Curious Quotations


  • "Now, my own suspicion is not only that the Universe is queerer than we suppose, but queerer that we can suppose...I suspect that there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy."
    - J. B. S. Haldane (Scottish methematical biologist. 1892-1964), Possible Worlds and other Essays (1927).
  • "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason for supposing that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."
    - J. B. S. Haldane (Scottish mathematical biologist. 1892–1964), Possible Worlds (1927).
  • "Cricket is the only game where you are playing against eleven of the other side and ten of your own."
    - G.H. Hardy (British mathematician. 1877–1947.), A Mathematician's Apology (1940).
  • "A science is said to be useful if its developement tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruciton of human life."
    - G.H. Hardy , written in 1915.
  • "My grandfather, a retired mathematics teacher living alone at the age of 90, used to complain that there was a 100 per cent increase in the washing-up when I came to visit, but only a 50 per cent reduction when I left."
    - Dr Simon Hayhoe in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, February 2003.
  • "From history we learn that we have not learnt from history."
    - Georg Hegel (German philosopher. 1770–1831)
  • Only one of my students has ever understood me… and even he got it wrong.
    - Misattributed to Georg Hegel.
    These are often quoted as Hegel's dying words but there is no evidence that he actually spoke them. It seems more likely that they made up by his followers after his death.
  • "What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it."
    - Georg Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of History, 1832.
  • "The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking."
    - Martin Heidegger (German philosopher. 1889–1976), What is Called Thinking? (Was heisst Denken?), 1954. Originally a series of lectures 1951–52. English translation published 1968.
  • , as translated by Fred D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray (1968)
  • "There was only one catch and that was Catch 22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind . . . Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to."
    - Joseph Heller (US novelist. 1923– ), Catch 22
  • "A writer’s job is to tell the truth. His standard of fidelity to the truth should be so high that his invention, out of his experience, should produce a truer account than anything factual can be."
    - Ernest Hemmingway (US novelist. 1899–1961), introduction to Men at War.
  • Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five.
    - Joel Hildebrand (American Professor of Chemistry. 1881–1983)
  • The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."
    - Emperor Hirohito (124th Emperor of Japan from 1926. 1901–1989), announcing Japan's surrender on 15 August 1945.
  • "The broad mass of a nation ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one."
    - Adolf Hitler (German dictator. 1889–1945), Mein Kampf, 1925.
  • "Even when I had little money I always had enough to keep working."
    - David Hockney (British artist. 1937–), Hockney (a film by Randall Wright), 2014.
  • "The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness."
    - Eric Hoffer (Self-educated US philosophical writer. 1902–1983)
  • "We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand."
    - Eric Hoffer
  • People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
    - Eric Hoffer
  • Hofstadter's Law:
    "It always takes longer than you think even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account."
    - Douglas Hofstadter (US computer scientist and philosopher. 1945– ), Gφdel, Escher, Bach, ch. 5, 1979.
  • A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
    - Bob Hope (1903–2003)
  • "An economist is a man who knows 364 ways of making love, but doesn't know any women."
    - Geoffrey Howe (UK politician. 1926-) Said in response to a letter in the Times, signed by 364 economists, crtiticising his decision to raise taxes by £4 billion in the 1981 budget when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • I'm not a paranoid, deranged Millionaire God dammit. I'm a Billionaire!
    - Howard Hughes (US industrialist, aviator and film producer. 1905–1976) attributed.
  • "Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad."
    - Victor Hugo (French poet, dramatist, and novelist. 1802–85)
  • "A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he like."
    - Thomas Henry Huxley (English biologist and educator. 1825–95)

To read more curious quotations, please select a letter from the alphabet below.

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