Life must be something more than dilettante speculation.
— Anna Julia Cooper

Mildly talented in a variety of ways but with no genuine ability in any one field, she was like me, the perennial hapless self-amused dilettante, half-worried by the slippage of time but determined to enjoy failure anyway.
Edward Abbey dilettantism quote

True, there are architects so called in this country, and I have heard of one at least possessed with the idea of making architectural ornaments have a core of truth, a necessity, and hence a beauty, as if it were a revelation to him. All very well perhaps from his point of view, but only a little better than the common dilettantism.
— Henry David Thoreau

Data is what distinguishes the dilettante from the artist.
— George V. Higgins

War is the great scavenger of thought. It is the sovereign disinfectant, and its red stream of blood is the Condy's Fluid that cleans out the stagnant pools and clotted channels of the intellect. We have awakened from an opium-dream of comfort, of ease, of that miserable poltroonery of the sheltered life. Our wish for indulgence of every sort, our laxity of manners, our wretched sensitiveness to personal inconvenience, these are suddenly lifted before us in their true guise as the specters of national decay; and we have risen from the lethargy of our dilettantism to lay them, before it is too late, by the flashing of the unsheathed sword.
— dilettantism quotation by Sir Edmund Gosse