- Men are more like the times they live in than they are like their fathers.
c.602–661 Arab ruler, fourth Islamic caliph: attributed
- In all my work what I try to say is that as human beings we are more alike than we are unalike.
New York Times 20 January 1993 1928–2014 American writer: interview in
- We are born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers beside.
African Genesis (1961) 1908–80 American dramatist and evolutionist:
- We are all here on Earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.
Commonweal 23 October 1942 and elsewhere 1907–73 English poet: a favourite saying; in
- Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love all year round, madam; that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals.
The Marriage of Figaro (1784) act 2, sc. 21 1732–99 French dramatist:
- We carry within us the wonders we seek without us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us.
Religio Medici (1643) pt. 1, sect. 15 1605–82 English writer and physician:
- I hate ‘Humanity’ and all such abstracts: but I love people. Lovers of ‘Humanity’ generally hate people and children, and keep parrots or puppy dogs.
Light on a Dark Horse (1951) 1901–57 South African poet:
- Considerate la vostra semenza:
Fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
Ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza.
Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.
Divina Commedia ‘Inferno’ canto 26, l. 118 1265–1321 Italian poet:
- Disinterested love for all living creatures, the most noble attribute of man.
The Descent of Man (1871) ch. 3 1809–82 English natural historian:
- Man with all his noble qualities…still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
The Descent of Man (1871), closing words 1809–82 English natural historian:
- The animal needing something knows how much it needs, the man does not.
c.460–c.370 bc Greek philosopher: fragment 198
- What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?
Seven Gothic Tales (1934) ‘The Dreamers’ 1885–1962 Danish novelist and short-story writer:
- This is Plato's man.
presenting Plato's disciples with a plucked chicken after Plato defined Man as ‘a two-footed, featherless animal’; Plato subsequently added ‘with broad flat nails’
c.400–c.325 bc Greek Cynic philosopher: Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Philosophers
- Is man an ape or an angel? Now I am on the side of the angels.
Wilberforce 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80: speech at Oxford, 25 November 1864; see
- Human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Four Quartets ‘Burnt Norton’ (1936) pt. 1. 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist:
- I believe man will not merely endure, he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he, alone among creatures, has an inexhaustible voice but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. 1897–1962 American novelist: Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, 10 December 1950
- Man is a tool-making animal.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 7 April 1778 1706–90 American politician, inventor, and scientist: James Boswell
- On earth there is nothing great but man; in man there is nothing great but mind.
Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (1859); attributed in a Latin form to Favorinus in Pico di Mirandola (1463–94) Disputationes Adversus Astrologiam Divinatricem 1788–1856 Scottish metaphysician:
- Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819) ‘On Wit and Humour’ 1778–1830 English essayist:
- I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.
1844–89 English poet and priest: ‘That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire’ (written 1888)
- The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.
Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (ed. T. H. Green and T. H. Grose, 1875) ‘On Suicide’ (1783) 1711–76 Scottish philosopher:
- Many people believe that they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they are only repelled by man.
More Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1931) 1860–1954 English writer; Dean of St. Paul's, 1911–34:
- Gloria Dei vivens homo.
The glory of God is a man fully alive.
c.ad 130–c.200 Greek theologian: Against the Heresies bk. 4, ch. 20
- Man, biologically considered, and whatever else he may be into the bargain, is simply the most formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species.
Atlantic Monthly December 1904 1842–1910 American philosopher: in
- Taking a very gloomy view of the future of the human race, let us suppose that it can only expect to survive for two thousand million years longer, a period about equal to the past age of the earth. Then, regarded as a being destined to live for three-score years and ten, humanity, although it has been born in a house seventy years old, is itself only three days old.
Eos (1928) 1877–1946 English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician:
- Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.
Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht (1784) proposition 6 1724–1804 German philosopher:
- In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. 1917–63 American Democratic statesman, 35th President 1961–3: address at American University, Washington, DC, 10 June 1963
- O mankind, We have created you
male and female, and appointed you
races and tribes, that you may know
: sura 49, tr. A. J. Arberry
- Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers heaven. 1790–1869 French poet: ‘L'Homme’ (1820)
- Every man carries the entire form of human condition.
Essays (1580, ed. M. Rat, 1958) bk. 3, ch. 2 1533–92 French moralist and essayist:
- There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens.
The Naked Ape (1967) introduction 1928– English anthropologist:
- To say, for example, that a man is made up of certain chemical elements is a satisfactory description only for those who intend to use him as a fertilizer.
Science and Criticism (1943) 1890–1967 American geneticist:
- I teach you the superman. Man is something to be surpassed.
Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883) prologue, sect. 3 1844–1900 German philosopher and writer:
- For after all, what is man in nature? A nothing in respect of that which is infinite, an all in respect of nothing, a middle betwixt nothing and all.
Pensées (1670, ed. L. Brunschvicg, 1909) sect. 2, no. 72 1623–62 French mathematician, physicist, and moralist:
- Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed.
Pensées (1670, ed. L. Brunschvicg, 1909) sect. 6, no. 347 1623–62 French mathematician, physicist, and moralist:
- Mankind is a dream of a shadow.
bc Greek lyric poet: Pythian Odes bk. 8, l. 135 518–438
- Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great.
An Essay on Man Epistle 2 (1733) l. 1; see Charron 1688–1744 English poet:
- Man is the measure of all things.
c.485 bc Greek philosopher: Plato Theaetetus 160d b.
- I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I'm introduced to one
I wish I thought What Jolly Fun!
1861–1922 English lecturer and critic: ‘Wishes of an Elderly Man’ (1923)
- The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.
c.1213–c.91 Persian poet: The Rose Garden ch. 1, Tale 10
- What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Hamlet (1601) act 2, sc. 2, l.  (Oxford Standard Authors ed.) 1564–1616 English dramatist:
- There are many wonderful things, and nothing is more wonderful than man.
c.496–406 bc Greek dramatist: Antigone l. 333
- Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) ch. 14 1902–68 American novelist:
- Notwithstanding, if he could be reincarnated and placed in a New York subway—provided that he were bathed, shaved, and dressed in modern clothing—it is doubtful whether he would attract any more attention than some of its other denizens.
of Neanderthal man
Quarterly Review of Biology Winter 1957 and : in
- Principally I hate and detest that animal called man; although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth. 1667–1745 Irish poet and satirist: letter to Pope, 29 September 1725
- I am a man, I count nothing human foreign to me.
c.190–159 bc Roman comic dramatist: Heauton Timorumenos l. 77
- Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to.
Following the Equator (1897) ch. 27 1835–1910 American writer:
- I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being—that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.
How To Tell a Story and other essays (1900) ‘Concerning the Jews’ 1835–1910 American writer:
- We're all of us guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.
Camino Real (1953) 1911–83 American dramatist:
- The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. 1929– American sociobiologist: debate at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, Mass., 9 September 2009