Quotations about   thinking

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



Whenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are those of torpor and imbecility.

William Godwin (1756-1836) English journalist, political philosopher, novelist
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Vol. 2, bk. 6, ch. 1 (1793)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Oct-17 | Last updated 23-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Godwin, William

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of physical evidence we have that people are still thinking.

Jerry Seinfeld (b. 1955) American comedian
SeinLanguage (1993)
Added on 19-Oct-17 | Last updated 19-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Seinfeld, Jerry

The proper method for hastening the decay of error is not by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavor to reduce men to intellectual uniformity, but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.

William Godwin (1756-1836) English journalist, political philosopher, novelist
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Vol. 2, bk. 8, ch. 6 “Of the Enjoyment of Liberty” (1793)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Godwin, William

Then I went back to my hotel to think long thoughts. As is usual when I’m thinking long thoughts, I lay on the bed with my eyes closed. Susan says I often snore when thinking long thoughts.

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Hugger Mugger, ch. 3 (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jun-17 | Last updated 14-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Parker, Robert

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Politics and the English Language,” Horizon (Apr 1946)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Apr-17 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

Clarity in language depends on clarity in thought.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) American historian, author, social critic
Interview with Brian Lamb, C-SPAN (10 May 1998)
Added on 7-Apr-17 | Last updated 7-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Schlesinger, Arthur

I’m thinking on the fly, here. (Although now that I’m in middle management I think I’m supposed to call it “refactoring the strategic value proposition in real time with agile implementation,” or, if I’m being honest, “making it up as I go along.”)

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Apocalypse Codex (2012)
Added on 28-Mar-17 | Last updated 28-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Stross, Charles

Thinking is the activity I love best, and writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers. I can write up to 18 hours a day. Typing 90 words a minute, I’ve done better than 50 pages a day. Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put an orgy in my office and I wouldn’t look up — well, maybe once or twice.

asimov-thinking-through-my-fingers-wist_info-quote

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Oct-16 | Last updated 11-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Asimov, Isaac

I collected my thoughts. Someday I hope to have them all.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Orca [Vlad] (1996)
Added on 8-Jul-16 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Brust, Steven

It is infinitely difficult to know when and where one should stop, and for all but one in thousands the goal of their thinking is the point at which they have become tired of thinking.

[Es ist unendlich schwer, zu wissen, wenn und wo man bleiben soll, und Tausenden für einen ist das Ziel ihres Nachdenkens die Stelle, wo sie des Nachdenkens müde geworden.]

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramiturg, writer
Letter to Moses Mendelssohn (9 Jan 1771)
Added on 8-Apr-15 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lessing, Gotthold

The firefly only shines when on the wing.
So is it with the mind — when once we rest
We darken.

Philip James Bailey (1816-1902) English poet
Festus (1839)
Added on 30-Mar-15 | Last updated 30-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bailey, Philip James

‘Tis the hardest thing in the world to be a good Thinker, without being a strong Self-Examiner.

Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713) English politician and philosopher
Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, Vol. 1, “Soliloquy: or Advice to an Author” (1711)
Added on 26-Dec-14 | Last updated 26-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shaftesbury, Earl of

If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
(Attributed)

Attributed to Einstein, but no definitive citation found. See here for more discussion.
Added on 9-May-14 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Einstein, Albert

A person who does not read cannot think. He may have good mental processes, but he has nothing to think about. You can feel for people or natural phenomena and react to them, but they are not ideas. You cannot think about them.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) American writer
In “Author Rex Stout vs. the FBI,” Interview with Sandra Schmidt, Life (10 Dec 1965)
Added on 16-Jan-14 | Last updated 16-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Stout, Rex

Writing is closer to thinking than to speaking.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 6-May-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

The question is: Bad as I am, have I the right to think? And I think I have for two reasons: First, I cannot help it. And secondly, I like it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 1 (1880)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Oct-11 | Last updated 21-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Govern thy Life and Thoughts as if the whole World were to see the one, and read the other.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 417 (1731)
Added on 20-Jul-11 | Last updated 26-Jun-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

Life does not consist mainly — or even largely — of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Autobiography, Part 1, sec. 28 “New York, January 10, 1906” (2003)

Full text.
Added on 30-Jun-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

Standing in the presence of the Unknown, all have the same right to think, and all are equally interested in the great question of origin and destiny. All I claim, all I plead for, is liberty of thought and expression. That is all.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
Added on 11-Sep-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Feb-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Now we have come to the conclusion that every man has a right to think. Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn’t make a decent thief. When I read a book and don’t believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech on Religious Intolerance, Pittsburgh Opera House (14 Oct 1879)
Added on 16-Jan-08 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.

[La pensée est le labeur de l’intelligence, la rêverie en est la volupté.]

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, Vol. 4 “St. Denis,” Book 2 “Eponine,” ch. 1 “The Field of the Lark” (1862) [tr. Wilbour]

Alt trans. [Denny (1980)]: "Thought is the work of the intellect, reveries its self-indulgence." Cited as Part IV, ch. 2 "Eponine."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hugo, Victor

In the practice of art, as well as in morals, it is necessary to keep a watchful and jealous eye over ourselves; idleness, assuming the specious disguise of industry, will lull to sleep all suspicion of our want of an active exertion of strength. A provision of endless apparatus, a bustle of infinite enquiry and research, or even the mere mechanical labour of copying, may be employed, to evade and shuffle off real labour, — the real labour of thinking.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
Speech to the Royal Academy, London (10 Dec 1784)
    (Source)

Paraphrased over a long period of time (and still attributed to Reynolds) as: "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."

The lecture was later described as the Twelfth Discourse in a 1797 collection of Reynolds' works.

Often attributed to Thomas Edison. More information here.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Reynolds, Joshua