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Knowledge is what is known; the confident understanding of a subject, potentially with the ability to use it for a specific purpose.


Alphabetized by author or work.
  • Knowledge is discovered, when ignorance is lost.
    • Jason F. Klein, "As life is written", Sonoma State University (1992)
  • Knowledge is good.
  • Knowledge is power.
    • Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacræ [Sacred Meditations] (1597) "De Hæresibus" [Of Heresies]
  • Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
  • A man who knows how little he knows is well, a man who knows how much he knows is sick.
  • You can't manage knowledge — nobody can. What you can do is to manage the environment in which knowledge can be created, discovered, captured, shared, distilled, validated, transferred, adopted, adapted and applied.
    • Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell, Learning to Fly - Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations (2005), Chapter 2, pages 24-25.
  • The Master said, "Yu, shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it; — this is knowledge."
    • Confucius in The Analects 2:17, as translated by Arthur Waley
    • Variant translation: "Yu, shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know, what you don't know, you don't know. This is knowledge."
  • As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.
    • Albert Einstein as quoted in Paper Prototyping : The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces (2003) by Carolyn Snyder
    • The knowledge that we have can be analogous to a circle. Inside the circle is what we know and what we call knowledge; outside the circle is what we don't know and need to explore. As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it. So the more we know, the more we feel that we don't know.
      • Tian Hao, stating an idea he says had inspired him since childhood, and attributes to Albert Einstein, in Electrorheological Fluids : The Non-aqueous Suspensions (2005), Introduction (15 July 2005), p. v
  • As we know, There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know, there are known unknowns, that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we do not know we do not know.
  • I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
    • Albert Einstein, in "What Life Means to Einstein : An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck" in The Saturday Evening Post (26 October 1929)
    • Variant: Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
  • If a man empties his purse into his head no man can take it from him. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
    • Ben Franklin, as quoted in Exercises in English Grammar (1909) by M. A. Morse
  • The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
    • B.B. King, quoted outside the Main Library in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, in The Charlotte Observer (5 October 1997) Page 2D
  • Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking makes what we read ours.
    • John Locke, Of the Conduct of the Understanding (1706)
  • I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    • Robert McCloskey, on remarks he made about the Vietnam War as quoted in TV Guide (31 March 1984)
  • Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops.
  • How can the unknown merit reverence? In other words how can you revere that of which you are ignorant? At the same time, it would be ridiculous to propose that what we know merits reverence. What we know merits any one of a number of things, but it stands to reason reverence isn't one of them. In other words, apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?
    • Harold Pinter in The Homecoming (1966), Lenny to Teddy in Act Two
  • The more we know, the easier it becomes to admit what we don't know.
  • All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten.
  • For all the talk you hear about knowledge being such a wonderful thing, instinct is worth forty of it for real unerringness.
  • We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.
  • Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.


  • Information is random and miscellaneous, but knowledge is orderly and cumulative.
  • Knowledge changes you more than any medication can.
  • The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
  • A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
  • The more you know, the more you realise that you know nothing.
  • Sometimes questions are more important than answers.

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