„Translation: "What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense."“

"Ce que nous connaissons est peu de chose, ce que nous ignorons est immense."
Allegedly his last words, reported in Joseph Fourier's "Éloge historique de M. le Marquis de Laplace" (1829) with the comment, "This was at least the meaning of his last words, which were articulated with difficulty." Quoted in Augustus De Morgan's Budget of Paradoxes (1866).

Original

Ce que nous connaissons est peu de chose, ce que nous ignorons est immense.

Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace Foto
Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace
französischer Mathematiker und Astronom 1749 - 1827

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Nicolaus Copernicus Foto

„To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.“

—  Nicolaus Copernicus Renaissance mathematician, Polish astronomer, physician 1473 - 1543

Confucius, as quoted in Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau, Ch. 1
Misattributed

Confucius Foto

„To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 v.Chr

As quoted in Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau, Ch. 1
Attributed

Spencer W. Kimball Foto
Robert N. Proctor Foto
Henry David Thoreau Foto
Plautus Foto

„Keep what you’ve got; the evil that we know is best. (translator Thornton)“

—  Plautus, Trinummus

Trinummus, Act I, scene 2, lines 25
Trinummus (The Three Coins)
Original: (la) Habeus ut nactus ; nota mala res optima’st.

P. D. Ouspensky Foto

„The most difficult thing is to know what we do know, and what we do not know.“

—  P. D. Ouspensky, buch Tertium Organum

Ch. I
Tertium Organum (1912; 1922)
Kontext: The most difficult thing is to know what we do know, and what we do not know.
Therefore, desiring to know anything, we shall before all else determine WHAT we accept as given, and WHAT as demanding definition and proof; that is, determine WHAT we know already, and WHAT we wish to know.
In relation to the knowledge of the world and of ourselves, the conditions would be ideal could we venture to accept nothing as given, and count all as demanding definition and proof. In other words, it would be best to assume that we know nothing, and make this our point of departure.
But unfortunately such conditions are impossible to create. Knowledge must start from some foundation, something must be recognized as known; otherwise we shall be obliged always to define one unknown by means of another.

Eric Hoffer Foto
Lupe Fiasco Foto
Jean Piaget Foto

„What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see.“

—  Jean Piaget Swiss psychologist, biologist, logician, philosopher & academic 1896 - 1980

Ray Bradbury Foto
André Gide Foto

„Translation: To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom.“

—  André Gide, buch The Immoralist

Savoir se libérer n'est rien; l'ardu, c'est savoir être libre.
The Immoralist, Chapter 1 http://books.google.com/books?id=MPmRAAAAIAAJ&q=%22Savoir+se+lib%C3%A9rer+n'est+rien+l'ardu+c'est+savoir+%C3%AAtre+libre%22&jtp=17#v=onepage (1902)
The Immoralist (1902)

Brené Brown Foto

„Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.“

—  Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Quelle: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Jean Paul Sartre Foto

„We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.“

—  Jean Paul Sartre French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary cri… 1905 - 1980

Richard Feynman Foto

„So if that little thing can do so much, who knows what else we can experience?“

—  Kathy Acker American novelist, playwright, essayist, and poet 1947 - 1997

Kontext: A friend told me that there are these clean and sober dykes that have piercings every couple months just to get high. It's about learning about my body. I didn't know my body could do this. It's not exactly pleasure. It's more like vision. I didn't know the body is such a visionary factory.
Basically we grew up not wanting to know that we had bodies. And it's not as if these piercings are in that deep — it's just on the surface. So if that little thing can do so much, who knows what else we can experience?

Ted Hughes Foto

„Much of what we do at any level is a bit like that, I fancy. But hard to know which is which.“

—  Ted Hughes English poet and children's writer 1930 - 1998

The Paris Review interview
Kontext: Many writers write a great deal, but very few write more than a very little of the real thing. So most writing must be displaced activity. When cockerels confront each other and daren’t fight, they busily start pecking imaginary grains off to the side. That’s displaced activity. Much of what we do at any level is a bit like that, I fancy. But hard to know which is which. On the other hand, the machinery has to be kept running. The big problem for those who write verse is keeping the machine running without simply exercising evasion of the real confrontation. If Ulanova, the ballerina, missed one day of practice, she couldn’t get back to peak fitness without a week of hard work. Dickens said the same about his writing—if he missed a day he needed a week of hard slog to get back into the flow.

John Ruskin Foto

„What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.“

—  John Ruskin English writer and art critic 1819 - 1900

The Crown of Wild Olive, lecture IV: The Future of England, section 151 (1866).

Jorge Luis Borges Foto

„We do not know what the unicorn looks like.“

—  Jorge Luis Borges Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature 1899 - 1986

Book of Imaginary Beings (1957), as translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni
Kontext: It is universally held that the unicorn is a supernatural being and of auspicious omen; so say the odes, the annals, the biographies of worthies, and other texts whose authority is unimpeachable. Even village women and children know that the unicorn is a lucky sign. But this animal does not figure among the barnyard animals, it is not always easy to come across, it does not lend itself to zoological classification. Nor is it like the horse or bull, the wolf or deer. In such circumstances we may be face to face with a unicorn and not know for sure that we are. We know that a certain animal with a mane is a horse and that a certain animal with horns is a bull. We do not know what the unicorn looks like.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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