Quotes with facts
The historian must not try to know what is truth, if he values his honesty: for if he cares for his truths, he is certain to falsify his facts.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.
I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.
Since the Creator had made the facts of the after-life inaccessible to man, He must not have required that man understand death in order to live fruitfully.
The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson (1948)
False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutory pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path toward errors is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.
The Descent of Man
Commerce is a game of skill, which every man cannot play, which few men can play well. The right merchant is one who has the just average of faculties we call common sense; a man of a strong affinity for facts, who makes up his decision on what he has seen. He is thoroughly persuaded of the truths of arithmetic. There is always a reason, in the man, for his good or bad fortune, and so, in making money. Men talk as if there were some magic about this, and believe in magic, in all parts of life. He knows, that all goes on the old road, pound for pound, cent for cent, — for every effect a perfect cause, — and that good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.
The Conduct of Life (1860)
I have found [public relations] to be the craft of arranging truths so that people will like you. Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by the sturdy blooms.
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
All great historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice ... the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.
All genuine progress results from finding new facts. No law can be passed to make an acre yield three hundred bushels. God has already established the laws. It is four us to discover them, and to learn the facts by which we can obey them.
If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how then with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books should be forbid.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But everyone is not entitled to their own facts.
I had long known that it was impossible for a journalist to convey 100 percent of the truth, but I didn't realize to what extent the truth is distorted, both by the intentions of the journalist and by neglect. I don't mean just the interpretations of what happened; I also mean the facts. The reporting about Sharon and the murders was virtually criminal. Reading the papers, I could not believe my eyes. I could not believe my eyes! They blamed the victims for their own murders. I really despise the press. I didn't always. The press made me despise it.
Playboy interview, 1971
The talent of historians lies in their creating a true ensemble out of facts which are but half-true.
It isn't that you subordinate your ideas to the force of the facts in autobiography but that you construct a sequence of stories to bind up the facts with a persuasive hypothesis that unravels your history's meaning.
The Facts, opening letter to Zuckerman (1988)
Since the masses are always eager to believe something, for their benefit nothing is so easy to arrange as facts.
Facts are an historian’s stock in trade....I love the facts of history, but not for their own sake. I love them as clues of something beyond them--as clues to the nature and meaning of the mysterious universe in which every human being awakes to consciousness.
It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts.