„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.“

—  P. D. Ouspensky, Context: 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. Ch. I
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P. D. Ouspensky1
russischer Esoteriker und Schriftsteller, Gurdjieff-Schüler 1878 - 1947
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„To live outside the law, you must be honest.“

—  Bob Dylan, da Absolutely Sweet Marie, n.° 11

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„Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice versa.“

—  Donald Rumsfeld U.S. Secretary of Defense 1932
Department of Defense news briefing (12 February 2002)<!-- DEAD LINK --> Variant: Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns. :It sounds like a riddle. It isn't a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter. :There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist. And yet almost always, when we make our threat assessments, when we look at the world, we end up basing it on the first two pieces of that puzzle, rather than all three. :* Extending on his earlier comments in a press conference at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium (6 June 2002) http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s020606g.htm

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„I do not think it possible to get anywhere if we start from scepticism. We must start from a broad acceptance of whatever seems to be knowledge and is not rejected for some specific reason.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
<!--Ch. 16 Non-Demonstrative Inference,-->p. 200

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„Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom.“

—  Geert Wilders Dutch politician 1963
Closing remarks in court https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGIbb8rY7hQ&feature=youtu.be (1 June 2011)

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„Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding."“

—  Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
Context: Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding."

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„Any one who thinks is an agnostic about something, otherwise he must believe that he is possessed of all knowledge. And the proper place for such a person is in the madhouse or the home for the feeble-minded.“

—  Clarence Darrow American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union 1857 - 1938
Context: An agnostic is a doubter. The word is generally applied to those who doubt the verity of accepted religious creeds of faiths. Everyone is an agnostic as to the beliefs or creeds they do not accept. Catholics are agnostic to the Protestant creeds, and the Protestants are agnostic to the Catholic creed. Any one who thinks is an agnostic about something, otherwise he must believe that he is possessed of all knowledge. And the proper place for such a person is in the madhouse or the home for the feeble-minded. In a popular way, in the western world, an agnostic is one who doubts or disbelieves the main tenets of the Christian faith.

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"Miracles" http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/voltaire-the-works-of-voltaire-vol-vi-philosophical-dictionary-part-4 (1764)

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