Aphorisms, except they should be ridiculous, cannot be made but of the pith and heart of sciences; for discourse of illustration is cut off; recitals of examples are cut off; discourse of connection and order is cut off; descriptions of practice are cut off. So there remaineth nothing to fill the aphorisms but some good quantity of observation; and therefore no man can suffice, nor in reason will attempt, to write aphorisms, but he that is sound and grounded.
Aphorisms, representing a knowledge broken, do invite men to inquire further; whereas methods, carrying the show of a total, do secure men, as if they were at furthest.Francis Bacon
Aphorisms are not true or false, but pointed or flat.Mason Cooley. City Aphorisms, Fourth Selection (1987)
Aphorisms have never seduced anybody, but they have fooled some into considering themselves worldly-wise.Mason Cooley. City Aphorisms, Twelfth Selection (1993)
Aphorisms are short, pithy sayings; they are individual passages that can be recited and remain intelligible out of context; they can stand on their own without further support.Dr. Louis Groarke, Canadian philosopher. Philosophy as Inspiration: Blaise Pascal and the Epistemology of Aphorisms. Essay in, Poetics Today, Fall 2007
Aphorisms are the true form of the universal philosophy.Friedrich von Schlegel (1772–1829), German philosopher. From Aphorism 259, Aphorisms from the Athenaeum (1798)
Aphorisms are rogue ideas.Susan Sontag (1933–2004), Journal entry, April 26, 1980
Most of my writing consists of an attempt to translate Aphorisms into continuous prose.Northrop Frye
At all times pseudoprofound Aphorisms have been more popular than rigorous arguments.Mario Bunge, Evaluating Philosophies (2012), p. xiv.
The great writers of Aphorisms read as if they had all known each other very well.Elias Canetti, The Human Province (1942–1972).
Exclusively of the abstract science, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of Aphorisms: and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The hunter for Aphorisms on human nature has to fish in muddy water, and he is ever condemned to find much of his own mind.Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924), British philosopher. Aphorisms (1930)
There is something anachronistic about the very idea of Aphorisms or maxims. Contemporary culture isn’t stately enough, or stable enough, to support them.Anatole Broyard (1920–1990), American literary critic. ‘Wisdom of Aphorisms’, New York Times, 30th April 1983
The great writers of Aphorisms read as if they had all known each other very well.Elias Canetti (1905–1994), Jewish-Bulgarian writer. The Human Province (1942–1972)
An aphorism is a speculative principle either in science or morals, which is presented in a few words to the understanding:;; it is the substance of a doctrine, and many Aphorisms may contain the abstract of a scienceGeorge Crabb (1846), English Synonymes Explained, in Alphabetical Order, p. 114
I’ve always felt Aphorisms as reminders, gongs–in–words.Olivia Dresher (b.1945), American literary editor, publisher and poet. 'Aphorisms by Olivia Dresher', from, All Aphorisms, All the Time, a blog on James Geary's website, 24th February 2009
But, perhaps, the excellence of Aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in a few words.Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), English poet and lexicographer. The Rambler, No. 175, 19th November 1751
Someone who can write Aphorisms should not fritter away his time writing essays.Karl Kraus. Half–Truths and One–and–a–Half Truths, translated by Harry Zohn (1990)
There is always something positive about the wisdom in Aphorisms; jokes are not always that optimistic.John Lloyd (b. 1951), British television comedy writer and producer. 'On the First Ever International Aphorism Symposium', from, All Aphorisms, All the Time, a blog on James Geary website, 11th March 2008
There are Aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), Russian-American novelist and poet. The Gift (1937), Ch. 1, from the English edition, published by G. P. Putnam’s Son (1963)
Whoever writes in blood and Aphorisms wants not to be learned but to be learned by heart.Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part, 'On Reading and Writing' (1883)
Despite our attempts to imbue them with some flavor, any flavor Aphorisms all turn out so...generic; they all sound as if they were delivered by the same disenfranchised, bad-tempered minor deity.Don Paterson, Best Thought, Worst Thought: On Art, Sex, Work, and Death. (2008)
The difference between an aphorism and a fragment is in their means of articulation. While Aphorisms are primarily literary or philosophical, fragments can be pictorial, musical, or architectural as well. But because the highest degree of articulation can be achieved in an aphorism, it remains for all fragments the measure of possible expression and of their latent meaning.Dalibor Vesely (2004), Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, p. 346
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