Question

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Old questions are not answered—they only go out of fashion.
- Donald Schön (1971)

A question is a linguistic expression used to make a request for information, or the request made using such an expression. The information requested may be provided in the form of an answer.

Quotes[edit]

  • 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.
  • There are as many types of questions as components in the information.
  • There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions.
  • If physics is too difficult for the physicists, the nonphysicist may wonder whether he should try at all to grasp its complexities and ambiguities. It is undeniably an effort, but probably one worth making, for the basic questions are important and the new experimental results are often fascinating.
    • Edward Condon Physics, in What is Science?: Twelve Eminent Scientists and Philosophers Explain Their Various Fields to the Layman, by James Roy Newman, published by Simon and Schuster (1955), p. 102
  • A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person.
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
  • To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
    • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, (1969) Chapter 11 “Soliloquies in Mishnory” (p. 151)
  • There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life's point of no return.
  • Since the world has existed, there has been injustice. But it is one world, the more so as it becomes smaller, more accessible. There is just no question that there is more obligation that those who have should give to those who have nothing.
  • The only stupid question is the one that is not asked.
    • Hull, E., K. Jackson, et al. (2005). Requirements engineering, Springer.
  • The Greek word for philosopher (philosophos) connotes a distinction from sophos. It signifies the lover of wisdom (knowledge) as distinguished from him who considers himself wise in the possession of knowledge. This meaning of the word still endures: the essence of philosophy is not the possession of the truth but the search for truth. … Philosophy means to be on the way. Its questions are more essential than its answers, and every answer becomes a new question.
    • Karl Jaspers, Way to Wisdom, R. Mannheim, trans. (New Haven: 1951), p. 12
  • If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?
  • The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?
  • The basic Buddhist stand on the question of equality between the genders is age-old. At the highest tantric levels, at the highest esoteric level, you must respect women: every woman.
  • Philosophical questions are not by their nature insoluble. They are, indeed, radically different from scientific questions, because they concern the implications and other interrelations of ideas, not the order of physical events; their answers are interpretations instead of factual reports, and their function is to increase not our knowledge of nature, but our understanding of what we know.
  • I wish that objections to questions as leading, might be a little better considered before they are made. It is necessary, to a certain extent, to lead the mind of the witness to the subject of inquiry. If questions are asked, to which the answer "Yes" or "No" would be conclusive, they would certainly be objectionable, but in general no objections are more frivolous than those which are made to questions as leading ones.
  • Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
  • Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men. And believe me, to them it is a question of power. It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men.
  • When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.
  • It's a question of whether we're going to go forward into the future, or past to the back.
The only question with wealth is what to do with it. It can be used for evil purposes or it can be an instrumentality for constructive social living.
  • Old questions are not answered—they only go out of fashion.
    • Donald Schön (1971, 42) cited in: William G. Weissert, ‎Carol S. Weissert (2012) Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy. p. 296
  • Positive feelings come from being honest about yourself and accepting your personality, and physical characteristics, warts and all; and, from belonging to a family that accepts you without question.
  • It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
  • I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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