| Quote #1
It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. (Economy.10)
Thoreau wants us to challenge our beliefs, to put them to the test of personal judgment and experience. The proof is in the pudding.
| Quote #2
Confucius said, "To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact of his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis. (Economy.15)
Wisdom entails not only knowledge, but also a sense of the limits of our understanding.
| Quote #3
To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. (Economy.19)
Wisdom isn't about schools of philosophy or religion. It is about putting into practice the principles you believe in. You may be able to talk the talk, but you've also got to walk the walk.