Observation Quotes

We have collected and put the best observation quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity.

Observation is keenly watching. You can see a lot through observation. Observation leads to a lot of wisdom and to gain an experience and expertise, a lot of observation is essential. Observation must be done to the core because an insufficient observation will only prove to be disastrous as it will lead to many errors and wrong conclusions. See Mushahada (observation)

Magnifier Newspaper History Glass Optics


Observation is a passive science, experimentation is an active science. – Claude Bernard

Observation – activity of both eyes and ears. – Horace Mann

Observation always involves theory. – Edwin Powell Hubble

Observation and experiment for gathering material, induction and deduction for elaborating it: these are are only good intellectual tools. – Francis Bacon

Observation and study are necessary to achieve mastery of light and form. – Andrew Loomis

Observation and thinking are the two points of departure for all the spiritual striving of man, insofar as he is conscious of such striving. The workings of common sense, as well as the most complicated scientific researches, rest on these two fundamental pillars of our spirit. – Rudolf Steiner

Observation capitalizes inspiration. – Alex Faickney Osborn

Observation is a passive science, experimentation an active science. – Claude Bernard

Observation is an old man’s memory. – Jonathan Swift

Observation is awakening to revelation of life! – George Prime

Observation is like a muscle. It grows stronger with use and atrophies without use. Exercise your observation muscle and you will become a more powerful decoder of the world around you. – Joe Navarro

Observation is the most enduring of the pleasures of life. – George Meredith

Observation more than books and experience more than persons, are the prime educators. – Amos Bronson Alcott

Observation, not old age, brings wisdom. – Publilius Syrus

Observation, very general and wide-spread, has shown that small children are endowed with a special psychic nature. This shows us a new way of imparting education! – Maria Montessori

Observations always involve theory. – Edwin Powell Hubble

Observations indicate that the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. It will expand forever, getting emptier and darker. – Stephen Hawking

Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it. – Pascual Jordan

Observe ‘what is’ with undivided awareness. – Bruce Lee

Observe, and in that observation there is neither the observer nor the observed – there is only observation taking place. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

… separation of the observer from the phenomenon to be observed is no longer possible. – Werner Heisenberg

A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it. – Frederick Douglass

A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement. – Erwin Schrodinger

A careful observation of Nature will disclose pleasantries of superb irony. She has for instance placed toads close to flowers. – Honore de Balzac

A few observation and much reasoning lead to error; many observations and a little reasoning to truth. – Alexis Carrel

A few observations and much reasoning lead to error; many observations and a little reasoning lead to truth. – Alexis Carrel

A growing body of clinical observation has pointed to the conclusion that the family therapy must be oriented to the family as a whole. – Virginia Satir

A heightened sense of the observation of nature is one of the chief delights that have come to me through trying to paint. – Winston Churchill

A journey of observation must leave as much as possible to chance. Random movement is the best plan for maximum observation. – Tahir Shah

A paradox is a seeming contradiction, always demanding a change on the side of the observer. If we look at almost all things honestly we see everything has a character of paradox to it. Everything, including ourselves. – Richard Rohr

A rocket is an experiment; a star is an observation. – Jose Bergamin

A single observation that is inconsistent with some generalization points to the falsehood of the generalization, and thereby ‘points to itself’. – Ian Hacking

A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation. – Joseph Addison

Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking. – Wallace Stevens

All ideas come about through some sort of observation. It sparks an attitude; some object or emotion causes a reaction in the other person. – Graham Chapman

All knowledge that is not the real product of observation, or of consequences deduced from observation, is entirely groundless and illusory. – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

All observations of life are harsh, because life is. I lament that fact, but I cannot change it. – Margaret Atwood

All of us are watchers – of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway – but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing. – Peter M. Leschak

All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, all observation is also invention. – Rudolf Arnheim

All through Latin America, there’s sharp condemnation of the criminal atrocities of Sept. 11. But it’s qualified by the observation that although these are horrible atrocities, they are not unfamiliar. – Noam Chomsky

Allow me to congratulate you on your very astute powers of observation. – Kate DiCamillo

Almost any mode of observation will be successful at last, for what is most wanted is method. – Henry David Thoreau

An amazing observation: it is precisely for feelings that one needs time, not for thought. … Feelings, obviously, are more demanding than thought. – Marina Tsvetaeva

Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others. – Edward Abbey

Art demands constant observation. – Vincent van Gogh

Based on observations of the policies of my own government, I viewed this action as an acceptable option. – Timothy McVeigh

But I make the observation that no one of us would do things exactly alike. – David Dinkins

