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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Alexander von Humboldt on civilized, equality, explore, places, nature, harmony, unity, racism, ecosystem, wildlife and travel.

35 Inspiring Quotes By Alexander Von Humboldt That Will Leave You Awestruck

Famous As: Geographer
Born On: September 14, 1769
Died On: May 6, 1859
Born In: Berlin
Founder / Co Founder: Humboldt University of Berlin
Died At Age: 89
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a renowned Prussian naturalist, explorer, and geographer. Starting from 1799 till 1804, Humboldt explored Latin America for five years. It is said that by the time he came back from this expedition, his trunks were filled with several notebooks, numerous sketches, astronomical, geological and metrological observations, more than 60 thousand plant specimen. More than 50 years later, Humboldt published uncountable books based on his experiences in this expedition. ‘Cosmos’ was the best-selling book and it was later translated into many languages. He was the first person to recommend that the lands that bordered around the Atlantic Ocean were joined. As a result of his expedition, he was elected a member of ‘The American Philosophical Society’ in Philadelphia and ‘Prussian Academy of Science’. That does not end here; being one of the famous men in history he was crowned with many titles. Humboldt’s quotes and thoughts would leave you pondering. We have gathered a few of Alexander von Humboldt's thoughts and sayings below which will surely have a lasting impression on you. 

Coercion may prevent many transgressions; but it robs even actions which are legal of a part of their beauty. Freedom may lead to many transgressions, but it lends even to vices a less ignoble form.

Alexander von Humboldt

There are three stages of scientific discovery: first people deny it is true; then they deny it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.

Alexander von Humboldt

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.

Alexander von Humboldt

The government is best which makes itself unnecessary.

Alexander von Humboldt

I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.

Alexander von Humboldt

However great an evil immorality may be, we must not forget that it is not without its beneficial consequences. It is only through extremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue.

Alexander von Humboldt

If we glance at the most important revolutions in history, we see at once that the greatest number of these originated in the periodical revolutions on the human mind.

Alexander von Humboldt

How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is.

Alexander von Humboldt

Wherever the citizen becomes indifferent to his fellows, so will the husband be to his wife, and the father of a family toward the members of his household.

Alexander von Humboldt

Die gefährlichste Weltanschauung ist die Weltanschauung derer, die die Welt nie angeschaut haben. (The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world)

Alexander von Humboldt

People often say that I'm curious about too many things at once... But can you really forbid a man from harbouring a desire to know and embrace everything that surrounds him?

Alexander von Humboldt

Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people. Wherever one notices them, they constitute a sign of ignorance and brutality which cannot be painted over even by all the evidence of wealth and luxury.

Alexander von Humboldt

Mere communion with nature, mere contact with the free air, exercise a soothing yet comforting and strengthening influence on the wearied mind, calm the storm of passion, and soften the heart when shaken by sorrow to its inmost depths.

Alexander von Humboldt

War seems to be one of the most salutary phenomena for the culture of human nature; and it is not without regret that I see it disappearing more and more from the scene.

Alexander von Humboldt

Insight into universal nature provides an intellectual delight and sense of freedom that no blows of fate and no evil can destroy.

Alexander von Humboldt

It is usually more important how a man meets his fate than what it is.

Alexander von Humboldt

Collaboration operates through a process in which the successful intellectual achievements of one person arouse the intellectual passions and enthusiasms of others.

Alexander von Humboldt

Language makes infinite use of finite media.

Alexander von Humboldt

There are some races more cultured and advanced and ennobled by education than others; but there are no races nobler than others. All are equally destined for freedom.

Alexander von Humboldt

Only what we have wrought into our character during life can we take with us.

Alexander von Humboldt

With most animals, as with man, the alertness of the senses diminishes after years of work, after domestic habits and progress of culture.

Alexander von Humboldt

At no other time has Nature concentrated such a wealth of valuable nourishment into such a small space as in the cocoa bean.

Alexander von Humboldt

Before being free, it is necessary to be just

Alexander von Humboldt

Our imagination is struck only by what is great; but the lover of natural philosophy should reflect equally on little things.

Alexander von Humboldt

The philosophical study of nature endeavors, in the the vicissitudes of phenomena, to connect the present with the past.

Alexander von Humboldt

Nature can be so soothing to the tormented mind

Alexander von Humboldt

The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world.

Alexander von Humboldt

Time is the most important thing in human life, for what is pleasure after the departure of time? and the most consolatory, since pain, when pain has passed, is nothing. Time is the wheel-track in which we roll on towards eternity, conducting us to the Incomprehensible. In its progress there is a ripening power, and it ripens us the more, and the more powerfully, when we duly estimate it. Listen to its voice, do not waste it, but regard it as the highest finite good, in which all finite things are resolved.

Alexander von Humboldt

Petroleum is the product of a distillation from great depth and issues from the primitive rocks beneath which the forces of all volcanic action lie.

Alexander von Humboldt

Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people.

Alexander von Humboldt

The expression of vanity and self-love becomes less offensive, when it retains something of simplicity and frankness.

Alexander von Humboldt

Statistical projections which speak to the senses without fatiguing the mind, possess the advantage of fixing the attention on a great number of important facts.

Alexander von Humboldt

I saw with regret, (and all scientific men have shared this feeling) that whilst the number of accurate instruments was daily increasing, we were still ignorant

Alexander von Humboldt

The most powerful influence exercised by the Arabs on general natural physics was that directed to the advances of chemistry ; a science for which this race created a new era.(...) Besides making laudatory mention of that which we owe to the natural science of the Arabs in both the terrestrial and celestial spheres, we must likewise allude to their contributions in separate paths of intellectual development to the general mass of mathematical science.

Alexander von Humboldt

It is a proverbial expression that every man is the maker of his own fortune, and we usually regard it as implying that every man by his folly or wisdom prepares good or evil for himself. But we may view it in another light, namely, that we may so accommodate ourselves to the dispositions of Providence as to be happy in our lot, whatever may be its privations.

Alexander von Humboldt