Top Observation Quotes

Browse top 466 famous quotes and sayings about Observation by most favorite authors.

Favorite Observation Quotes

1. "I would by all means have men beware, lest Aesop's pretty fable of the fly that sate on the pole of a chariot at the Olympic races and said, 'What a dust do I raise,' be verified in them. For so it is that some small observation, and that disturbed sometimes by the instrument, sometimes by the eye, sometimes by the calculation, and which may be owing to some real change in the sky, raises new skies and new spheres and circles."
Author: Aesop
2. "And in this way I have, during the years I have been regarded as grown up, lost nine situations, to the great mortification of my father, the architect of our town. I have served in various departments, but all these nine jobs have been as alike as one drop of water is to another: I had to sit, write, listen to rude or stupid observations, and go on doing so till I was dismissed."
Author: Anton Chekhov
3. "I said that he was my superior in observation and deduction. If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from an armchair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived. But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right."
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
4. "I'm not...' Angharad began, but then she thought. Not what? Not a bad person? Perhaps. But had she never known anger? Never held unkind thoughts? The stranger's observation was valid. No one was innocent of darkness."
Author: Charles De Lint
5. "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."
Author: Charles Jules Henry Nicole
6. "Women are these wonderful mysteries and they excite me on all kinds of levels. Their power over us is, I think, often a moral power as well as a sexual power. I think women, generally speaking, have a better sense of what is whole and good and sensible. The old feminist line, 'Take the toys from the boys' is an extremely sensible observation, you know?"
Author: Clive Barker
7. "One night, a group of moths gathered on a shelf watching a burning candle. Puzzled by the nature of the light, they sent one of their members to go and check on it. The scouting moth circled the candle several times and came back with a description: The light was bright. Then a second moth went to examine it. He, too, came back with an observation: The light was hot. Finally a third moth volunteered to go. When he approached the candle he didn't stop like his friends had done, but flew straight into the flame. He was consumed there and then, and only he understood the nature of the light."
Author: Elif Shafak
8. "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."
Author: Elliott Erwitt
9. "This is what is meant by the phenomenology of the science-making process: Self-observation always leads us to an existential point about the metaphysics of experience, and it is almost always a transforming moment. (p. 286)"
Author: Eugene Taylor
10. "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."
Author: Frederick Douglass
11. "Pasteboard pies and paper flowers are being banished from the stage by the growth of that power of accurate observation which is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it...."
Author: George Bernard Shaw
12. "I don't bill myself as an atheist but as a naturalist. Naturalism is a belief system. A lot of scientists bristle at that. We all have to believe we can find the truth. Evidence is my guide. I rely on observation, experimentation and verification."
Author: Greg Graffin
13. "Two avenues of approach to these rewards lie open to the ambitious fictioneer. On the one hand, he may throw all intelligible standards of merit to the winds, and devote himself to manufacturing new stories that are frankly bad, trusting to the fact that nine persons out of ten are utterly devoid of esthetic sense and hence unable to tell the bad from the good. And on the other hand, he may take stories, or parts of stories that have been told before, or that, in themselves, are scarcely worth the telling, and so encrust them with the ornaments of wit, of shrewd observation, of human sympathy and of style--in brief, so develop them--that readers of good taste will forget the unsoundness of the material in admiration of the ingenious and workmanlike way in which it is handled."
Author: H.L. Mencken
14. "All that evening he talked to the Candle of Arras, in a low confidential tone. When you get down to it, he thought, there's not much difference between politics and sex; it's all aboutpower. He didn't suppose he was the first person in the world to make this observation. It's a question of seduction, and how fast and cheap you can effect it: if Camille, he thought, approximates to one of those little milliners who can't make ends meet - in other words, an absolute pushover - then Robespierre is a Carmelite, mind set on becoming Mother Superior. You can't corrupt her; you can wave your cock under her nose, and she's neither shocked nor interested: why should she be, when she hasn't the remotest ideawhat it's for?"
Author: Hilary Mantel
15. "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."
Author: Isaac Asimov
16. "The only freedom that is of enduring importance is the freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment, exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while. The commonest mistake made about freedom is, I think, to identify it with freedom of movement, or, with the external or physical side of activity."
Author: John Dewey
17. "My dad: "Emily, this risotto…" My mom: "It's just delicious." Gus's mom: "Oh, thanks. I'd be happy to give you the recipe." Gus, swallowing a bite: "You know, this primary taste I'm getting is not-Oranjee." Me: "Good observation, Gus. This food, while delicious, does not taste like Oranjee." My mom: "Hazel." Gus: "It tastes like…" Me: "Food." Gus: "Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately…?" Me: "It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down all around your canal-side dinner table." Gus: "Nicely phrased." Gus's father: "Our children are weird." My dad: "Nicely phrased."
Author: John Green
18. "In all of knowable reality, God is unique. He is knowable not like the multiplication table or the table of elements; he alone is knowable as the one totally in control of being known. He is not at the disposal of the human mind. He is known when he wills to be known. Yet he is known in and through created reality, which is known naturally. Therefore the glory of God is exalted most not when we know God apart from observation and reading and study, but when we know God as a result of his free and gracious self-revelation in and through our earnest observation of and meditation on his work and Word in history."
Author: John Piper
19. "That man is formed for social life is an observation which, upon our first inquiry, presents itself immediately to our view, and our reason approves that wise and generous principle which actuated the first founders of civil government, an institution which hat its origin in the weakness of individuals, and hath for its end the strength and security of all; and so long as the means of effecting this important end are thoroughly known and religiously attended to government is one of the richest blessings to mankind, and ought to be held in the highest veneration"
Author: Joseph Warren
20. "Observations," he says. "Four imperial Unseelie guards were the only commonality I was able to isolate endemic to both scenes." They'd been standing, armed, at the dock doors, overseeing the delivery. He gives me a sidewise look. "Wow. That was, like, a whole sentence. With nouns and verbs and connective tissue. Endemic. Fancy word."
Author: Karen Marie Moning
21. "Men have grown embarrassingly weak, but only through observation. Their resolve can easily be broken by a woman. Their emotions can be easily manipulated by a woman. Their power can be easily taken by a woman. Their pride can be easily stripped by a woman. Their entire life can easily be ruined by a woman. While physically stronger, their manipulative prowess can be wittingly outclassed by a woman. And while their dreams are stronger, the realities of women are stronger."
Author: Lionel Suggs
22. "Sir,"she said,"you are no gentleman!"An apt observation,"he answered airily."And, you, Miss, are no lady."
Author: Margaret Mitchell
23. "We must relinquish our passive observation of the world outside; we can open the door to the world we want. In understanding ourselves, we come to understand the world. In allowing ourselves to heal, we become the healers of the world. In praying for peace, we become bringers of peace. Thus we actualize the power within us to remedy the psychic wounds of humanity."
Author: Marianne Williamson
24. "The stories I write are often literal to events that have happened or observations that I've made, and sometimes they're fantastical."
Author: Mark Mothersbaugh
25. "***AN OBSERVATION***A pair of train guards.A pair of grave diggers.When it came down to it, one of them called the shots.The other did what he was told.The question is, what if the 'other' is a lot more than one?"
Author: Markus Zusak
26. "2. The news was prioritized in a way I could not understand. For instance, there was nothing on new mathematical observations or still-undiscovered polygons, but quite a bit about politics, which on this planet was essentially all about war and money. Indeed, war and money seemed to be so popular on the news, it should more accurately have been titled The War and Money Show."
Author: Matt Haig
27. "Yet the organic label itself—like every other such label in the supermarket—is really just an imperfect substitute for direct observation of how a food is produced, a concession to the reality that most people in an industrial society haven't the time or the inclination to follow their food back to the farm, a farm which today is apt to be, on average, fifteen hundred miles away."
Author: Michael Pollan
28. "The mental framework that makes science enjoyable is accessible to everyone. It involves curiosity, careful observation, a disciplined way of recording events, and finding ways to tease out the underlying regularities in what one learns. It also requires the humility to be willing to learn from the results of past investigators, coupled with enough skepticism and openness of mind to reject beliefs that are not sup-ported by facts."
Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
29. "You have to experience life, make observations, and ask questions."
Author: Mos Def
30. "The first, or theoretic branch, that which explains the nature, production, and distribution of wealth, will be found to rest on a very few general propositions, which are the result of observation, or consciousness."
Author: Nassau William Senior
31. "The frame, the definition, is a type of context. And context, as we said before, determines the meaning of things. There is no such thing as the view from nowhere, or from everywhere for that matter. Our point of view biases our observation, consciously and unconsciously. You cannot understand the view without the point of view."
Author: Noam Shpancer
32. "My note was a strange mixture of facts and observations, carefully noted and itemised, with irrepressible meditations on what such problems might 'mean', in regard to who and what and where this poor man was - whether, indeed, one could speak of an 'existence', given so absolute a privation of memory or continuity."
Author: Oliver Sacks
33. "Jacque leaned over and whispered in Sally's ear, "I give it two days before he lays one on her.""You're being generous. I say less than twenty four hours.""Is that a bet?" Jacque asked, eyebrows raised."Better believe it," Sally answered. Her lips eased into a crooked smile.Jen leaned around Sally and glared at her two best friends. "What are you two betting on?""Good grief. What, does she have eagle ears or something?""No, you dork. Your whisper is just you talking in normal volume but making your voice raspy. Really, you sound more like a chick who's been smoking for thirty years."Jen shrugged. "I'm just throwing that out there. You can take it and apply it at your leisure."Fane was chuckling at Jen's words when Jacque elbowed him, causing him to cough."You don't get to laugh, wolf-man."Jacque turned back to Jen. "Thank you for that observation, Sherlock.""Always glad to help a friend in need, Watson." Jen grinned at Jacque's irritated look."
Author: Quinn Loftis
34. "For Miles, one of the great mysteries of marriage was that you had to actually say things before you realized they were wrong. Because he'd been saying the wrong thing to Janine for so many years, he'd grown wary, testing most of his observations in the arena of his imagination before saying them out loud, but even then he was often wrong. Of course, the other possibility was that there was no right thing to say, that the choice wasn't between right and wrong but between wrong, more wrong, and as wrong as you can get. Wrong, all of it, to one degree or another, by definition, or by virtue of the fact that Miles himself was the one saying it."
Author: Richard Russo
35. "They (teenage boys)don't really listen to speeches or talks. They absorb incrementally, through hours and hours of observation."
Author: Rob Lowe
36. "We are told that the first part of the process is to select the very smallest seeds from the smallest plants, which is not at all unlikely, but I cannot speak to the fact from my own observation."
Author: Robert Fortune
37. "Now the identification of individual sounds by phonetic observation is an artificial way of proceeding."
Author: Roman Jakobson
38. "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."
Author: Solomon Northup
39. "In 2002, in this country, there was an observation that for the first time in America, more kids were actively pursuing skateboarding than baseball."
Author: Stephen Baldwin
40. "Your primary tools, as an actor, are observation and imagination. You can pretty much get everything you need from that, and you do. It brings back that element of pretend."
Author: Stephen Lang
41. "Mirabelle knows, and she lets this be unspoken, that all free things require conversation. Sitting in a darkened movie theatre requires absolutely no conversation at all, whereas a free date, like a walk down Hollywood Boulevard in the busy evening, requires comments, chatter, observations, and with luck, wit. She worries that since they have only exchanged perhaps two dozen words between them, these free dates will be horrible."
Author: Steve Martin
42. "And most of the failures in parent-child relationships, from my observation, begin when the child begins to acquire a mind and a will of its own, to make independent decisions and to question the omnipotence or the wisdom of the parent."
Author: Sydney J. Harris
43. "Are there any alternatives? Well, there is the hypothesis that this universe is not unique, but that all possible universes exist, and we find ourselves, not surprisingly, in one that contains life. But that is a cop-out, which dispenses with the attempt to explain anything. And without the hypothesis of multiple universes, the observation that if life hadn't come into existence we wouldn't be here has no significance. One doesn't show that something doesn't require explanation by pointing out that it is a condition of one's existence. If I ask for an explanation of the fact that the air pressure in the transcontinental jet is close to that at sea level, it is no answer to point out that if it weren't, I'd be dead."
Author: Thomas Nagel
44. "This success permits us to hope that after thirty or forty years of observation on the new Planet [Neptune], we may employ it, in its turn, for the discovery of the one following it in its order of distances from the Sun. Thus, at least, we should unhappily soon fall among bodies invisible by reason of their immense distance, but whose orbits might yet be traced in a succession of ages, with the greatest exactness, by the theory of Secular Inequalities.[Following the success of the confirmation of the existence of the planet Neptune, he considered the possibility of the discovery of a yet further planet.]"
Author: Urbain Le Verrier
45. "My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three, and, save for a pocket of warmth in the darkest past, nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dells of memory, over which, if you can still stand my style (I am writing under observation), the sun of my infancy had set: surely, you all know those redolent remnants of day suspended, with the midges, about some hedge in bloom or suddenly entered and traversed by the rambler, at the bottom of a hill, in the summer dusk; a furry warmth, golden midges."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
46. "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."
Author: Walter Scott
47. "Hence, even in the domain of natural science the aid of the experimental method becomes indispensable whenever the problem set is the analysis of transient and impermanent phenomena, and not merely the observation of persistent and relatively constant objects."
Author: Wilhelm Wundt
48. "One man's observation is another man's closed book or flight of fancy."
Author: Willard Van Orman Quine
49. "He who thinks all mankind is vile is a pessimist who mistakes his introspection for observation; he looks into his own heart and thinks he sees the world."
Author: William George Jordan
50. "A general principle concerning the gender of bears has been established years ago by bear supervisor König from Bern, after over thirty years of observation. It allows for predictions and states, in short, that when a female bear bears three cubs, and they aren't all male or female, it will invariably be either two males and a female, or two females and a male."
Author: Wolfgang Klein

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To look deep into your child's eyes and see in him both yourself and something utterly strange, and then to develop a zealous attachment to every aspect of him, is to achieve parenthood's self-regarding, yet unselfish, abandon. It is astonishing how often such mutuality had been realized - how frequently parents who had supposed that they couldn't care for an exceptional child discover that they can. The parental predisposition to love prevails in the most harrowing of circumstances. There is more imagination in the world than one might think."
Author: Andrew Solomon

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