But what could I do? Be stupid for a while? I wasn’t sure I knew how, even after so many years of careful observation. – Jeff Lindsay

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By no amount of reasoning can we altogether eliminate all contingency from our world. Moreover, pure speculation alone will not enable us to get a determinate picture of the existing world. We must eliminate some of the conflicting possibilities, and this can be brought about only by experiment and observation. – Morris Raphael Cohen

Certain periods in history suddenly lift humanity to an observation point where a clear light falls upon a world previously dark. – Anne Sullivan

Correct observation followed by meticulous deduction and the precise visualization of goals is vital to the success of any enterprise. – Terry Pratchett

Criticism is not construction, it is observation. – George William Curtis

Direct observation of the luminous essence of nature is for me indispensable. – Robert Delaunay

Discovery originates out of unusual observations that curiosity demands to understand. – Steven Magee

Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager. – Susan Sontag

Do you want me to apologize after every joke? If it doesn’t offend somebody it’s probably not a joke. It’s probably an observation that’s not funny. It’s gotta offend somebody somewhere. – Jeff Ross

Drawing teaches habits of close observation that will always be useful. – Susanna Clarke

Every commonplace or trite observation is not a truism. – Charles Lamb

Everyone has a bad hair day; the trick is not to have one on picture day. – Mark R. Woodward

Experiment is fundamentally only induced observation. – Claude Bernard

Experimental observations are only experience carefully planned in advance, and designed to form a secure basis of new knowledge. – Ronald Fisher

Extraordinary observations require extraordinary evidence to make them believable. – Carl Sagan

Extreme observation serves artists very well – perhaps it is the best teacher. – Cynde Roof

Facts have to be discovered by observation, not by reasoning. – Bertrand Russell

From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review. – Isaac Asimov

From my numerous observations, I conclude that these tubercle bacilli occur in all tuberculous disorders, and that they are distinguishable from all other microorganisms. – Robert Koch

From the standpoint of observation, then, we must regard it as a highly probable hypothesis that the beginnings of the mental life date from as far back as the beginnings of life at large. – Wilhelm Wundt

Genius is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Growing up, I wasn’t the most vocal kid in the world. I feel like I learned through observation, and usually, when you’re watching things, you’re not speaking. That sort of metastasized in a way that I began to participate less and less in the world. – Barry Jenkins

Guantanamo Bay can be and has been visited repeatedly by the International Red Cross and other human-rights groups for observation in an open, regular, and transparent manner. Detainees receive the same medical care as the guard force and are able to participate in their daily prayer sessions. – Tom Cotton

Healthy scepticism is the basis of all accurate observation. – Arthur Conan Doyle

Hollywood is a place where they place you under contract instead of under observation. – Walter Winchell

Hope clouds observation. – Frank Herbert

How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world. – Franz Kafka

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. – Christopher Isherwood

I am not accustomed to saying anything with certainty after only one or two observations. – Andreas Vesalius

I belong to those theoreticians who know by direct observation what it means to make a measurement. Methinks it were better if there were more of them. – Erwin Schrodinger

I blog; therefore, I am. – Mark R. Woodward

I can speak of slavery only so far as it came under my own observation – only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. – Solomon Northup

I have learned the truth of the observation that the more one approaches great men the more one finds that they are men. – Bernard Baruch

I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business. – Edmund Burke

I love astute observations and really great wordplay. I love the way that Louis C.K. observes life, and I love the way Patton Oswalt talks about it. – Greg Behrendt

I made a promise to keep a watch over myself, to remain master of myself, so that I might become a sure observer. – Paul Gauguin

I’m really more prolific than most stand-ups. My act changes. I do fold in new experiences, new observations, whatever you want to call it. – Paula Poundstone

If a writer stops observing, he is finished. – Ernest Hemingway

If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes. – Pablo Picasso

If there’s one observation that rings true in today’s changing world, it is that freedom and peace go hand in hand. – Ronald Reagan

If you can’t think of an observation that could disprove a theory, that theory simply isn’t scientific. – Jerry A. Coyne

If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk. – Robert Baden-Powell

If you were to build a wall from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, you would still have to back that wall up with patrolling by human beings, sensors, observation devices. – John F. Kelly

Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of the Middle Way. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Imagination is really dependent on memory and observation, these things that we think of as part of nonfiction writing, actually. – Elif Batuman

In dealing with the China problem, the British and American side, which had particularly strong interests in China, should have based its judgments about the origins of the problem on direct observation of the actual circumstances at the time. – Hideki Tojo

