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





I was thrown out of N.Y.U. my freshman year for cheating on my metaphysics final. You know, I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.


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


Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.


Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962, French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist)


Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct; but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.


Francis H. Bradley (1846-1924, British philosopher)


No atomic physicist has to worry, people will always want to kill other people on a mass scale. Sure, he's got the fridge full of sausages and spring water.


William S. Burroughs (1914-1997, American writer)


A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art are ransacked for illustrations, comparisons, and allusions; their learning instructs, and their subtlety surprises; but the reader commonly thinks his improvement dearly bought and, though he sometimes admires, is seldom pleased.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


We must be physicists in order to be creative since so far codes of values and ideals have been constructed in ignorance of physics or even in contradiction to physics.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.


Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967, American nuclear physicist)


That's metaphysics, my dear fellow. It's forbidden me by my doctor, my stomach won't take it.


Boris Pasternak (1890-1960, Russian poet, novelist, translator)


Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty thousand page menu, and no food.


Robert M. Pirsig (1928-, American author)


Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is.


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


Metaphysics abstracts the mind from the senses, and the poetic faculty must submerge the whole mind in the senses. Metaphysics soars up to universals, and the poetic faculty must plunge deep into particulars.


Giambattista Vico (1688-1744, Italian philosopher, historian)


When he to whom a person speaks does not understand, and he who speaks does not understand himself, that is metaphysics.


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


It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.


George Wald (1906-1997, American biochemist)


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