An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown




There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion.

Lord Acton (1834-1902, British historian)


Arguments out of a pretty mouth are unanswerable.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


The long term versus the short term argument is one used by losers.

Larry Adler (1914-2001, American founder of Fire & All Risk Insurances)


Wise men argue cases, fools decide them.

Anacharsis (600 BC, Scythian philosopher)


Quarrels often arise in marriages when the bridal gifts are excessive.

Antisthenes (388-311 BC, Greek dramatist)


We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also.

Antisthenes (388-311 BC, Greek dramatist)


Argument is conclusive... but... it does not remove doubt, so that the mind may rest in the sure knowledge of the truth, unless it finds it by the method of experiment. For if any man who never saw fire proved by satisfactory arguments that fire burns. his hearer's mind would never be satisfied, nor would he avoid the fire until he put his hand in it that he might learn by experiment what argument taught.

Roger Bacon (1214-1294, British philosopher, scientist)


Arguments are like fire-arms which a man may keep at home but should not carry about with him.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.

Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799, French dramatist)


Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, knowing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about

Robert Benchley (1889-1945, American humorist, critic, parodist)


I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle this matter by lunch time.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


Behind every argument is someone's ignorance.

Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941, American judge)


We are not won by arguments that we can analyze, but by tone and temper; by the manner, which is the man himself.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.

Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Neither irony nor sarcasm is argument.

Rufus Choate (1799-1859, American lawyer, statesman)


When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.

Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


Men's arguments often prove nothing but their wishes.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.

Daniel Dennett


Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.

Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach


Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies than by a thousand arguments.

Nathaniel Emmons


He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


I had a lovers quarrel with the world.

Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


Never contend with one that is foolish, proud, positive, testy, or with a superior, or a clown, in matter of argument.

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Soft words are hard arguments.

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


When good people have a falling out, only one of them may be at fault at first; but if the strife continues long, usually both become guilty.

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.

Andre Gide (1869-1951, French author)


There is no arguing with him, for if his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the right.

Lord Quintin Hogg Hailsham (1907-2001, British statesman)


Hear one side and you will be in the dark. Hear both and all will be clear.

Thomas C. Haliburton (1796-1865, Canadian jurist, author)


The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face.

Sidney J. Harris (1917-, American journalist)


No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.

Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987, Lithuanian violinist)


There can be no greater argument to a man of his own power than to find himself able not only to accomplish his own desires, but also to assist other men in theirs; and this is that conception wherein consisteth charity.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679, British philosopher)


But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.

Homer (c. 850 -? BC, Greek epic poet)


The sounder your argument, the more satisfaction you get out of it.

Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937, American journalist, author)


It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle it without debate.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)


The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)


Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


You punch me, I punch back. I do not believe it's good for ones self-respect to be a punching bag.


Edward Koch (1924-, American politician)


The argument of the strongest is always the best.


Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695, French poet)


When you argue with your inferiors, you convince them of only one thing: they are as clever as you.


Irving Layton (1912-, Canadian poet)


Quarrels would not last so long if the fault lay only on one side.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


Heat and animosity, contest and conflict, may sharpen the wits, although they rarely do; they never strengthen the understanding, clear the perspicacity, guide the judgment, or improve the heart.


Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864, British poet, essayist)


There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


Debate is the death of conversation.


Emil Ludwig (1881-1948, German writer)


The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one's opinion, but rather to know it.


Andre Maurois (1885-1967, French writer)


He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


The purely agitation attitude is not good enough for a detailed consideration of a subject.


Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964, Indian nationalist, statesman)


One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


True disputants are like true sportsman: their whole delight is in the pursuit.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


When much dispute has past, we find our tenets just the same as last.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.


Matthew Prior (1664-1721, British diplomat, poet)


Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.


Lebanese Proverb (Sayings of Lebanese origin)


It takes two to quarrel, but only one to end it.


Spanish Proverb (Sayings of Spanish origin)


Whenever you argue with another wiser than yourself in order that others may admire your wisdom, they will discover your ignorance.


Saadi (c. 1210 - 1290, Persian poet)


It was completely fruitless to quarrel with the world, whereas the quarrel with oneself was occasionally fruitful and always, she had to admit, interesting.


May Sarton (1912-1995, American poet, novelist)


I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


In a false quarrel there is no true valor.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Concerning God, freewill and destiny: of all that earth has been or yet may be, all that vain men imagine or believe, or hope can paint or suffering may achieve, we descanted.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822, British poet)


Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation, as in books it is generally the worst sort of reading.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


Arguments only confirm people in their own opinions.


Booth Tarkington (1869-1946, American writer)


When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid -- in which case all comment is superfluous -- or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem.


Miguel De Unamuno (1864-1936, Spanish philosophical writer)


A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about.


Author Unknown


A sure way of getting the last word in an argument is to say you right.


Author Unknown


An argument is like a country road, you never know where it is going to lead.


Author Unknown


If you argue with a woman and win, you lose.


Author Unknown


People who know the least always argue the most.


Author Unknown


Soft words win hard hearts.


Author Unknown


There are usually two sides to every argument but no end.


Author Unknown


There is no point in arguing about matters of taste.


Author Unknown


Two dogs strive for a bone and the third one runs off with it.


Author Unknown


When all are wrong, everyone is right.


Author Unknown


When two quarrel, both are in the wrong.


Author Unknown


Men argue, nature acts.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument.


Richard Whately (1787-1863, British prelate, writer)


Weak arguments are often thrust before my path; but although they are most insubstantial, it is not easy to destroy them. There is not a more difficult feat known than to cut through a cushion with a sword.


Richard Whately (1787-1863, British prelate, writer)


How beggarly appear arguments before a defiant deed!


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)

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