In natural science the principles of truth ought to be confirmed by observation. – Carl Linnaeus

In one word, to draw the rule from experience, one must generalize; this is a necessity that imposes itself on the most circumspect observer. – Henri Poincare

In the mere observation of yourself, you begin the process of healing and transformation. – Deepak Chopra

In the philosophic sense, observation shows and experiment teaches. – Claude Bernard

Is there an observation which is not the instrument of thought? – Jiddu Krishnamurti

It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste. – Henry Ford

It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody. – Spike Lee

It has been my observation that the happiest of people, the vibrant doers of the world, are almost always those who are using – who are putting into play, calling upon, depending upon-the greatest number of their God-given talents and capabilities. – John Glenn

It is a common observation that any fool can get money; but they are not wise that think so. – Charles Caleb Colton

It is a common observation, that the more solicitous any people are about dress, the more effeminate they are. – Karl Philipp Moritz

It is a great pity but tis certain from every day’s observation of man, that he may be set on fire like a candle, at either end provided there is a sufficient wick standing out. – Laurence Sterne

It is a lamentable observation that because of the way our laws are skewed toward the plaintiff, London has become the libel capital of the world. – Richard Dawkins

It is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent because the parts of that immovable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses. – Isaac Newton

It is inherent in any definition of science that statements that cannot be checked by observation are not really saying anything or at least they are not science. – George Gaylord Simpson

It is just observation that the people commonly intend the Public Good. – Alexander Hamilton

It is my observations, though, that happiness limits the amount of suffering one is willing to inflict upon others. – Jacqueline Carey

It is necessary to look at the results of observation objectively, because you, the experimenter, might like one result better than another. – Richard P. Feynman

It is surely a matter of common observation that a man who knows no one thing intimately has no views worth hearing on things in general. The farmer philosophizes in terms of crops, soils, markets, and implements, the mechanic generalizes his experiences of wood and iron, the seaman reaches similar conclusions by his own special road; and if the scholar keeps pace with these it must be by an equally virile productivity. – Charles Horton Cooley

It is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit of life. – Samuel Smiles

It is the merest truism, evident at once to unsophisticated observation, that mathematics is a human invention. – Percy Williams Bridgman

It is what you choose not to observe in your life that controls your life. – Lynn Andrews

It’s a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things. – Anne Sullivan

It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly. – Claude Monet

I’m a good teacher and am great at observation and picking out what’s wrong and fixing it. – Abby Lee Miller

I’m an only child, so I don’t come from a big family. But it has been my observation from friends who do come from big families that usually, when you have a family fight, on the back end you come out better and stronger for it. – Ayanna Pressley

Kafka often describes himself as a bloodless figure: a human being who doesn’t really participate in the life of his fellow human beings, someone who doesn’t actually live in the true sense of the word, but who consists rather of words and literature. In my view, that is, however, only half true. In a roundabout way through literature, which presupposes empathy and exact observation, he immerses himself again in the life of society; in a certain sense he comes back to it. – Reiner Stach

Knowledge is observation and is given to those who would look. – L. Ron Hubbard

Knowledge will not always take the place of simple observation. – Arnold Lobel

Let observation with extended observation observe extensively. – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Look slowly and hard at something subtle and small. – Philip Pearlstein

Mindfulness is observing and asking why. Millions saw the apple fall but Newton asked why. – Amit Ray

Modern science is predicated on ‘truths’ verified through accurate observation and measurements of physical world phenomena. – Bruce Lipton

Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning – an endeavor to find our place on a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have run, but without any observation of the heavenly bodies. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Much of my work in this period was concerned with exploring the logic of economic models, but also with attempting to reconcile the models with every day observation. – Joseph Stiglitz

My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty… it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein. – George Washington

My observation is that women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership. – James Dobson

My paintings and comedy have a lot in common. They are both improvisations based on observation. – Jonathan Winters

Naturalists, like poets, are born and then made only by years of painstaking observation. – John Burroughs

Nothing comes out more clearly in astronomical observations than the immense activity of the universe. – Maria Mitchell

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it ‘creative observation. – William S. Burroughs

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life. – Marcus Aurelius

Nothing in Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it and it is true according to your observation. – L. Ron Hubbard

Of course as children, we all, in all cultures and societies, learn behavior from observation, imitation, and encouragement of various kinds. So by the suggestion made, we all ‘pretend’ most of the time. – Gary Gygax

One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind. – Alphonse Bertillon

One can state, without exaggeration, that the observation of and the search for similarities and differences are the basis of all human knowledge. – Alfred Nobel

