Quotes on Human Knowledge

'Facts' are the bounds of human knowledge, set for it, not by it. William James
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Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. Francis Bacon
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All human knowledge thus begins with intuitions, proceeds thence to concepts, and ends with ideas. Immanuel Kant
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Philosophy stands in need of a science which shall determine the possibility, principles, and extent of human knowledge a priori. Immanuel Kant
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They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. Thomas Reed
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The Divine is simply that which science has not yet explained. In effect, God = Infinity - Human Knowledge. Ashwin Sanghi
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Such is the constitution of the human mind, that any kind of knowledge, if it be really such, is its own reward. John Henry Newman
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Science is the one human activity that is truly progressive. The body of positive knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation. Edwin Powell Hubble
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Botany, the science of the vegetable kingdom, is one of the most attractive, most useful, and most extensive departments of human knowledge. It is, above every other, the science of beauty. Joseph Paxton
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The sum total of all possible knowledge of God is not possible for a human being, not even through a true revelation. But it is one of the worthiest inquiries to see how far our reason can go in the knowledge of God. Immanuel Kant
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If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology Cornelius Van Til
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[Mathematics] is security. Certainty. Truth. Beauty. Insight. Structure. Architecture. I see mathematics, the part of human knowledge that I call mathematics, as one thing-one great, glorious thing. Whether it is differential topology, or functional analysis, or homological algebra, it is all one thing. ... They are intimately interconnected, they are all facets of the same thing. That interconnection, that architecture, is secure truth and is beauty. That's what mathematics is to me. Paul Halmos
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All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon's time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts. This is incontestable, in our present advanced stage; but, if we look back to the primitive stage of human knowledge, we shall see that it must have been otherwise then. If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts cannot be observed without the guidance of some theory. Without such guidance, our facts would be desultory and fruitless; we could not retain them: for the most part we could not even perceive them. Auguste Comte
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Where faith commences, science ends. Both these arts of the human mind must be strictly kept apart from each other. Faith has its origin in the poetic imagination; knowledge, on the other hand, originates in the reasoning intelligence of man. Science has to pluck the blessed fruits from the tree of knowledge, unconcerned whether these conquests trench upon the poetical imaginings of faith or not. Ernst Haeckel
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[Theodore Roosevelt] was a naturalist on the broadest grounds, uniting much technical knowledge with knowledge of the daily lives and habits of all forms of wild life. He probably knew tenfold more natural history than all the presidents who had preceded him, and, I think one is safe in saying, more human history also. John Burroughs
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Science is public, not private, knowledge. Robert K. Merton
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Knowledge is only potential power. Napoleon Hill
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Scientia potentia est, sed parva; quia scientia egregia rara est, nec proinde apparens nisi paucissimis, et in paucis rebus. Scientiae enim ea natura est, ut esse intelligi non possit, nisi ab illis qui sunt scientia praediti. Thomas Hobbes
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A society that fears knowledge is a society that fears itself. Bernard Beckett
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You know that you know nothing. Find out that knowledge. Ramana Maharshi
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Knowledge of Nature is an account at bank, where each dividend is added to the principal and the interest is ever compounded; and hence it is that human progress, founded on natural knowledge, advances with ever increasing speed. Grove Karl Gilbert
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There are few substance to which it yields interest, when it is considered how very intimately the knowledge and properties and uses of iron is connected with human civilization. George Fownes
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Characterization requires self-knowledge, insight into human nature . . . it is more than impersonation. Leon Surmelian
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The beginning of human knowledge is through the senses, and the fiction writer begins where the human perception begins. He appeals through the senses, and you cannot appeal through the senses with abstractions. Flannery O'Connor
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The knowledge of the past times and of the places of the earth is both an ornament and nutriment to the human mind. Leonardo Da Vinci
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What's important is that all human knowledge be made available to all intelligent people who want to learn it. Stephen Jay Gould
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Before the Internet, coordinating more than 100,000 people, let alone paying them, was essentially impossible. But now with the Internet, I've just shown you a project where we've gotten 750 million people to help us digitize human knowledge. Luis Von Ahn
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Because of the rush of human knowledge, because of the digital revolution, I have a voice, and I do not need to scream. Roger Ebert
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The authentic insight and experience of any human soul, were it but insight and experience in hewing of wood and drawing of water, is real knowledge, a real possession and acquirement. Thomas Carlyle
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Every human being relies on and is bounded by his knowledge and experience to live. This is what we call "reality". However, knowledge and experience are ambiguous, thus reality can become illusion. Is it not possible to think that, all human beings are living in their assumptions? Masashi Kishimoto
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The Mandrake is the "Tree of Knowledge" and the burning love ignited by its pleasure is the origin of the human race Hugo Rahner
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A successful account enables us to understand human knowledge in general. Ernest Sosa
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No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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What you select from, in order to tell your story, is nothing less than everything. What you build up your world from, your local, intelligible rational, coherent world, is nothing less than everything. . . . . All human knowledge is local. Every life, each human life is local, is arbitrary, the infinitesimal momentary glitter of a reflection. Ursula K Le Guin
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If there be an order in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowledge in the same order. So that even were the order intrinsically indifferent, it would facilitate education to lead the individual mind through the steps traversed by the general mind. But the order is not intrinsically indifferent; and hence the fundamental reason why education should be a repetition of civilization in little. Herbert Spencer
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No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed. Francis Bacon
