red letters as if ink-stamped spelling FACT

A fact is information that is known to be true or has been proven to be true. Facts are in contrast to interpretation or opinion, or even myths, fictions, and falsehoods. Journalists have used “who, what, when, where, why, and how” as a quick summary of the facts that belong in any news story.

These quotations explore facts and opinions about … facts.

I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values.

— Albert Einstein

Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

— Bernard M. Baruch

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.

— Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (attributed)

In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.

— David Hume

To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There are no facts, only interpretations.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.

— Jules Verne

The historian should be fearless and incorruptible; a man of independence, loving frankness and truth; one who, as the poet says, calls a fig a fig and a spade a spade. He should yield to neither hatred nor affection, but should be unsparing and unpitying. He should be neither shy nor deprecating, but an impartial judge, giving each side all it deserves but no more. He should know in his writings no country and no city; he should bow to no authority and acknowledge no king. He should never consider what this or that man will think, but should state the facts as they really occurred.

— Lucian, How History Should Be Written

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.

— Martin Fischer

Rightly understood, a myth is an effort to tell truths that cannot be told with mere facts or known by the senses and the mind alone, truths that take form only in that integrative place called the heart.

— Parker J. Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

Sort out what is opinion and what is fact; then you can see intelligently. The more clearly you can see, the more powerful your actions will be.

— Pema Chödrön

If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.

— Rachel Carson

If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain…. In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.

— Richard Feynman

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — myth is more potent than history — dreams are more powerful than facts — hope always triumphs over experience — laughter is the cure for grief — love is stronger than death.

— Robert Fulghum

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever or whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.

— Thomas H. Huxley

Sit down before facts like a child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

The people cannot be all, and always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.

— Thomas Jefferson

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

— Will Rogers

New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.

— William James
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