One finds the truth by making a hypothesis and comparing observations with the hypothesis. – David Douglass

One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation. – Walter Scott

One man’s observation is another man’s closed book or flight of fancy. – Willard Van Orman Quine

Open up a few corpses: you will dissipate at once the darkness that observation alone could not dissipate. – Marie Francois Xavier Bichat

Opinions must not be reactionary, they are built with research and intricately crafted by keen observation. – Aysha Taryam

Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common. – Denis Diderot

Passion makes the best observations and the sorriest conclusions. – Jean Paul

Paying attention to the world around you will help you develop the extraordinary capacity to look at mundane things and see the miraculous. – Michael Michalko

People of great ability do not emerge, as a rule, from the happiest background. So far as my own observation goes, I would conclude that ability, although hereditary, is improved by an early measure of adversity and improved again by a later measure of success. – C. Northcote Parkinson

People often assume that the same approach will work for everyone, that the same habits will work for everyone, and that everyone has the same aptitude and appetite for forming habits, but from my observation, that’s not true. – Gretchen Rubin

People who get into animation tend to be kids. We don’t have to grow up. But also, animators are great observers, and there’s this childlike wonder and interest in the world, the observation of little things that happen in life. – John Lasseter

People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument. – Will Rogers

Perceptual reality is different for different species. In certain species it is a mode of observation, so what we call scientific fact is actually not ultimate truth, it is perceptual experience, and it’s a mode of observation. – Deepak Chopra

Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology. – Ken Rockwell

Providing – that’s not love. Being there – that’s more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They’re crying out for attention; they’re hurting for love. I’m not being judgmental – I’m just making an observation. They’re crying out for the love that maybe they didn’t get at home, and they got everything. – Jay-Z

Reality gets created through acts of observation. – Fred Alan Wolf

Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. – Robert Green Ingersoll

Rhetoric and dialectics can’t change what I have learned from observation and experience. – J. Paul Getty

Ruskin believed that everyone had visual as well as verbal capacities that needed to be developed in order to become a complete human being, and that the apprehension of truth depended on the power of observation. – Robert Hewison

Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. – Thomas Huxley

Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions. – Vera Rubin

Seeing artistically does not happen automatically. We must constantly develop our powers of observation. – Eugene Delacroix

Seeing is the consequence of optics; observing is the consequence of imaginative contemplation. – Ian Semple

Self-observation is the first step of inner unfolding. – Amit Ray

She wrote to him fairly regularly, from a paradise of triple exclamation points and inaccurate observations. – J. D. Salinger

Sometimes it is the quiet observer who sees the most. – Kathryn L. Nelson

Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation. – Max Euwe

Surely it is time to examine into the meaning of words and the nature of things, and to arrive at simple facts, not received upon the dictum of learned authorities, but upon attentive personal observation of what is passing around us. – Frances Wright

Tax dollars intended for science education must not be used to teach creationism as any sort of real explanation of nature, because any observation or process of inference about our origin and the nature of the universe disproves creationism in every respect. – Bill Nye

Tell a man that he is putting on a stage performance in order to get what he wants, and he will irritably reject your observation. Why? Because most people go through life as cunning actors with a permanent horror of getting found out. – Vernon Howard

That observation which is called knowledge of the world will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good. – Samuel Johnson

That the divided but contiguous particles of bodies may be separated from one another is a matter of observation; and, in the particles that remain undivided, our minds are able to distinguish yet lesser parts, as is mathematically demonstrated. – Isaac Newton

The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected. – Henry David Thoreau

The attitude of silent observation is the very foundation of yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The child does not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. – John Holt

The discrepancy between what was expected and what has been observed has grown over the years, and we’re straining harder and harder to fill the gap. – Jeremiah P. Ostriker

The essence of a quote is the compression of a mass of thought and observation into a single saying. – John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn

The faculty of creating is never given to us all by itself. It always goes hand in hand with the gift of observation. – Igor Stravinsky

The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision. – Bruce Barton

The magnet’s name the observing Grecians drew. From the magnetic region where it grew. – William Gilbert

The manner in which things exist and take place, constitutes what is called the nature of things; and a careful observation of the nature of things is the sole foundation of all truth. – Jean-Baptiste Say

The most satisfying and most basic art experience is looking – pure, unmediated observation and sensation. – Roy Thurston

The observation of nature is part of an artist’s life. – Henry Moore

The observation of nature is part of an artist’s life, it enlarges his form and knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration. – Henry Moore

The observation of others is coloured by our inability to observe ourselves impartially. We can never be impartial about anything until we can be impartial about our own organism. – Alfred Richard Orage

