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On Curiosity...


Curiosity is less to do with cats as it with the natural human need to know new things. In fact, it is arguably the most powerful force we have, as it drives human evolution. The need for novelty, for finding new things, leads us not only into trouble but also into marvellous new discoveries.

See also

being creative, exploration*, experimenting, ideas, openness*, play, seeing, understanding*


‘Seek and ye shall find.’

— Luke 11:9

‘God spare me sclerosis of the curiosity, for the curiosity which craves to keep us informed about the small things no less than the large is the mainspring, the dynamo, the jet propulsion of all complete living.’

John Mason Brown

‘Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.’

Bernard Mannes Baruch

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality.’

Edmund Burke

‘Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.’

Leo Burnett

‘Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.’

Marie Curie

‘Each of us is born with two contradictory sets of instructions: a conservative tendency, made up of instincts for self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and saving energy, and an expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring, for enjoying novelty and risk—the curiosity that leads to creativity belongs to this set. But whereas the first tendency requires little encouragement or support from outside to motivate behaviour, the second can wilt if not cultivated.’

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

‘Creatures whose mainspring is curiosity enjoy the accumulating of facts far more than the pausing at times to reflect on those facts.’

Clarence Day

‘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

‘Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only that the cat died nobly.’

Arnold Edinborough

‘The important thing is never to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’

Albert Einstein

‘I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.’

Albert Einstein

‘Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.’

Samuel Johnson

‘Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.’

Samuel Johnson

‘A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity.’

Samuel Johnson

‘Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish not to know, but to talk. We would not take a sea voyage for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever telling.’

Blaise Pascal

‘One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.’

William Lyon Phelps



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