Quotes About Thought and Thinking

Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Judgment is more than skill.  It sets forth on intellectual seas beyond the shores of hard indisputable factual information.
Kingman Brewster

Don’t just do something, stand there.
Daniel Berrigan, on the importance of thought as well as action during the 1960s war protests

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
John Locke

His words leap across rivers and mountains, but his thoughts are still only six inches long.
E. B. White

Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

What was once thought can never be unthought.
Friedrich Durrenmatt

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; ever so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci

Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.
Joseph Goebbels

Every man who expresses a honest thought is a soldier in the army of intellectual liberty.
Robert G. Ingersoll

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
Albert Camus

The feeling of “aha, that’s it,” which accompanies the clothing of a situation with meaning, is emotionally very satisfying, and is the major charm of scientific research, of artistic creation, and of the solution of crossword puzzles.  It is why the intellectual life is fun.
Hudson Hoagland

It is enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
 Rene Descartes

The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing—to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.
John Keats

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.

A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself.  He can live without hope, without friends, without books, even without music, as long as he can listen to his own thoughts.
Axel Munthe

Man is a plant which bears thoughts, just as a rose-tree bears roses and an apple-tree bears apples.
Antoine Fabre D’Olivet

If I look confused it’s because I’m thinking.
Samuel Goldwyn

When all think alike, then no one is thinking.
Walter Lippmann

Analysis kills spontaneity.  The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.
Henri Frederic Amiel

In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared minds.
Louis Pasteur

One must learn to think well before learning to think; afterward it proves too difficult.
Anatole France

Minds are like parachutes: they only function when open.
Thomas R. Dewar

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you.  If you really make them think, they’ll hate you.
Don Marquis

A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

When a thought is too weak to be expressed simply, it is proof that it should be rejected.
Luc de Clapiers de Vauvenargues

When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means—that is philosophy.

To be honest, what I feel really bad about is that I don’t feel worse.  That is the intellectual’s problem in a nutshell.
Michael Frayn

I too had thoughts once of being an intellectual, but I found it too difficult.
Albert Schweitzer

We pay a high price for being intelligent.  Wisdom hurts.

There’s times when I just have to quit thinking . . . and the only way I can quit thinking is by shopping.
Tammy Faye Bakker

Thought is free.
William Shakespeare



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