The observer listens to nature: the experimenter questions and forces her to reveal herself. – Georges Cuvier

The only way I could work properly was by using the absolute maximum of observation and concentration that I could possible muster. – Lucian Freud

The only way we can ever get through to the truth is by finding out what we are not. We do that by looking, by observation. – Barry Long

The person who can learn by observation can create his own culture. – Santosh Kalwar

The philosophical question before us is, when we make an observation of our track in the past, does the result of our observation become real in the same sense that the final state would be defined if an outside observer were to make the observation? – Richard P. Feynman

The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men – the man he is and the man he wants to be. – William Feather

The plan of salvation as stated in the Bible can be seen through observation of the universe around us. – Hugh Ross

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. – George Bernard Shaw

The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation. – Walter Pater

The stories are not autobiographical, but they’re personal in that way. I seem to know only the things that I’ve learned. Probably some things through observation, but what I feel I know surely is personal. – Alice Munro

The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation. – Adam Smith

The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation, not overturning it. – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

The ultimate court of appeal is observation and experiment… not authority. – Thomas Huxley

The whole value of science consists in the power which it confers upon us of applying to one object the knowledge acquired from like objects; and it is only so far, therefore, as we can discover and register resemblances that we can turn our observations to account. – William Stanley Jevons

The wild Indian power of escaping observation, even where there is little or no cover to hide in, was probably slowly acquired in hard hunting and fighting lessons while trying to approach game, take enemies by surprise, or get safely away when compelled to retreat. – John Muir

Theories crumble, but good observations never fade. – Harlow Shapley

There are few defects in our nature so glaring as not to be veiled from observation by politeness and good-breeding. – StanisÅ‚aw I LeszczyÅ„ski

There are no secrets, no formulas. It’s just a matter of looking carefully. – Colin Poole

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. – Will Rogers

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge… observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. – Denis Diderot

There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic: a man’s own observation what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of is the best physic to preserve health. – Francis Bacon

There is an overwhelming mass of authentic evidence which can be cited as: direct observation, indirect observation, and supporting evidence or indication…. – Morris K. Jessup

There is no better proof of a man’s being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language. – Sir William Osler

There was a time when ‘science’ meant the systematic pursuit of knowledge through experimentation and observation. But it’s rapidly becoming a synonym for progressive politics and materialist philosophy. – Eric Metaxas

There’s certainly nothing original about the observation that conscious experience poses a hard problem. – David Chalmers

Those who cannot themselves observe can at least acquire the observation of others. – Benjamin Disraeli

Through my observations, it became clear that most of society’s rules and customs are rooted in fear and superstition! – RuPaul

To be able to observe with a stranger’s eye helps one to see with an artist’s eye. What alienates us inspires. – Jean Rostand

To become an academic expert takes years of studying. Academic experts are experts in how and what others have done. They use case studies and observation to understand a subject. – Simon Sinek

To find out what happens to a system when you interfere with it you have to interfere with it (not just passively observe it). – George E. P. Box

To learn by observation is traveling, people must also bring knowledge with them. – Bayard Taylor

To linger in the observation of things, other than the self, implies a profound conviction of their worth. – Charles-Damian Boulogne

To observations which ourselves we make, we grow more partial for the observer’s sake. – Alexander Pope

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. – Mary Oliver

True observation begins when devoid of set patterns; freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond system. – Bruce Lee

True Scouts are the best friends of animals, for from living in the woods and wilds, and practising observation and tracking, they get to know more than other people about the ways and habits of birds and animals, and therefore they understand them and are more in sympathy with them. – Robert Baden-Powell

We cannot create observers by saying ‘observe’, but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses. – Maria Montessori

We have seen that no religion stands on the basis of things known; none bounds its horizon within the field of human observation; and, therefore, as it can never present us with indisputable facts, so must it ever be at once a source of error and contention. – Frances Wright

We learn by observation, imitation and repetition. – Denis Waitley

When general observations are drawn from so many particulars as to become certain and indisputable, these are jewels of knowledge. – Isaac Watts

When we try to observe things that are very small, the act of observation itself will significantly disturb the state we are seeking to measure. – John D. Barrow

When you make an observation, you have an obligation. – M. K. Asante

Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur

Wisdom and understanding can only become the possession of individual men by travelling the old road of observation, attention, perseverance, and industry. – Samuel Smiles

With respect to the present time, there are few persons who unite the qualifications of good observers with a situation favourable for accurate observation. – Jean-Baptiste Say

