I cannot understand the meaning of this quote from Thoughts on Various Subjects (1727) by Alexander Pope, and it is not explained anywhere else on the Internet.

Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.

I don't see the difference between understand and learn in this context.


My interpretation of this quote is that some people don't take enough time to think deeply about an issue. They only think about it on a superficial level and then suppose they already know all about it when they actually don't.


There is play with ideas here. But there is no special use of English. Before I talk about the Pope quote. Think about the famous saying attributed to Socrates

The only thing I know is that I know nothing.

Socrates is saying that he is wiser than a man who has (or pretends to have) knowledge, because that man will stop asking questions.

Pope's quote is along similar lines. People often think they understand a topic better than they actually do. If you (pretend to) understand things, or think that you know all about a topic then you will stop learning. In order to learn you must first be honest with yourself about what you don't understand.

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    In other words, one might say that Pope's quote could be paraphrased: Some people will never learn anything because they (mistakenly) believe they understand everything too soon. – J.R. Sep 12 '17 at 21:30

It seems quite simple to me, as I have experienced it myself. This quote simply means that some people understand too quickly i.e they have a fast thought process so they understand it easily n fastly but they never really learn that thing to remember it or perfect it, they just get bored of it. I m surprised I couldn't find this explanation any where.. it's apparent to me.. but again maybe I'm wrong

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