Top 31 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Quotes

If we thought more for ourselves we would have very many more bad books and very many more good ones.


When they have discovered truth in nature they fling it into a book, where it is even worse hands.


…if we gained only one incontestable truth every ten years from each of our philosophical writers the harvest we reaped would be sufficient.


It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.


The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth.


What I do not like about our definitions of genius is that there is in them nothing of the day of judgment, nothing of resounding through eternity and nothing of the footsteps of the Almighty.


Man…who lives in three places – in the past, in the present, and in the future – can be unhappy if one of these three is worthless. Religion has even added a fourth – eternity.


Many are less fortunate than you’ may not be a roof to live under, but it will serve to retire beneath in the event of a shower.


Where the frontier of science once was is now the centre.


A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.


When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book?


Libraries can in general be too narrow or too wide for the soul.


There is no mistaking a good book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.


If countries were named after the words you first hear when you go there, England would have to be called “Damn It”.


I would give something to know for precisely whom the deeds were really done, of which it is publicly stated they were done ‘for the Fatherland’.


Nothing is more conductive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.


With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.


I am confident of my ability to demonstrate that one can sometimes believe in something and yet not believe in it. Nothing is less fathomable than the systems that motivate our actions.


A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.


Diogenes, filthily attired, paced across the splendid carpets in Plato’s dwelling. Thus, said he, do I trample on the pride of Plato. Yes, Plato replied, but only with another kind of pride.


The thoughts written on the walls of madhouses by their inmates might be worth publicizing.


The highest level than can be reached by a mediocre but experienced mind is a talent for uncovering the weaknesses of those greater than itself.


Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.


Don’t judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him.


Prejudices are so to speak the mechanical instincts of men: through their prejudices they do without any effort many things they would find too difficult to think through to the point of resolving to do them.


One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything one’s last is to come to terms with everything.


The fly that doesn’t want to be swatted is most secure when it lights on the fly-swatter.


Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers we outgrow acquaintances libraries principles etc. at times before they’re worn out and times-and this is the worst of all-before we have new ones.


It often takes more courage to change one’s opinion than to stick to it.


Never undertake anything for which you wouldn’t have the courage to ask the blessings of heaven.


It is too bad if you have to do everything upon reflection and can’t do anything from early habit.



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