i. “The paradox of money is that when you have lots of it you can manage life quite cheaply. Nothing so economical as being rich.” (Robertson Davies)

ii. “Like a real academic, she was wary of people outside the academic world — ‘laymen’ they called them — who seemed to know a lot. Knowledge was for professionals of knowledge.” (-ll-)

iii. “If you don’t hurry up and let life know what you want, life will damned soon show you what you’ll get.” (-ll-)

iv. “I was embarrassed to be such a fool in a situation that I had told myself and other people countless times I would never submit to — talking to a psychiatrist, ostensibly seeking help, but without any confidence that he could give it. I have never believed these people can do anything for an intelligent man he can’t do for himself. I have known many people who leaned on psychiatrists, and every one of them was a leaner by nature, who would have leaned on a priest if he had lived in an age of faith, or leaned on a teacup reader or an astrologer if he had not enough money to afford the higher hokum.” (-ll-)

v. “Be sure you choose what you believe and know why you believe it, because if you don’t choose your beliefs, you may be certain that some belief, and probably not a very creditable one, will choose you.” (-ll-)

vi. “Unhappiness of the kind that is recognized and examined and brooded over is a spiritual luxury.” (-ll-)

vii. “Promise is most given when the least is said.” (George Chapman)

viii. “In his discussions of such matters as “What is justice?” or “What is virtue?” he took the attitude that he knew nothing and had to be instructed by others. (This is called “Socratic irony,” for Socrates knew very well that he knew a great deal more than the poor souls he was picking on.) By pretending ignorance, Socrates lured others into propounding their views on such abstractions. Socrates then, by a series of ignorant-sounding questions, forced the others into such a mélange of self-contradictions that they would finally break down and admit they didn’t know what they were talking about.

It is the mark of the marvelous toleration of the Athenians that they let this continue for decades and that it wasn’t till Socrates turned seventy that they broke down and forced him to drink poison.” (Isaac Asimov, The Relativity of Wrong)

ix. “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” (George Orwell)

x. “The problem with being consistent is that there are lots of ways to be consistent, and they’re all inconsistent with each other.” (Larry Wall)

xi. “Each instant of life is a step toward death.” (Pierre Corneille)

xii. “Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindnesses and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart, and secure comfort.” (Humphry Davy)

xiii. “men of sense often learn from their enemies. […] It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. And this lesson saves their children, their homes, and their properties.” (Aristophanes)

xiv. “Men of ill judgement oft ignore the good
That lies within their hands, till they have lost it.” (Sophocles)

xv. “Unwanted favours gain no gratitude.” (-ll-)

xvi. “A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party: there is no battle unless there be two.” (Seneca)

xvii. “There is no method of reasoning more common, and yet none more blamable, than, in philosophical disputes, to endeavor the refutation of any hypothesis, by a pretense of its dangerous consequences to religion and morality.” (David Hume)

xviii. “The sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstructions in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought so far to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind.” (-ll-)

xix. “No conclusions can be more agreeable to scepticism than such as make discoveries concerning the weakness and narrow limits of human reason and capacity.” (-ll-)

xx. “The art of the quoter is to know when to stop.” (Robertson Davies)

May 20, 2013 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms

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