Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything, you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
If ever we hear a case of lying, we must look for a severe parents. A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous.
—Alfred Adler (1870–1937) Austrian Psychiatrist
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labor is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Truths of all others the most awful and interesting are too often considered as so true that they lose all the power of truth, and lie bedridden in the dormitory of the soul, side by side with the most despised and exploded errors.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
There is no truth. There is only perception.
—Gustave Flaubert (1821–80) French Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
Craft must have clothes, but truth loves to go naked.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Live truth instead of professing it.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one, behind one’s back, that are absolutely and entirely true.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
In proportion as we perceive and embrace the truth do we become just, heroic, magnanimous, divine.
—William Lloyd Garrison (1805–79) American Journalist, Abolitionist
The solutions all are simple—after you have arrived at them. But they’re simple only when you know already what they are.
—Robert M. Pirsig (b.1928) American Writer, Philosopher, Author
We take our shape, it is true, within and against that cage of reality bequeathed us at our birth; and yet is precisely through our dependence on this reality that we are most endlessly betrayed.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
A man may be in as just possession of truth as of a city, and yet be forced to surrender.
—Thomas Browne (1605–82) English Author, Physician
Can there be a more horrible object in existence than an eloquent man not speaking the truth?
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.
—Pope John Paul II (1920–2005) Polish Catholic Religious Leader
The true snob never rests: there is always a higher goal to attain, and there are, by the same token, always more and more people to look down upon.
—Russell Lynes (1910–91) American Art Historian, Photographer, Author, Editor
There are certain times when most people are in a disposition of being informed, and ’tis incredible what a vast good a little truth might do, spoken in such seasons.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
Accuracy of statement is one of the first elements of truth; inaccuracy is a near kin to falsehood.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
As one may bring himself to believe almost anything he is inclined to believe, it makes all the difference whether we begin or end with the inquiry, “What is truth?”
—Richard Whately (1787–1863) English Philosopher, Theologian
Deception in words is a greater sin than deception in money matters.
—The Talmud Sacred Text of the Jewish Faith
Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
The fact, if they are there, speak for themselves.
—David Seabury (1885–1960) American Psychologist
Truth is the secret of eloquence and of virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and of life.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
Duration is not a test of truth or falsehood.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001) American Aviator, Author
In this world, only those people who have fallen to the lowest degree of humiliation, far below beggary, who are not just without any social consideration but are regarded by all as being deprived of that foremost human dignity, reason itself—only those people, in fact, are capable of telling the truth. All the others lie.
—Simone Weil (1909–1943) French Philosopher, Political Activist