Quotations by Cousins, Norman


The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.

Norman Cousins (1915-1990) American editor
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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There is a tendency to mistake data for wisdom, just as there has always been a tendency to confuse logic with values, intelligence with insight. Unobstructed access to facts can produce unlimited good only if it is matched by the desire and ability to find out what they mean and where they lead. Facts are terrible things if left sprawling and unattended. They are too easily regarded as evaluated certainties rather than as the rawest of raw materials crying to be processed into the texture of logic. It requires a very unusual mind, Whitehead said, to undertake the analysis of a fact. The computer can provide a correct number, but it may be an irrelevant number until judgment is pronounced.

Norman Cousins (1915-1990) American editor
Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook, “Freedom as Teacher” (1981)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Death is not the enemy; living in constant fear of it is.

Norman Cousins (1915-1990) American editor
The Healing Heart (1983)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I doubt that any man knows enough to be a pessimist. Neither am I a reckless optimist. I do not think that things necessarily come out all right in the end if left to themselves.

Norman Cousins (1915-1990) American editor
Who Speaks for Man? (1953)

Cousins used the phrase on numerous occasions.  Variants:

  • "No one really knows enough to be a pessimist."
  • "No one is smart enough to be a pessimist."
Added on 5-Mar-12 | Last updated 5-Mar-12
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