Women are always most observed when they seem themselves least to observe, or to lay out for observation. – Samuel Richardson

You are one of the rare people who can separate your observation from your perception…you see what is, where most people see what they expect. – Tsitsi Dangarembga

You can observe a lot by just watching. – Yogi Berra

You have to experience life, make observations, and ask questions. – Mos Def

You have to have some kind of power of observation, almost like a trained observer. – Billy West

You have to unzip your heart before you unzip your pants. – Mark R. Woodward

You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles. – Arthur Conan Doyle

Cat Butterfly Kitten Red Mackerel Curious View

A cat is paying attention to a butterfly

Quotes From Wikiquote

  • If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?
    • Anonymous, but apparently originating in the twentieth century; a 1910 physics book asks “When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound? Why?” Charles Riborg Mann, George Ransom Twiss, Physics (1910), p. 235. See also: If a tree falls in a forest.
  • Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted.
    • Aristotle in: Martin C. Dillon Merleau-Ponty Vivant: The History of Albany’s Rapp Road Community, SUNY Press, 1991, p. 31
  • Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
    • Marcus Aurelius, in Gabriel Deeds Eden’s Legacy, Trafford Publishing, 2004, p. 132
  • Supervision is also part of the process of building capacity and transferring knowledge. The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision.
    • Bruce Barton, in Marelize Görgens-Albino, Jody Zall Kusek Making Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Work: A Capacity Development Toolkit, World Bank Publications, 2009, p. 347
  • The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.
    • Niels Bohr, “Atomic Physics and the Description of Nature” (1934)
  • Perceptual reality is different for different species. In certain species it is a mode of observation, so what we call scientific fact is actually not ultimate truth, it is perceptual experience, and it’s a mode of observation.
    • Deepak Chopra, in Exclusive: Deepak Chopra Explores the Evolution of God, Forbes.com
  • Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. I have been for many years a teacher of languages. It is an occupation which at length becomes fatal to whatever share of imagination, observation, and insight an ordinary person may be heir to. To a teacher of languages there comes a time when the world is but a place of many words and man appears a mere talking animal not much more wonderful than a parrot.
    • Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911), Pt. I
  • Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past; prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, 1888) XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations
  • The way our group or class does things tends to determine the proper objects of attention, and thus prescribe the directions and limits of observation and memory.
    • John Dewey (1916), Democracy and Education Section 2: Education as a Social Function
  • The philosopher forms his principles from an infinity of particular observations. Most people adopt principles without thinking of the observations that have produced them, they believe the maxims exist, so to speak, by themselves. But the philosopher takes maxims from their source; he examines their origin; he knows their proper value, and he makes use of them only in so far as they suit him.
    Truth is not for the philosopher a mistress who corrupts his imagination and whom he believes to be found everywhere; he contents himself with being able to unravel it where he can perceive it. He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment…
    The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles…

