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





She was short on intellect, but long on shape.


George Ade (1866-1944, American humorist, playwright)


Intelligence: I was asked tonight why I refuse to have truck with intellectuals after business hours. But of course I won t. 1. I am not an intellectual. Two minutes talk with Aldous Huxley,  William Glock,  or any of the New Statesman crowd would expose me utterly. 2. I am too tired after my day's work to man the intellectual palisade. 3. When my work is finished I want to eat,  drink,  smoke,  and relax. 4. I don't know very much,  but what I do know I know better than anybody,  and I don't want to argue about it. I know what I think about an actor or an actress,  and am not interested in what anybody else thinks. My mind is not a bed to be made and re-made.


James Agate (1877-1947, British author, critic)


I've never been an intellectual but I have this look.


Woody Allen (1935-, American director, screenwriter, actor, comedian)


Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


People generally treat me like I'm very intelligent and really, I'm much less intelligent than she is. Scully is insanely intelligent.


Gillian Anderson (1968-, American actress)


To the man-in-the-street who, I'm sorry to say, is a keen observer of life, the word "intellectual" suggests straight away a man who's untrue to his wife.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.


Ray Bradbury (1920-, American science fiction writer)


I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.


Tallulah Bankhead (1903-1968, American actress)


The intellectual is a middle-class product; if he is not born into the class he must soon insert himself into it, in order to exist. He is the fine nervous flower of the bourgeoisie.


Louise Bogan (1897-1970, American poet, critic)


Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.


Edward De Bono (1933-, British writer on thinking process)


To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.


Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974, British scientist, author)


A large section of the intelligentsia seems wholly devoid of intelligence.


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


To label me an intellectual is a misunderstanding of what that is.


Dick Cavett


A person of intellect without energy added to it, is a failure.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.


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


The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.


Noam Chomsky (1928-, American linguist, political activist)


It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.


Arthur C. Clarke (1917-, British science fiction writer)


Clever people seem not to feel the natural pleasure of bewilderment, and are always answering questions when the chief relish of a life is to go on asking them.


Frank Moore Colby (1865-1925, American editor, essayist)


The woman who thinks she is intelligent demands equal rights with men. A woman who is intelligent does not.


Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954, French author)


If intellection and knowledge were mere passion from without, or the bare reception of extraneous and adventitious forms, then no reason could be given at all why a mirror or looking-glass should not understand; whereas it cannot so much as sensibly perceive those images which it receives and reflects to us.


Ralph J. Cudworth (1617-1688, British theologian, philosopher)


The true knowledge or science which exists nowhere but in the mind itself, has no other entity at all besides intelligibility; and therefore whatsoever is clearly intelligible, is absolutely true.


Ralph J. Cudworth (1617-1688, British theologian, philosopher)


Intellectual sodomy, which comes from the refusal to be simple about plain matters, is as gross and abundant today as sexual perversion and they are nowise different from one another.


Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)


Undernourished, intelligence becomes like the bloated belly of a starving child: swollen, filled with nothing the body can use.


Andrea Dworkin (1946-, American feminist critic)


Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, American President (34th))


Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life can understand the grief of one who falls from that serene activity into the absorbing soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


A sage is the instructor of a hundred ages.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


If a man's eye is on the Eternal, his intellect will grow.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


One definition of man is "an intelligence served by organs."


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


We lie in the lap of immense intelligence.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Ask a wise man to dinner and he'll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you'll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people's entertainment.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.


David Fasold


Intelligence is that faculty of mind, by which order is perceived in a situation previously considered disordered.


Haneef Fatmi


I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.


Carrie Fisher (1956-, American actress, novelist)


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).


Michel Foucault (1926-1984, French essayist, philosopher)


The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it.


Frank M. Garafola


Clever people are always the best conversations lexicon.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, that one small head could carry all he knew.


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


He is far too intelligent to become really cerebral.


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-, American author)


There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.


Vaclav Havel (1936-, Czech playwright, president)


It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.


Stephen Hawking (1942-, British theoretical physicist)


It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.


Stephen Hawking (1942-, British theoretical physicist)


Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.


Lillian Hellman (1905-1984, American playwright)


There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.


Don Herold


Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible.


Anthony Hope (1863-1933, British writer)


Man is an intelligence, not served by, but in servitude to his organs.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphine: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one is leading the "higher life."


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


Intelligence, in diapers, is invisible. And when it matures, out the window it flies. We have to pounce on it earlier.


Stanislaw J. Lec (1909-1966, Polish writer)


A sort of war of revenge on the intellect is what, for some reason, thrives in the contemporary social atmosphere.


Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957, British author, painter)


The level of the development of a country is determined, in considerable part, by the level of development of its people's intelligence.


Luis Albert Machado


The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.


Marya Mannes (1904-1990, American writer)


On a level plain, simple mounds look like hills; and the insipid flatness of our present bourgeoisie is to be measured by the altitude of its "great intellects."


Karl Marx (1818-1883, German political theorist, social philosopher)


Intelligence is required to be able to know that a man knows not.


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


The intellectual is different from the ordinary man, but only in certain sections of his personality, and even then not all the time.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure.


Laurence J. Peter


Not by age but by capacity is wisdom acquired.


Titus Maccius Plautus (BC 254-184, Roman comic poet)


The only chance for victory over the brainwash is the right of every man to have his ideas judged one at a time. You never get clarity as long as you have these packaged words, as long as a word is used by twenty-five people in twenty-five different ways. That seems to me to be the first fight, if there is going to be any intellect left.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


Our intellect is not the most subtle, the most powerful, the most appropriate, instrument for revealing the truth. It is life that, little by little, example by example, permits us to see that what is most important to our heart, or to our mind, is learned not by reasoning but through other agencies. Then it is that the intellect, observing their superiority, abdicates its control to them upon reasoned grounds and agrees to become their collaborator and lackey.


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


You cannot be very smart if you have never done anything foolish.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


You don't need intelligence to have luck, but you do need luck to have intelligence.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


If we look into ourselves, we discover propensities which declare that our intellects have arisen from a lower form.  Could our minds be made visible, we should find them tailed.


Winwood W. Reade (1838-1875, American writer)


Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.


Solomon Short


Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


Intelligence is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life.


Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895, Scottish essayist, poet, novelist)


The intellect is weak; it has no power except over what is as weak as itself.


Abu’I Hasan al-Nuri Sufi


Never be lucid, never state, if you would be regarded great.


Dylan Thomas (1914-1953, Welsh poet)


We need only travel enough to give our intellects an airing.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.


Henrik Tikkanen


The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


It is little that one gains by cleverness.


Author Unknown


When you don't have an education, you've got to use your brains.


Author Unknown


You think you are clever until you find out how smart you are


Author Unknown


I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival.


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-, American novelist)


Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


The role of the intelligence -- that part of us which affirms and denies and formulates opinions is merely to submit.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


Whatever debases the intelligence degrades the entire human being.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct form ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.


Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947, British mathematician, philosopher)


Intelligence appears to be the thing that enables a man to get along without education. Education enables a man to get along without the use of his intelligence.


Albert Edward Wiggam


Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.


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


The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.


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


Once something becomes discernible, or understandable, we no longer need to repeat it. We can destroy it.


Robert Wilson (1941-, American theater director, designer)


I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow.


Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924, American President (28th))


There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)


The good are so harsh to the clever, the clever so rude to the good!


Elizabeth Wordsworth


I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down; I am from the bottom up.


Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959, American architect)


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