"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
Isaac Asimov, Newsweek, January 21st, 1980
"Anyone who holds a true opinion without understanding is like a blind man on the right road."
Plato, in "The Republic," 380 BCE
"I shall be an autocrat: that's my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that's his."
Catherine the Great, who ruled as empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796.
"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."
Carl Sagan, American scientist
"One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion."
Simone-Lucie-Ernestine-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, commonly known as Simone de Beauvoir. She did not consider herself a philosopher. Yet her ideas had great influence on feminist existentialism and feminist theory, and today de Beauvoir is considered one of the major philosophers of the 20th century.
"The life of a good book is far longer than the life of a man. Its author dies, and his generation dies, and his successors are born and die; the world he knew disappears, and new orders which he could not foresee are established on its ruins; law, religion, science, commerce, society, all are transformed into shapes which would astound him; but his book continues to live. Long after he and his epoch are dead, the book speaks with his voice."
Gilbert Highet, on Juvenal. Highet (1906 – 1978) was a Scottish-American classicist, academic, writer, intellectual, critic and literary historian. Juvenal (1st century - 2nd century CE) was a Roman poet who published at least five books of verses. They lived 1,800 years apart, proving the truth of Highet's quote.
"It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own."
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 CE. His nickname is "the Philosopher"
"We study the injustices of history for the same reason that we study genocide, and for the same reason that psychologists study the minds of murderers and rapists... to understand how those evil things came about."
Jared Diamond, American geographer, historian, and author. You probably know him for his best-seller "Guns, Germs, and Steel."
"Man fears time, but time fears the pyramid."
an Arabic-Egyptian saying. It is unclear who or when it was first said, but it dates at least to the 1800s, and it probably much older.
"History never says goodbye. History says, 'See you later.'"
Eduardo Galeano (1940 - 2015), a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. He was particularly famous for writing about soccer/football.