    • Denis Diderot, L’Encyclopédie (1751-1766) Article on Philosophy, Vol. 25, p. 667
  • A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.
    • Frederick Douglass, in Philip Sheldon Foner, Robert J. Branha Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900, University of Alabama Press, 1998, p. 424
  • It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory.
    • Arthur Eddington, as quoted in “Annals of Science II-DNA” by Horace Freeland Judson in The New Yorker (4 December 1978), p. 132
  • For the truth of the conclusions of physical science, observation is the supreme Court of Appeal. It does not follow that every item which we confidently accept as physical knowledge has actually been certified by the Court; our confidence is that it would be certified by the Court if it were submitted. But it does follow that every item of physical knowledge is of a form which might be submitted to the Court. It must be such that we can specify (although it may be impracticable to carry out) an observational procedure which would decide whether it is true or not. Clearly a statement cannot be tested by observation unless it is an assertion about the results of observation. Every item of physical knowledge must therefore be an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure.
    • Arthur Eddington, The Philosophy of Physical Science (1938), p. 9
  • To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
    • Elliott Erwitt, in Jill Charlotte Stanford, Robin L. Corey You Might Be a Cowgirl If . . .: A Guide to Life on the Range, Globe Pequot, 4 September 2012, p. 111
  • Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation.
    • Max Euwe, in Henry C. (Sandy) Waters III Sales – What A Concept!: A Guidebook for Sales Process Performance Improvement, Lulu.com, 2011, p. 11
  • The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men – the man he is and the man he wants to be.
    • William Feather, in Dictionary of Quotations, Wordsworth Editions, 1 January 1998, p. 125
  • First we have an observation, then we have numbers that we measure, then we have a law which summarizes all the numbers. But the real glory of science is that we can find a way of thinking such that the law is evident.
    • Richard Feynman: (1963). 26–3. Fermat’s principle of least time in Chapter 26. Optics: The Principle of Least Time, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Volume I, Mainly Mechanics, Radiation, and Heat
  • It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts.
    • Henry Fielding Joseph Andrews (1742) Book I, Ch. 1
  • At any one time there is a natural tendency among physicists to believe that we already know the essential ingredients of a comprehensive theory. But each time a new frontier of observation is broached we inevitably discover new phenomena which force us to modify substantially our previous conceptions. I believe this process to be unending, that the delights and challenges of unexpected discovery will continue always.
    • Val Logsdon Fitch Nobel Prize Autobiography (1981).
  • It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.
    • Henry Ford, in The Speaker’s Quote Book: Over 5,000 Illustrations and Quotations for All Occasions, Kregel Academic, 2009, p. 545
  • Rhetoric and dialectics can’t change what I have learned from observation and experience.
    • J. Paul Getty, in As I See it: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty, Getty Publications, 2003, p. 106
  • When people endure a traumatic event, they are either defeated or made stronger. On Sept. 11, I told New Yorkers, ‘I want you to emerge stronger from this.’ My words were partially a hope and partially an observation that people in New York City handle big things better than little things. I could not be more proud of the way my city responded.
    • Rudy Giuliani, in Giuliani: 9/11 was ‘worst day’ and ‘the best day’, USA Today, 9 September 2011
  • Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.
    • Thomas Huxley, in Mark Mitchell, Janina Jolley Research Design Explained, Cengage Learning, 12 February 2009, p. 22
  • Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science.
    • Robert Green Ingersoll, in Koh Longman Guide to SPA: A-Level Physics, Pearson Education South Asia, 2005, p. 75
  • Early in life I learned, just through observation, that right always wins out over wrong. If a person has good intentions in his heart and wants to do the right thing, then there are certain ways that any obstacle can be overcome.
    • Monte Irvin, in Monte Irvin Nice Guys Finish First: Chapter One: A Mission in Life, The Washington Post, 1996
  • It’s my observation that gardeners and gardening for a very long time have had to take a back seat. Architects are very famous; they’ve got huge projects. What goes on in and around them has been relegated to a very minor role.
    • Robert Irwin, in The California Garden :At the Getty, roots hold fast, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2008|
  • Even scientific knowledge, if there is anything to it, is not a random observation of random objects; for the critical objectivity of significant knowledge is attained as a practice only philosophically in inner action.
    • Karl Jaspers, in On My Philosophy. Marxists. Org
  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    • English equivalent: Who watches the watchmen?
    • Satires by Juvenal
  • Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.
    • Ellen Keym, in Quotes about Fidelity, Quotations Book, p. 3
  • We must trust to nothing but facts: these are presented to us by nature and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.
    • Antoine Lavoisier, in Carl C. Gaither, Alma E. Cavazos-Gaither Gaither’s Dictionary of Scientific Quotations, Springer, 4 January 2012, p. 739
  • And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
    • Gospel of Luke, 17:21
  • Scientists believe that nature is orderly and measurable— that natural laws, such as the law of gravity, do not change with time, and that a natural event, or phenomenon,can be understood more fully through observation. Scientists use all of their senses in making observations.
    • Sylvia S. Mader, Biology (10th ed., 2010), Ch. 1. A View of Life
  • It has become extremely questionable whether, in the flux of life, it is a genuinely worthwhile intellectual problem to seek to discover fixed and immutable ideas or absolutes. It is a more worthy intellectual task perhaps to learn to think dynamically and relationally rather than statically… When the empirical investigator glories in his refusal to go beyond the specialized observation dictated by the traditions of his discipline, be they ever so inclusive, he is making a virtue out of a defense mechanism which insures him against questioning his presuppositions.
    • Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (1929)
  • It seems to me, when I see nature, that I see it ready made, completely written — but then, try to do it! All this proves that one must think of nothing but them [impressions]; it is by dint of observation and reflection that one makes discoveries.
    • Claude Monet in 1864 letter to Frédéric Bazille from Honfleur, July 15, 1864; As cited in: Joyce Medina (1995) Cezanne and Modernism: The Poetics of Painting. p. 60
  • Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Pregnant woman. Gunned her down. Bang. And y’know what? You watched me. You coulda changed the gun into steam or the bullets into mercury or the bottle into god damn snowflakes! You coulda teleported either of us to goddamn Australia…but you didn’t lift a finger! You don’t really give a damn about human beings. I’ve watched you. You never cared about what’s her name, Janey Slater, even before you ditched her. Soon you won’t be interested in Sally Jupiter’s little girl, either. You’re driftin’ outta touch, Doc. You’re turnin’ into a flake. God help us all.
    • The Comedian, Alan Moore Watchmen, Chapter II: Absent Friends, pg. 15
  • Everything is literally entangled, it can all be communicated with and affected ‘at a distance’ because there is no distance, only a simulation of apparent separation which our limited consciousness feeds us second by second at 11 bits. The ‘telepathy’ which brings people together is no more or less supernatural or unlikely than the ‘telepathy’ which brings two of your fingers together when you think about it. Patience, participation and constant close observation of what’s going on, on the inside and on the outside will soon make you a fine sorcerer, if that’s what you want to be.
    • Grant Morrison (2004), [1]
  • Even if it had not been possible to reproduce the disease in animals and consequently to verify the hypothesis, this simple observation would have been sufficient to demonstrate the way in which the disease was propagated.
    • Charles Jules Henry Nicole, in Physiology Or Medicine, Volume 2, Nobel Foundation, 1965
  • My observation is that after one hundred and twenty years of modernisation since the opening of the country, present-day Japan is split between two opposite poles of ambiguity.
    • Kenzaburo Oe, in Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature: Lagerkvist-Pontoppidan, Thomson Gale, 2007, p. 370
  • Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.
    • In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.
    • Louis Pasteur Lecture, University of Lille (7 December 1854)
    • Alternate translations of this or similar statements include:
      • Chance favors the prepared mind.
      • Fortune favors the prepared mind.
      • In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind.
      • Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind
  • The only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature and for uniformity in general is to suppose them results of evolution. This supposes them not to be absolute, not to be obeyed precisely. It makes an element of indeterminacy, spontaneity, or absolute chance in nature. Just as, when we attempt to verify any physical law, we find our observations cannot be precisely satisfied by it, and rightly attribute the discrepancy to errors of observation, so we must suppose far more minute discrepancies to exist owing to the imperfect cogency of the law itself, to a certain swerving of the facts from any definite formula.
    • Charles Sanders Peirce, The Architecture of Theories, (1891)
  • One man’s observation is another man’s closed book or flight of fancy.
    • Willard Van Orman Quine, in Andrew Bailey First Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality: Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy, Broadview Press, 6 August 2004, p. 300
  • Facts have to be discovered by observation, not by reasoning
    • Bertrand Russell (1945) A History of Western Philosophy Book Three, Part I, Chapter X, Spinoza, p. 577
  • Art that means anything in the life of a community must bear some relation to current interpretations of the mystery of the universe. Our rigid separation of the humanities and the sciences has temporarily left our art stranded or stammering and incoherent. Both art and science ought to be blended in our early education of our children’s emotions and powers of observation, and that harmony carried forward in later education.
    • Dora Russell The Right to Be Happy (1927) Ch. V, p. 235
  • Most, if not all, of the great ideas of modern mathematics have had their origin in observation.
    • James Joseph Sylvester. “A Plea for the Mathematician,” Nature, Vol. 1, p. 238; Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 655, 656.
  • Much of my work in this period was concerned with exploring the logic of economic models, but also with attempting to reconcile the models with every day observation.
    • Joseph Stiglitz, in Les Prix Nobel, Imprimerie Royale., 2001, p. 454
  • The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.
    • Henry David Thoreau, in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Princeton University Press, 1980, p. 328
  • None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.
    • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), “Economy”
  • My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty… it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.
    • George Washington, in The writings of George Washington, American Stationers Co., 1836, p. 301
  • The gap between our feelings and our social observation is dangerously wide.
    • Raymond Williams Realism and the Contemporary Novel (1961): The Long Revolution
  • Surely it is time to examine into the meaning of words and the nature of things, and to arrive at simple facts, not received upon the dictum of learned authorities, but upon attentive personal observation of what is passing around us.
    • Frances Wright, in Fanny Wright Unmasked by Her Own Pen, 1850, p. 5
  • Whether we consider Nazi Germany or Abu Ghraib prison, there were many people who observed what was happening and said nothing. At Abu Ghraib, one photo shows two soldiers smiling before a pyramid of naked prisoners while a dozen other soldiers stand around watching passively. If you observe such abuses and don’t say, “This is wrong! Stop it!” you give tacit approval to continue. You are part of the silent majority that makes evil deeds more acceptable.
    • Philip Zimbardo The Banality of Heroism in The Greater Good (Fall/Winter 2006/2007), co-written with Zeno Franco