The More I know the Less I Know

One of my favorite quotes is The more I know the less I know.

In my quest for further knowledge, I sought to find the origination of this quote.  Here is what my research shows so far…..

This quote may have evolved from Socrates, the Greek Philosopher (469BC – 399BC) who was stated as saying I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance in Lives of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius (ca. A.D. 225-250).  His work which was in 10 volumes written in Greek, was discussed by a 14Th century English/French philosopher , Burlaeus (Walter Burley), Master of Arts at Oxford by 1301 and Master of Theology at Paris by 1324 in his De vita et moribus philosophorum (The Life and Character of Philosophers and Poets (1324). It is currently believed the text of Diogenes seems to have been much fuller than that which we now possess.

Simon Blackburn, eminent professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, author of The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, (page 106) 1994, Oxford University Press gives an opinion by Nietzche (The German Musician and Philosopher) on Diogenes.  “Nietzsche, himself a considerable classicist, wrote of Diogenes that he is ‘by accident the clumsy watchman guarding treasure whose value he does not know’.

You can acquire either or both of the translated book – Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Volume I, Books I – V, Volume II, Books VI – X,   published by Loeb Classical Library translated by R D. Hicks through Amazon or obtain from many libraries.  The book  was originally published January 1, 1925. Apparently there is also an 1972 re-edition with a forward by Herbert S. Long. The Loeb Classical Library of Books are now available through Harvard University Press. Visit the Harvard University Press website for more info on this interesting concept.

Now that I have taken you on this little journey, I hope you get inspired to learn more because we will never know it all.

That’s All I Know for today…..

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1 Comment

Filed under Books to Read, Knowledge, Productivity, Terms

One response to “The More I know the Less I Know

  1. Pingback: Thinking about More or Less « Terry's thinking!

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