i. “Folly is often more cruel in the consequence than malice can be in the intent.” (Marquess of Halifax)

ii. “Men who borrow their opinions can never repay their debts.” (-ll-)

iii. “A man can believe a considerable deal of rubbish, and yet go about his daily work in a rational and cheerful manner.” (Norman Douglas)

iv. “People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.” (Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes. In slightly related matters, I’ve been meaning to link to this for a while and I guess this is as good a place as any to do it.)

v. “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” (Descartes)

vi. “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.” (Daniel Kahneman)

vii. “Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage.” (Benjamin Disraeli. Here’s the cartoon version.)

viii. “Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristiscs of a vigorous intellect.” (Samuel Johnson)

ix. “The brute necessity of believing something so long as life lasts does not justify any belief in particular.” (Santayana)

x. “There are infinite possibilities of error, and more cranks take up unfashionable untruths than unfashionable truths.” (Bertrand Russell)

xi. “The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.” (-ll-)

xii. “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” (Nietzsche)

xiii. “Faith makes many of the mountains which it has to remove.” (W. R. Inge)

xiv. “To praise oneself is considered improper, immodest; to praise one’s own sect, one’s own philosophy, is considered the highest duty.” (Leo Shestov)

xv. “I doubt not, but if it had been a thing contrary to any man’s right of dominion, That the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a square, that the doctrine should have been, if not disputed, yet by the burning of all books of geometry suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned was able.” (Thomas Hobbes)

xvi. “Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.” (Thomas Henry Huxley)

xvii. “Prejudice is never easy unless it can pass itself off for reason.” (William Hazlitt)

xviii. “We are usually convinced more easily by reasons we have found ourselves than by those which have occurred to others.” (Pascal)

xix. “we cannot simply presume that we know instinctively why people do what they do no matter how emotionally satisfying that may be, because humans are often generally unaware of the reasons for their thoughts and actions in the first place. […] In most cases, our thoughts and actions simply make sense at the time.” (D. Jason Slone)

xx. “I think you can come across as kind of rude. […] arrogant and pretentious […] You can add patronising to the list.” (a girl I talked to yesterday. I’m of course quoting her out of context. She’s quite nice and it was an interesting conversation.)


September 30, 2012 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms

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