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Removed tangential quotes[edit]

I've removed most of the quotes listed in this article, as they don't make clear their connection to autodidacticism. (There is a mood among current frequent editors to limit theme quotes to only those that actually use the subject phrase, or at least an unambiguous synonym, because of just this kind of "interpretative" inclusion.) I've added my rationale for each under the quote.

  • "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." ~ Joseph Campbell
    • This is ostensibly about doing what one wants, not specifically about educating oneself.
  • "The new age of education is programmed for discovery rather than instruction. Art as radar environment, radar feedback, early warning system: the antennae of the race." ~ Marshall McLuhan
    • This is about education, not specifically about self-education. (Discovery is not inherently autodidacticism; compare standard American schools to many Asian rote-learning systems.)
  • "My education was of the most ordinary description, consisting of little more than the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic at a common day school. My hours out of school were passed at home and in the streets." ~ Michael Faraday, who had little mathematics and no formal schooling beyond the primary grades, is celebrated as an experimenter who discovered the induction of electricity. He was one of the great founders of modern physics. It is generally acknowledged that Faraday's ignorance of mathematics contributed to his inspiration, that it compelled him to develop a simple, nonmathematical concept when he looked for an explanation of his electrical and magnetic phenomena. Faraday is considered by some to have possessed two qualities that more than made up for his lack of traditional education: fantastic intuition, and independence and originality of mind.
    • This is a quote from an autodidact, not a quote about autodidacticism. The mini-essay is better suited to Wikipedia than Wikiquote.
  • "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." ~ Albert Einstein
    • It's not ostensibly clear what kind of "learning" and "education" Einstein is talking about.
  • "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." ~ Albert Einstein
    • This is about curiosity and criticism of formal education. It doesn't mention autodidacticism as an alternative.
  • "I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker... I never learned anything at all in school and didn't read a book for pleasure until I was 19 years old." ~ Stanley Kubrick
    • Another criticism of the state of formal education. Kubrick does not claim to be self-taught, only ill-educated.
  • "I loved education, which is why I spent as little time as possible in school." ~ Karl Hess, activist and political speechwriter, from Playboy magazine interview.
    • It's unclear whether this is about autodidacticism or just a criticism of schools.

(Also note that none of these quotes is adequately sourced.) The quotes I've left in the article are at least arguably about self-directed education, although only two of them are clear on the subject. (I was sorely tempted to remove the Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Twain quotes, but I left them in for now to retain a little substance.)

For those who wonder if there are people who would specifically talk about autodidacticism, I highly recommend the fascinating educational journey of Kendall Hailey in her book The Day I Became an Autodidact. I'm sure there are many more folks who are also quotable on the subject. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:42, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • The Wachowski brothers are very unique. They are probably— Larry and Andy are probably two of the smartest people I know. Larry reads everything. He reads everything. I mean, everything, you know what I mean. One thing I learned through Larry, through Andy also, is that life is about research. Larry, he's constantly researching. And he's constantly reading and that's one thing that I've taken away from this project, that life is about research.
  • I never let schooling get in the way of my education.
  • I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.
  • Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.