Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself.
The sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.
It is in the gift for employing all the vicissitudes of life to one's own advantage and to that of one's craft that a large part of genius consists.
Affectation is a very good word when someone does not wish to confess to what he would none the less like to believe of himself.
One is rarely an impulsive innovator after the age of sixty, but one can still be a very fine orderly and inventive thinker. One rarely procreates children at that age, but one is all the more skilled at educating those who have already been procreated, and education is procreation of another kind.
To receive applause for works which do not demand all our powers hinders our advance towards a perfecting of our spirit. It usually means that thereafter we stand still.
Actual aristocracy cannot be abolished by any law: all the law can do is decree how it is to be imparted and who is to acquire it.
Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.
Much reading has brought upon us a learned barbarism.
First we have to believe, and then we believe.
With most people disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing.
Many things about our bodies would not seem to us so filthy and obscene if we did not have the idea of nobility in our heads.
A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.
Memorable Quotations from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
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German Writers of the Past (Kindle Book)
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