From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Questioning)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Old questions are not answered—they only go out of fashion. ~ Donald Schön

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.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · See also · External links


  • Scientific research is the art of asking the right question in the right way.
  • Often a question, the first one, is not the real question at all but a substitute which our unconscious self has artfully framed to protect our superficial comfort from being disturbed by a deeper, more troubling doubt.
  • 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.


  • Literature is the question minus the answer.
  • How many questions arise in this place! Constantly the question comes up: Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil? . . . We must continue to cry out humbly yet insistently to God: Rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!
    • Benedict XVI, These were the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who visited the former concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland, on May 28, 2006. At the site where the Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of Jews and others. Cited in The Watchtower magazine, 5/15, 2007.
  • 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.


  • It is the fundamental duty of the citizen to resist and to restrain the violence of the state. Those who choose to disregard this responsibility can justly be accused of complicity in war crimes, which is itself designated as ‘a crime under international law’ in the principles of the Charter of Nuremberg.
  • 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


  • Questions are always a little more trustworthy than answers.
    • Mark Doty, The Art of Description, 2010






  • 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)


People spend most of their time during conversations talking about their own viewpoints and tend to self-promote when meeting people for the first time. In contrast, high question-askers—those that probe for information from others—are perceived as more responsive and are better liked. Although most people do not anticipate the benefits of question-asking and do not ask enough questions, people would do well to learn that it doesn’t hurt to ask. ~ Karen Huang, Michael Yeomans, Alison Wood Brooks, Julia Minson, and Francesca Gino
  • Most people have an intrinsic desire to be liked by others. Being liked by others influences interpersonal attraction, relationship development, and other important outcomes such as acceptance and inclusion in groups. Because the content of a conversation can significantly influence the extent to which the participants like each other afterwards, it is important to examine conversation as a process that influences attraction and relationship development. The effect of conversational content on interpersonal liking has been demonstrated across a wide array of conversational strategies, ranging from other-focused behaviors, such as giving a compliment or acknowledging another person’s ideas, to self-focused behaviors, such as talking about oneself. However, to our best knowledge, no prior research has investigated whether and how asking questions may influence liking.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves.
  • 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?


  • 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.




  • To stand in the midst of … this whole marvelous uncertainty and rich ambiguity in existence without questioning, without trembling with the craving and the rapture of such questioning, … that is what I feel to be contemptible, and this is the feeling for which I look first in everybody. Some folly keeps persuading me that every human has this feeling just because he is human.
  • 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.




  • In how many minds should I go crazy? whom should I ask?
  • Without asking anybody’s advice, I turned myself insane.


  • Cognition is autonomous; it refuses to have any answers foisted on it from the outside. Yet it suffers without protest having certain questions prescribed to it from the outside (and it is here that my heresy regarding the unwritten law of the university originates). Not every question seems to me worth asking. Scientific curiosity and omnivorous aesthetic appetite mean equally little to me today, though I was once under the spell of both, particularly the latter. Now I only inquire when I find myself inquired of. Inquired of, that is, by men rather than by scholars. There is a man in each scholar, a man who inquires and stands in need of answers. I am anxious to answer the scholar qua man but not the representative of a certain discipline, that insatiable, ever inquisitive phantom which like a vampire drains whom it possesses of his humanity.


  • 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?




  • If you really limit me to one question, it would be: Why is the world the way it is?
  • Art is naturally concerned with man in his existential aspect, not in his scientific aspect. For the scientist, questions about man's stature and significance, suffering and power, are not really scientific questions; consequently he is inclined to regard art as an inferior recreation. Unfortunately, the artist has come to accept the scientist's view of himself. The result, I contend, is that art in the twentieth century — literary art in particular — has ceased to take itself seriously as the primary instrument of existential philosophy. It has ceased to regard itself as an instrument for probing questions of human significance. Art is the science of human destiny. Science is the attempt to discern the order that underlies the chaos of nature; art is the attempt to discern the order that underlies the chaos of man. At its best, it evokes unifying emotions; it makes the reader see the world momentarily as a unity.

See also

Wikipedia has an article about:
At Wikiversity, you can learn about: