

The power of knowledge

More Quotes

  • "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 harbours 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
The power of knowing

The power of knowing

Final Knowledge Quotes

  • "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 travelling 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 civilised of all the cardinals, and its use is only forced on us by the needs of cultivated modes of thought." —Alfred North Whitehead

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

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

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

Quotes About Wisdom

  • "The joy of tormenting lasts only as long as its target shows anguish." How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that’s wise. —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 headiness 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


  • 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 judgement 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

More Quotes

  • "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
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Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

More Words on Wisdom

  • "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 sombre 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
  • "Labour 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 defence 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

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

Wisdom Quotes Continued

  • "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

Final Wisdom Quotes

  • "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

© 2013 Colleen Swan


Colleen Swan (author) from County Durham on December 21, 2013:

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.

manatita44 from london on December 21, 2013:

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 (author) from County Durham on December 09, 2013:

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

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 08, 2013:

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


Colleen Swan (author) from County Durham on December 08, 2013:

Thank you Thomas, more quotes to come.

Thomas Swan from New Zealand on December 08, 2013:

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

Colleen Swan (author) from County Durham on December 08, 2013:

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

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 07, 2013:

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.

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