Quotations about   intention

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



But evil is wrought by want of Thought,
As well as want of Heart!

Thomas Hood (1799-1845) British humorist and poet
“The Lady’s Dream,” st. 16 (1844)
    (Source)

First printed in Hood’s Magazine.
Added on 1-Aug-22 | Last updated 1-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hood, Thomas

In all such oaths we are not to attend to the mere form of words, but the true design and intention of them.

[Semper autem in fide quid senseris, non quid dixeris, cogitandum.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 13 (1.13) / sec. 40 (44 BC) [tr. Cockman (1699)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

In obligations of faith, it is the meaning always, not the words that are to be considered.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

In a promise, what you thought, and not what you said, is always to be considered.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

In a promise, what you mean, not what you say, is always to be taken into account.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

A promise must be kept not merely in the letter, but in the spirit.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

In the matter of a promise one must always consider the meaning and not the mere words.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

You should always, in a matter of trust, think of what you mean, not of what you say.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

Added on 28-Jul-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

We were entrusted to one another, in the days which mattered, Clare thought. Entrusted to one another by chance, not choice. Chance, and its agents time and place. Chance is better than choice; it is more lordly. In its carelessness it is more lordly. Chance is God, choice is man. You — she thought, looking at the bed — chanced not chose to want us again.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
The Little Girls, ch. 7 (1964)
    (Source)

Quoted, in abbreviated form, in the foreword to her Pictures and Conversations (1975):

Chance is better than choice; it is more lordly. Chance is God, choice is man.
Added on 28-Apr-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

Don’t be a man of “Intentions.” The world gives a man credit only for his deeds and, often, not even for them.

No picture available
Minna Antrim (1861-1950) American epigrammatist, writer
Don’ts for Bachelors and Old Maids (1908)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Dec-21 | Last updated 10-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Antrim, Minna

You can tell the man who rings true from the man who rings false, not by his deeds alone, but also by his desires.

[Δόκιμος ἀνὴρ καὶ ἀδόκιμος οὐκ ἐξ ὧν πράσσει μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ὧν βούλεται.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 68 (Diels) [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "68. (40 N.) DEMOKRATES. 33." Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "A man is approved or rejected not only by what he doth, but by what he wills." [Hammond (1845)]
  • "The worthy and the unworthy man are to be known not only by their actions, but also their wishes." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "One of esteem and one without it do not only act for different reasons but they desire for different reasons too." [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 67]
  • "Accomplished or unaccomplished we shall call a man not only from what he does but from what he desires, too." [Source]
  • "The worthy and unworthy are known not only by their deeds, but also by their desires." [Source]
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Democritus

The mind sins, not the body; if there is no intention, there is no blame.

[Mentem peccare, non corpus, et unde consilium abfuerit, culpam abesse.]

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
Ab Urbe Condita [From the Founding of the City; The History of Rome], Book 1, ch. 58 (27-9 BC)

Reassurances given to Lucretia, wife of Collatinus, after her rape by Sextus Tarquin. She still kills herself.

Different sources use abfuerit or afuerit. Restated as a legal term, it's usually given as Mens peccat, non corpus, et unde consilium abfuit, culpa abest.

Alt. trans.:
  • "That it is the mind sins, not the body; and that where intention was wanting guilt could not be." [tr. Spillan (1896)]
  • "The mind sins, not the body, and there is no guilt when intent is absent." [tr. Luce]
  • "The mind sins, not the body; and where the power of judgment has been absent, guilt is absent." [Source]
  • "The mind alone was capable of sinning, not the body, and that where there was no such intention, there could be no guilt." [tr. Baker (1823)]
  • "It is the mind that sins, not the body, and where there has been no consent there is no guilt." [tr. Roberts (1905)]
  • "It is the mind that sins, not the body; and that where purpose has been wanting there is no guilt." [tr. Foster (1919)]
  • "It is the will only that is capable of sinning, not the body; and where there is no intention, there can be no guilt." [Source]
Added on 12-Oct-20 | Last updated 12-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Livy

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“The Summer Day,” New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1 (1992)
Added on 1-Nov-17 | Last updated 1-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Oliver, Mary

There may be no good reason for things to be the way they are.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 1 “Consolations for Unpopularity,” sec. 4 (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by De Botton, Alain

Man has no greater enemy than himself. I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone.

Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) Italian scholar and poet [a.k.a. Petrarch]
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Quoted in Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann, An Examination of the Advantages of Solitude and of Its Operations, ch. 5 (1783) [tr. F.S. (1808)].
Added on 28-Aug-17 | Last updated 28-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Petrarch

So I didn’t have a plan. I did, as I stood there, start to get seeds of what might, sometime, become a vague step generally in the direction of an intention. I may be stating that too strongly.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Issola (2001)
Added on 2-Sep-16 | Last updated 2-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Brust, Steven

It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind. Be kind.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Beep Boop Robots Tumblr (6 Aug 2016)
    (Source)

Quoting an elderly lady.
Added on 26-Aug-16 | Last updated 26-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by ~Other

YODA: No! Try not. Do — or do not. There is no try.

Lawrence Kasdan (b. 1949) American screenwriter, director, producer
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) [with George Lucas and Leigh Brackett]
Added on 5-Feb-16 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kasdan, Lawrence

Actions will be judged according to intentions.

Muhammad (570-632) Arabian merchant, prophet, founder of Islam [Mohammed]
The Sayings of Muhammad [tr. Abdullah Al-Suhrawardy (1941)]
Added on 31-Aug-15 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Muhammad

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891)
Added on 12-Mar-15 | Last updated 12-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Wilde, Oscar

When I had the strength, I did not have the patience. I have the patience today and I no longer have the power.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 11-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

Good impulses are naught, unless they become good actions.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 8-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

What can any individual do? Of that, every individual can judge. There is one thing that every individual can do, — they can see to it that they feel right. An atmosphere of sympathetic influence encircles every human being; and the man or woman who feels strongly, healthily and justly, on the great interests of humanity, is a constant benefactor to the human race. See, then, to your sympathies in this matter! Are they in harmony with the sympathies of Christ? or are they swayed and perverted by the sophistries of worldly policy?

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) American author
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Conclusion (1852)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Jan-11 | Last updated 17-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Charity is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands, says an old writer. Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue. A man may bestow great sums on the poor and indigent without being charitable, and may be charitable when he is not able to bestow anything. Charity is therefore a habit of good will, or benevolence in the soul, which disposes us to the love, assistance, and relief of mankind, especially of those who stand in need of it.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Guardian #166 (21 Sep 1713)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Oct-08 | Last updated 18-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Addison, Joseph