„Each vulgar opinion, proved to be erroneous, is an approximation to truth.“

—  Georg Forster, buch A Voyage Round the World

Book I, ch. II, The Passage from Madeira to the Cape Verd Islands, and from thence to the Cape of Good Hope.
A Voyage Round the World (1777)

Übernommen aus Wikiquote. Letzte Aktualisierung 3. Juni 2021. Geschichte
Georg Forster Foto
Georg Forster7
deutscher Naturforscher, Ethnologe, Reiseschriftsteller, Jo… 1754 - 1794

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Maimónides Foto

„Job abandoned his first very erroneous opinion, and himself proved that it was an error.“

—  Maimónides, buch The Guide for the Perplexed

Quelle: Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Ch.23
Kontext: The words of God are justified, as I will show, by the fact that Job abandoned his first very erroneous opinion, and himself proved that it was an error. It is the opinion which suggests itself as plausible at first thought, especially in the minds of those who meet with mishap, well knowing that they have not merited them through sins. This is admitted by all, and therefore this opinion was assigned to Job. But he is represented to hold this view only so long as he was without wisdom, and knew God only by tradition, in the same manner as religious people generally know Him. As soon as he had acquired a true knowledge of God, he confessed that there is undoubtedly true felicity in the knowledge of God; it is attained by all who acquire that knowledge, and no earthly trouble can disturb it. So long as Job's knowledge of God was based on tradition and communication, and not on research, he believed that such imaginary good as is possessed in health, riches, and children, was the utmost that men can attain; this was the reason why he was in perplexity, and why he uttered the... opinions, and this is also the meaning of his words: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent because of dust and ashes" (xlii. 5, 6); that is to say, he abhorred all that he had desired before, and that he was sorry that he had been in dust and ashes; comp. "and he sat down among the ashes" (ii. 8) On account of this last utterance, which implies true perception, it is said afterwards in reference to him, "for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath."

Emil M. Cioran Foto

„Impossible to accede to truth by opinions, for each opinion is only a mad perspective of reality.“

—  Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995

Drawn and Quartered (1983)

John Ruskin Foto
W. Somerset Maugham Foto

„Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.“

—  W. Somerset Maugham British playwright, novelist, short story writer 1874 - 1965

"1896", p. 20
A Writer's Notebook (1946)

Charles James Fox Foto
John Von Neumann Foto

„I think that it is a relatively good approximation to truth — which is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations — that mathematical ideas originate in empirics.“

—  John Von Neumann Hungarian-American mathematician and polymath 1903 - 1957

"The Mathematician", in The Works of the Mind (1947) edited by R. B. Heywood, University of Chicago Press, Chicago
Kontext: I think that it is a relatively good approximation to truth — which is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations — that mathematical ideas originate in empirics. But, once they are conceived, the subject begins to live a peculiar life of its own and is … governed by almost entirely aesthetical motivations. In other words, at a great distance from its empirical source, or after much "abstract" inbreeding, a mathematical subject is in danger of degeneration. Whenever this stage is reached the only remedy seems to me to be the rejuvenating return to the source: the reinjection of more or less directly empirical ideas.

Richard Feynman Foto
Jane Austen Foto
William Stanley Jevons Foto

„To me it is far more pleasant to agree than to differ; but it is impossible that one who has any regard for truth can long avoid protesting against doctrines which seem to him to be erroneous. There is ever a tendency of the most hurtful kind to allow opinions to crystallise into creeds.“

—  William Stanley Jevons, The Theory of Political Economy

Quelle: The Theory of Political Economy (1871), Chapter VIII : Concluding Remarks, The Noxious Influence of Authority, p. 220.
Kontext: To me it is far more pleasant to agree than to differ; but it is impossible that one who has any regard for truth can long avoid protesting against doctrines which seem to him to be erroneous. There is ever a tendency of the most hurtful kind to allow opinions to crystallise into creeds. Especially does this tendency manifest itself when some eminent author, enjoying power of clear and comprehensive exposition, becomes recognised as an authority. His works may perhaps be the best which are extant upon the subject in question; they may combine more truth with less error than we can elsewhere meet. But "to err is human," and the best works should ever be open to criticism. If, instead of welcoming inquiry and criticism, the admirers of a great author accept his writings as authoritative, both in their excellences and in their defects, the most serious injury is done to truth. In matters of philosophy and science authority has ever been the great opponent of truth. A despotic calm is usually the triumph of error. In the republic of the sciences sedition and even anarchy are beneficial in the long run to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Maimónides Foto
Thomas Hobbes Foto
Eric Hoffer Foto

„We are ready to die for an opinion but not for a fact: indeed, it is by our readiness to die that we try to prove the factualness of our opinion.“

—  Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983

Entry (1955)
Eric Hoffer and the Art of the Notebook (2005)

Herbert Spencer Foto

„We too often forget that not only is there "a soul of goodness in things evil," but very generally also, a soul of truth in things erroneous.“

—  Herbert Spencer English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist 1820 - 1903

Pt. I, The Unknowable; Ch. I, Religion and Science; quoting from "There is some soul of goodness in things evil / Would men observingly distil it out", William Shakespeare, Henry V, act iv. sc. i
First Principles (1862)

George Pólya Foto
Nicolás Gómez Dávila Foto

„Truths are not relative. What is relative are opinions about truth.“

—  Nicolás Gómez Dávila Colombian writer and philosopher 1913 - 1994

Sucesivos Escolios a un Texto Implícito (1992)

Henry Codman Potter Foto

„We have exchanged the Washingtonian dignity for the Jeffersonian simplicity, which was in truth only another name for the Jacksonian vulgarity.“

—  Henry Codman Potter Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York 1835 - 1908

Address at the Washington Centennial Service in St. Paul's Chapel, New York, April 30, 1889.

Thucydides Foto

„So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.“

—  Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

Variant translation: "...the search for truth strains the patience of most people, who would rather believe the first things that come to hand." Translation by Paul Woodruff.
Book I, 1.20-[3]
History of the Peloponnesian War, Book I

Margaret Fuller Foto

„It is a vulgar error that love, a love, to Woman is her whole existence; she also is born for Truth and Love in their universal energy.“

—  Margaret Fuller, buch Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Kontext: Woman, self-centred, would never be absorbed by any relation it would be only an experience to her as to man. It is a vulgar error that love, a love, to Woman is her whole existence; she also is born for Truth and Love in their universal energy.

Nicolaus Copernicus Foto

„I am not so enamored of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them. I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God. Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned.“
Neque enim ita mihi mea placent, ut non perpendam, quid alii de illis iudicaturi sint. Et quamvis sciam, hominis philosophi cogitationes esse remotas à iudicio vulgi, propterea quòd illius studium sit veritatem omnibus in rebus, quatenus id à Deo rationi humanæ permissum est, inquirere, tamen alienas prorsus à rectitudine opiniones fugiendas censeo. Itaque cum mecum ipse cogitarem, quàm absurdum ἀκρόαμα existimaturi essent illi, qui multorum seculorum iudiciis hanc opinionem confirmatam norunt, quòd terra immobilis in medio cœli, tanquam centrum illius posita sit, si ego contra assererem terram moveri...

—  Nicolaus Copernicus, buch De revolutionibus orbium coelestium

Preface
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543)
Kontext: For I am not so enamored of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them. I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God. Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned. Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest in the middle of the heaven as its center would, I reflected, regard it as an insane pronouncement if I made the opposite assertion that the earth moves.

Girolamo Cardano Foto

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