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If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.

AYN RAND, Atlas Shrugged

Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds -- justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can't go on.

ANNE RICE, The Vampire Lestat

The one thing we do not know is the limit of the knowable.


The obligation to endure gives us the right to know.

JEAN ROSTAND, attributed, The Essential Prose (Ghent & Maas, 1965)

All that we don't know is astonishing. Even more astonishing is what passes for knowing.

PHILIP ROTH, The Human Stain

People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. It is plain that an ignorant person thinks everything he does know important, and he tells it to everybody. But a well-educated man is not so ready to display his learning; he would have too much to say, and he sees that there is much more to be said, so he holds his peace.


Knowledge is, indeed, that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Guardian, Jul. 18, 1713

Knowledge! What does that mean? Your knowledge is nothing but cowardice. No, really, that's all it is. You just want to put a little wall around infinity. And you're afraid to look on the other side of that wall.


Knowledge, which is power, knows no limits, either in its enslavement of creation or in its deference to worldly masters.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment

Wonder is the desire of knowledge.

THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica

Knowledge gropes but meets not Wisdom's face.

SRI AUROBINDO, Gems from Sri Aurobindo

If I don't know I don't know
I think I know
If I don't know I know
I think I don't know

R. D. LAING, Knots

A man may do very well with a very little knowledge, and scarce be found out in mixed company; everybody is so much more ready to produce his own than to call for a display of your acquisition.

CHARLES LAMB, "The Old and the New Schoolmaster", Elia and the Last Essays of Elia

Humans crave knowledge, and when that craving ends, we are no longer human.


All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.

BRUCE LEE, Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview, 1971

Folks don't like to have somebody around knowin' more than they do. It aggravates 'em.

HARPER LEE, To Kill a Mockingbird

The knowledge which we have acquired ought not to resemble a great shop without order, and without an inventory; we ought to know what we possess, and be able to make it serve us in need.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, attributed, Day's Collacon

Knowledge acquired too rapidly and without being personally supplemented is never very productive.

GEORG CHRISTOPH LICHTENBERG, The Reflections of Lichtenberg

It is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish that lies in the way to knowledge.

JOHN LOCKE, epistle to the reader, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

By enlarging your knowledge of things, you will find your knowledge of self is enlarged.

CHARLES DE LINT, "The Pochade Box", The Ivory and the Horn

The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.

JOHN LOCKE, Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Nothing really known can continue to be acutely fascinating.

H. P. LOVECRAFT, letter to Clark Ashton Smith, November 7, 1930

All I want is to know things. The black gulph of the infinite is before me ...

H. P. LOVECRAFT, letter to Frank Belknap, February 27, 1931

It is as though each of us investigated and made his own only a tiny circle of facts. Knowledge outside the day's work is regarded by most men as gewgaw. Still we are constantly in reaction against our ignorance. We rouse ourselves at intervals and speculate.

ROBERT WILSON LYND, The Pleasure of Ignorance

Those that'll tell don't know, and those that know won't tell.

SPIKE LEE, Do the Right Thing

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