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To inquisitive minds like yours and mine the reflection that the quantity of human knowledge bears no proportion to the quantity of human ignorance must be in one view rather pleasing, viz., that though we are to live forever we may be continually amused and delighted with learning something new. Benjamin Franklin
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Humans crave knowledge, and when that craving ends, we are no longer human. Tim Lebbon
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Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power. Horace Mann
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He who by an exertion of mind or body, adds to the aggregate of enjoyable wealth, increases the sum of human knowledge, or gives to human life higher elevation or greater fullness - he is, in the larger meaning of the words, a " producer," a " working man," a " laborer," and is honestly earning honest wages. Henry George
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Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character. George Bernard Shaw
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An amazing thing, the human brain. Capable of understanding incredibly complex and intricate concepts. Yet at times unable to recognize the obvious and simple. Jay Abraham
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Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. Albert Einstein
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No human being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure that he does. Henry David Thoreau
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Can any rational person believe that the Bible is anything but a human document? We now know pretty well where the various books came from, and about when they were written. We know that they were written by human beings who had no knowledge of science, little knowledge of life, and were influenced by the barbarous morality of primitive times, and were grossly ignorant of most things that men know today. Clarence Darrow
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Mechanical Notation ... I look upon it as one of the most important additions I have made to human knowledge. It has placed the construction of machinery in the rank of a demonstrative science. The day will arrive when no school of mechanical drawing will be thought complete without teaching it. Charles Babbage
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The irony is that science has served only to show how small human knowledge is. Masanobu Fukuoka
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But inner experience is only one source of human knowledge. Muhammad Iqbal
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One original thought is worth the sum total of human knowledge, because it advances the sum total of human knowledge by that one original thought. Jacob Bronowski
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Our human knowledge is a candle burnt On a dim altar to a sun-vast Truth. Sri Aurobindo
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This is what is ultimate in our human knowledge of God, to know that we do not know. Anthony De Mello
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There is no substitute for knowledge. W Edwards Deming
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The more I know the less tortured I am. Alanis Morissette
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Knowledge is the only elegance. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Doubt is not below knowledge, but above it. Alain-Rene Lesage
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No honey is sweeter than that of knowledge. Friedrich Nietzsche
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Science sans conscience n' est que le ruine de l'ame. Knowledge without conscience is but the ruine of the soule. Francois Rabelais
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Exact knowledge is the enemy of vitalism. Francis Crick
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I await your sentence with less fear than you pass it. The time will come when all will see what I see. Giordano Bruno
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Never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented. Francis Bacon
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What's the point of having great knowledge and keeping them all to yourself? Donald Trump
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Man is an ignoramus athirst for knowledge. Charles Wagner
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Knowledge has a beginning but no end. Geeta Iyengar
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Knowledge is a mimic creation. Horace Mann
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Few can tell what they know without also showing what they do not know. Ivan Panin
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Wisdom sets bounds even to knowledge. Friedrich Nietzsche
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Fear is where the information is. Sally Field
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There are times I think I am not sure of something which I absolutely know. Mongkut
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So much has already been written about everything that you can't find out anything about it. James Thurber
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Increasing knowledge lessens the sphere of the supernatural. Edward Westermarck
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Scientific knowledge advances haltingly and is stimulated by contention and doubt. Claude Levi-Strauss
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True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all. Socrates
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Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God. John Calvin
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In less than eight years "The Origin of Species" has produced conviction in the minds of a majority of the most eminent living men of science. New facts, new problems, new difficulties as they arise are accepted, solved, or removed by this theory; and its principles are illustrated by the progress and conclusions of every well established branch of human knowledge. Alfred Russel Wallace
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I will frankly tell you that my experience in prolonged scientific investigations convinces me that a belief in God-a God who is behind and within the chaos of vanishing points of human knowledge-adds a wonderful stimulus to the man who attempts to penetrate into the regions of the unknown. Louis Agassiz
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Sciences usually advances by a succession of small steps, through a fog in which even the most keen-sighted explorer can seldom see more than a few paces ahead. Occasionally the fog lifts, an eminence is gained, and a wider stretch of territory can be surveyed-sometimes with startling results. A whole science may then seem to undergo a kaleidoscopic rearrangement, fragments of knowledge sometimes being found to fit together in a hitherto unsuspected manner. Sometimes the shock of readjustment may spread to other sciences; sometimes it may divert the whole current of human thought. James Jeans
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Unless the structure of the nucleus has a surprise in store for us, the conclusion seems plain-there is nothing in the whole system if laws of physics that cannot be deduced unambiguously from epistemological considerations. An intelligence, unacquainted with our universe, but acquainted with the system of thought by which the human mind interprets to itself the contents of its sensory experience, and should be able to attain all the knowledge of physics that we have attained by experiment. Arthur Eddington
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Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain. Daniel Keyes
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Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete, straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmire, into clerical obscurantism (where it is anchored by the class interests of the ruling classes). Vladimir Lenin
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All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation. Walter Benjamin
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