Curiosity

Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and many animal species.

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  • Each window like a pill'ry appears,
    With heads thrust through nail'd by the ears.
  • Energy and curiosity are the lifeblood of universities; the desire to find out, to uncover, to dig deeper, to puzzle out obscurities, is the spirit of the university, and it is a channelling of that unresting curiosity that holds mankind together.
  • So blind is the curiosity by which mortals are possessed, that they often conduct their minds along unexplored routes, having no reason to hope for success, but merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the truth they seek lies there.
  • Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
    • Walt Disney, As quoted in the ending credits of the movie Meet the Robinsons (2007)
  • The poorest of the sex have still an itch
    To know their fortunes, equal to the rich.
    The dairy-maid inquires, if she shall take
    The trusty tailor, and the cook forsake.
  • The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.
    • Albert Einstein, Statement to William Miller, as quoted in LIFE magazine (2 May 1955)
  • Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs.
  • Percunctatorem fugito, nam garrulus idem est.
    • Shun the inquisitive person, for he is also a talker.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 18. 69.
  • Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
  • Rise up, rise up, Xarifa! lay your golden cushion down;
    Rise up! come to the window, and gaze with all the town!
  • The basic drive behind real philosophy is curiosity about the world, not interest in the writings of philosophers. Each of us emerges from the preconsciousness of babyhood and simply finds himself here, in it, in the world. That experience alone astonishes some people. What is all this — what is the world? And what are we? From the beginning of humanity some have been under a compulsion to ask these questions, and have felt a craving for the answers. This is what is really meant by any such phrase as "mankind's need for metaphysics."
    • Bryan Magee, Confessions of a Philosopher : A Journey Through Western Philosophy (1997), p. 232
  • I saw and heard, for we sometimes,
    Who dwell this wild, constrained by want, come forth
    To town or village nigh, nighest is far,
    Where aught we hear, and curious are to hear,
    What happens new; fame also finds us out.
  • Platon estime qu'il y ait quelque vice d'impiété à trop curieusement s'enquerir de Dieu et du monde.
    • Plato holds that there is some vice of impiety in enquiring too curiously about God and the world.
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book II, Chapter XII.
  • Zaccheus, he
    Did climb the tree,
    His Lord to see.
    • New England Primer (1814).
  • Curiosité n'est que vanité. Le plus souvent, on ne veut savoir que pour en parler.
    • Translation: Curiosity is nothing more than vanity. More often than not we only seek knowledge to show it off.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 152. (1669)
  • Incitantur enim homines ad agnoscenda quæ differuntur.
    • Our inquisitive disposition is excited by having its gratification deferred.
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistles, IX. 27.
  • I have perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness.
  • Curiosity killed the cat

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Last modified on 12 April 2014, at 11:09