Words of Wisdom: 70 Best Quotes from the World’s Greatest Minds

Words of Wisdom: 70 Best Quotes from the World's Greatest Minds - Fallacy in Logic

Ah, quotes. Those short pieces of text borrowed from others that are packed with ideas and compelling wording.

They are an important part of our lexicon, and with good reasons: A good quote provides powerful wisdom and meaning that transcend time and words; it makes you stop and think, and reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses; it communicates an idea worth a few pages of text in one sentence, in a way that makes you remember it and draw inspiration from it when needed.

As such, here we have compiled a list of 70 top quotes from some of the greatest minds in history – from famous philosophers to Nobel Prize-winning scientists. Their work has helped shape the world and improve the lives of many generations; the words of such individuals hold too much value to not be read.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is not only one of the greatest scientists of all time but also among the most widely acclaimed individuals throughout the world. He laid the foundation of modern physics by developing the theory of relativity along with other contributions in theoretical physics.

One way to describe Einstein would be an independent thinker; rather than accept the conventional wisdom and status quo, he questioned them and sought to find new creative ideas. Moreover, according to himself, the major reasons for his success were his unfailing curiosity and ability to imagine.


“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Like Einstein, Shakespeare’s name is so well-known that it rarely requires an introduction. However, to quickly refresh your mind, here are the main facts:

William Shakespeare (1564 -1616) was an English poet and playwright who is often regarded as the greatest writer of all time in the English language. His works such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, which ingeniously seize the scope of human emotions, are played and loved in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, his personal life remains mostly unknown to this day.


“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

“All that glitters is not gold.”

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”


Aristotle portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Aristotle, who is said to have lived from 384 BC to 322 BC, was a philosopher and polymath in Ancient Greece.

He is regarded as the first real scientist and remains an extremely important figure in Western philosophy; the philosophical and scientific ideas he put forth are still embedded in Western thought after over two millennia.


“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.”

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is best known for being a Founding Father of the United States and drafting the Declaration of Independence. However, he was a lot of other things: a publisher, inventor, scientist, politician, political philosopher, and freemason.

Besides helping found one of the greatest superpowers in history, he also advanced our understanding of electricity with his experiments, as well as invented things like bifocal glasses, rocking chair, and the Franklin stove.


“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was a German philosopher and is one of the central figures of modern Western thought. He wrote a number of highly praised philosophical books, such as The Critique of Pure Reason, and covered subjects like morality, religion, and metaphysics.

Besides his philosophical genius, he is quite well-known for his meticulous routines; Kant’s daily schedule consisted mostly of the same activities for over 40 years, including lunch at the same restaurant and a walk in the same park following the same route each day.


“Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.”

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”

“Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a general natural law.”

“The people naturally adhere most to doctrines which demand the least self-exertion and the least use of their own reason, and which can best accommodate their duties to their inclinations.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) is without a doubt among the most influential philosophers of modern times. He wrote several books filled with sharp insights and harsh critiques regarding religion, morality, and other philosophical systems.

However, Nietzsche is most famous for his acclaim that “God is dead”, as well as for advocating the concept of the Übermensch – the new highest ideal for humanity.


“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Marie Curie

Marie Curie portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Marie Skłodowska Curie (1867-1934), a Polish-born physicist and chemist, became famous for her scientific achievements in the field of radioactivity. She discovered radium and polonium, two chemical elements on the periodic table, and also made contributions to the search for effective cancer treatments.

She was awarded the Nobel Prize twice: the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911. As such, she was the first woman to win the prize and remains the only person to have won it in two different scientific fields.


“I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.”

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”

“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.”

“All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Dostoevsky (1821 -1881) was a Russian journalist, novelist, and philosopher. He is the author of books such as Crime and Punishment, Notes from underground, and The Idiot.

His works brilliantly explore not only the challenging political and social circumstances of 19th century Russia, but also the nature of the human psyche. And, much like Nietzsche, Dostoevsky is considered to be one of the great psychologists in literature due to his insights into the human mind.


“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

“To live without Hope is to Cease to live.”

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who lived from 1875-1961. His work has influenced several fields of study, including anthropology, literature, and religious studies.

Jung is the founder of analytical psychology and behind many important psychological concepts, such as the extroverted and introverted personalities, the archetypes, collective unconscious, and dream interpretation.


“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.”

“Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson portrait - Fallacy in Logic

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. In the mid-19th century, he led the philosophical movement known as Transcendentalism that developed in the eastern United States.

Globally, Emerson’s most famous work is his essay Self-Reliance in which he writes about the importance of pursuing one’s individuality, rather than conforming to social norms.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

To be great is to be misunderstood.”

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”