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Richard Whately Quotes


An English logician, economist, and theologian who also served as Anglican Archbishop of Dublin.
(1787 - 1863)

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"A little learning is a dangerous thing," and yet it is what all must attain before they can arrive at great learning; it is the utmost acquisition of those who know the most in comparison of what they do not know.
[Learning]
 

"Honesty is the best policy"; but he who acts only on that principle is not an honest man. - No one is habitually guided by it in practice. - An honest man is always before it, and a knave is generally behind it.
[Honesty]
 

A confident expectation that no argument will be adduced that will change our opinions is very different from a resolution that none ever shall. We may print but not stereotype our opinions.
[Opinion]
 

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's.
[Helping Other People]
 

A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them fortune.
 

All frauds, like the wall daubed with untempered mortar, with which men think to buttress up an edifice, always tend to the decay of what they are devised to support.
 

All gaming, since it implies a desire to profit at the expense of others, involves a breach of the tenth commandment.
[Gambling]
 

All men wish to have truth on their side; but few to be on the side of truth.
 

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?'
[Truth]
 

As the flower is before the fruit, so is faith before good works.
[Faith]
 

Curiosity is as much the parent of attention, as attention is of memory.
[Attention]
 

Do you want to know the man against whom you have most reason to guard yourself? Your looking-glass will give you a very fair likeness of his face.
 

Eloquence is relative. - One can no more pronounce on the eloquence of any composition, than on the wholesomeness of a medicine without knowing for whom it is intended.
[Eloquence]
 

Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law, is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter from transgression.
[Law]
 

Everyone wishes to have truth on his side, but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth.
[Truth]
 

Falsehood, like poison, will generally be rejected when administered alone; but when blended with wholesome ingredients, may be swallowed unperceived.
[Falsehood]
 

Falsehood, like the dry rot, flourishes the more in proportion as air and light are excluded.
[Falsehood]
 

Fancy, when once brought into religion, knows not where to stop. - it is like one of those fiends in old stories which any one could raise, but which, when raised, could never be kept within the magic circle.
 

Half the truth will very often amount to absolute falsehood.
[Error]
 

Happiness is no laughing matter.
 


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