Question Quotation: Voltaire - Judge a man not by his answers

One of the defining quotations for this blog is often attributed to Voltaire:

Judge a man not by his answers,
but by his questions.

French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher François-Marie Arouet who went by the name Voltaire (1694 - 1778).

But I wanted to know where and when he said this, and a quick search turned up...

Misattributed to Voltaire

It turns out this is likely not a saying by Voltaire afterall - Wikipedia says on the Voltaire quotations page in the Misattributed section:

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.


It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers

...and the original french:

Il est encore plus facile de juger de l'esprit d'un homme par ses questions que par ses réponses.

Which was actually written by Pierre-Marc-Gaston, duc de Lévis (1764-1830), Maximes et réflexions sur différents sujets de morale et de politique (Paris, 1808): Maxim xvii.

(Original photo AGO Sin and Salvation - the lean :: February 12, 2009 from my photoblog seemsArtless, text added using

? > !! - QB71423

Recent articles

September 20, 2015 - filed under Ponderances

Who can you 'uplift'?

Elizabeth Nyamayaro reminds us how important it is to help other

May 02, 2014 - filed under Ponderances

On finding new, uncertain games

Are you only playing the games you know you can win? Roger Martin on the fear of failure.