The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.
—Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English Philosopher
The superior man is he who develops in harmonious proportions, his moral, intellectual, and physical nature. This should be the end at which men of all classes should aim, and it is this only which constitutes real greatness.
—Douglas William Jerrold (1803–57) English Writer, Dramatist, Wit
It is not the IQ but the I Will that is most important in education.
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
The fly that does not want to be swatted is safest if it sits on the fly-swat.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
Just imagine you’re four years old, and someone makes the following proposal: If you’ll wait until after he runs an errand, you can have two marshmallows for a treat. If you can’t wait until then, you can have only one—but you can have it right now. It is a challenge sure to try the soul of any four-year-old, a microcosm of the eternal battle between impulse and restraint, id and ego, desire and self-control, gratification and delay… There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse. It is the root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature, led to one or another impulse to act.
—Daniel Goleman (b.1946) American Psychologist, Author, Science Journalist
Talent, taste, wit, good sense are very different things but by no means incompatible. Between good sense and good taste there exists the same difference as between cause and effect, and between wit and talent there is the same proportion as between a whole and its parts.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
Never be lucid, never state, if you would be regarded great.
—Dylan Thomas (1914–53) Welsh Poet, Author
An intelligence service is, in fact, a stupidity service
—E. B. White (1985–99) American Essayist, Humorist
The march of intellect is proceeding at quick time; and if its progress be not accompanied by a corresponding improvement in morals and religion, the faster it proceeds, with the more violence will you be hurried down the road to ruin.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
Skill is successfully walking a tightrope over Niagara falls. Intelligence is not trying.
The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience.
Cleverness is not wisdom.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
—Groucho Marx (1890–1977) American Actor, Comedian, Singer
Action is the real measure of intelligence.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
It is the mind that makes the body rich; and as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.
—Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) English Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Academic
Intelligence is the effort to do the best you can at your particular job; the quality that gives dignity to that job, whether it happens to be scrubbing a floor or running a corporation.
—James Cash Penney (1875–1971) American Entrepreneur
Everything great and intelligent is in the minority
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
How easy would life be if you were less intelligent!
—Gerhard Kocher (b.1939) Swiss Publicist, Aphorist
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
The cynic never grows up, but commits intellectual suicide.
—Charles Reynolds Brown (1862–1950) American Clergyman
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
—Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) American Author, Journalist, Short Story Writer
No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself.
—Henry Adams (1838–1918) American Historian, Man of Letters
Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
I don’t think there’s anything unique about human intelligence. All the neurons in the brain that make up perceptions and emotions operate in a binary fashion. We can someday replicate that on a machine. Earthly life is carbon based and computers are
—Bill Gates (b.1955) American Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author
A superior and commanding intellect, a truly great man-when Heaven vouchsafes so rare a gift-is not a temporary flame, burning for a while, and then expiring, giving place to eternal darkness. It is rather a spark of fervent heat, as well as radiant light, with power to enkindle the common mass of human mind; so that, when it glimmers in its own decay, and finally goes out in death, no night follows; but it leaves the world all light, all on fire, from the potent contact of its own spirit.
—Daniel Webster (1782–1852) American Statesman, Lawyer
Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher