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Quotations: Ideas

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when a man has only one idea.
Emile-Auguste Chartier Alain

Every idea I get I have to deny, that's my way of testing it.
Alain

Ideas in the head set hands about their several tasks.
Amos Bronson Alcott

If the ancients left us ideas, to our credit be it spoken that we moderns are building houses for them.
Amos Bronson Alcott

Time is but the measure of the difficulty of a conception. Pure thought has scarcely any need of time, since it perceives the two ends of an idea almost at the same moment.
Henri-Frederic Amiel

A half-baked idea is okay as long as it's in the oven.
Anon

Ideas, as distinguished from events, are never unprecedented.
Hannah Arendt

It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
Aristotle

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.
Mary Kay Ash

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
Charles Babbage

Our land is not more the recipient of the men of all countries than of their ideas.
George Bancroft

Ideas once planted in the brain fructify, and bear their harvest more or less bountiful and rich as they are fertilized by thought.
Cyrus Augustus Bartol

Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of.
Edward L. Bernays

Americans of good faith across the political spectrum know that suppression and intimidation of political diversity is a dangerous trend. Ideas must be challenged in the course of free and open discussion for democracy to survive.
Richard Bey

Ideas are, like matter, infinitely divisible. It is not given to us to get down, so to speak, to their final atoms, but to their molecular groupings the way is never ending, and the progress infinitely delightful and profitable.
Christian Nestell Bovee

One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.
Elizabeth Bowen

An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better.
Samuel Butler

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
John Cage

There is absolutely no criterion for truth. For reason, senses, ideas, or whatever else may exist are all deceptive.
Carneades

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them.
Emile Chartier

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
Sir Barnett Cocks

The people who oppose your ideas are inevitably those who represent the established order that your ideas will upset.
Anthony D'Angelo

Knowledge is not a commodity to be traded between expert and novice. Rather, it is a construction of ideas negotiated by the learner in a social setting.
Rosamar Garcia

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.
Jack Handey

The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world.
Eric Hoffer

Ideas can no more flow backward than can a river.
Victor Hugo

College isn't the place to go for ideas.
Helen Keller

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.
Fran Lebowitz

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

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
Abraham Lincoln

All ideas come from sensation or reflection.--Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas; how comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Experience; in that all our knowledge is founded, and from that it ultimately derives itself. Our observation, employed either about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds, perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking. These two are the fountains of knowledge, from whence all the ideas we have, or can naturally have, do spring.
John Locke

An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe it.
Don Marquis

Others go to bed with their mistresses; I with my ideas.
José Marti

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
H. L. Mencken

When I am...traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.
Alfred Nobel

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
David M. Ogilvy

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
Linus Pauling

A new public opinion must be created privately and unobtrusively. The existing one is maintained by the press, by propaganda, by organization, and by financial and other influences which are at its disposal. The unnatural way of spreading ideas must be opposed by the natural one, which goes from man to man and relies solely on the truth of the thoughts and the hearer's receptiveness for new truth.
Albert Schweitzer

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.
Josef Stalin

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