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





I am never upset for the reason I think.


A Course In Miracles (Course on forgiveness based on Christianity, Eastern philosophy)

Author's website:


Reason itself is fallible, and this fallibility must find a place in our logic.


Nicola Abbagnano (1901-1990, Italian existential philosopher)


Is there not some chosen curse, some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man who owes his greatness to his country's ruin!


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


Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.


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


A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.


St. Thomas Aquinas


Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.


St. Thomas Aquinas


O reason, reason, abstract phantom of the waking state, I had already expelled you from my dreams, now I have reached a point where those dreams are about to become fused with apparent realities: now there is only room here for myself.


Louis Aragon (1897-1982, French poet)


There are strange flowers of reason to match each error of the senses.


Louis Aragon (1897-1982, French poet)


Reasoning draws a conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.


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


Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


That proves you are unusual, returned the Scarecrow; and I am convinced the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.


Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919, American journalist, writer, "The Wizard of Oz")


As if reasoning were any kind of writing or talking which tends to convince people that some doctrine or measure is true and right.


Catharine Esther Beecher (1800-1878, American educator, writer)


Reason transformed into prejudice is the worst form of prejudice, because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice.


Allan Bloom (1930-1992, American educator, author)


Some excel in rhyme who reason foolishly.


Nicholas Boileau (1636-1711, French literary poet, critic)


We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.


Henry Bolingbroke (1678-1751, British politician)


To reason about love is to lose reason.


Louis-Francois Boufflers (1644-1711, French writer, soldier, and academician)


Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.


Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855, British novelist)


As reason is a rebel to faith, so passion is a rebel to reason.


Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682, British author, physician, philosopher)


If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.


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


A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason.


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


People are governed with the head; kindness of heart is little use in chess.


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


The more you reason the less you create.


Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American author)


If you can once engage people's pride, love, pity, ambition (or whatever is their prevailing passion) on your side, you need not fear what their reason can do against you.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. He is the man who has lost everything except his reason.


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


Let reason govern desire.


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


Reason should direct and appetite obey.


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


Reason is a whore, surviving by simulation, versatility, and shamelessness.


E. M. Cioran (1911-1995, Rumanian-born French philosopher)


The person who is master of their passions is reason's slave.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


The trouble with Reason is that it becomes meaningless at the exact point where it refuses to act.


Bernard Devoto (1897-1955, American writer, critic, historian)


No one ever excused his way to success.


Dave Del Dotto (American businessman, author)


He that will not reason is a bigot; He that cannot reason is a fool; and He that dares not reason is a slave.


William Drummond (1585-1649, Celtic poet)


Reason is a crutch for age, but youth is strong enough to walk alone.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it.


Clint Eastwood (1930-, American actor, director, politician, composer, musician, producer)


Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


Just as love is an orientation which refers to all objects and is incompatible with the restriction to one object, so is reason a human faculty which must embrace the whole of the world with which man is confronted.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.


Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


A person possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with.


James A. Froude (1818-1894, British historian)


Reason can in general do more than blind force.


Gaius C. Gallus (c.70-26 BC, Gaul poet)


Rationalists are admirable beings, rationalism is a hideous monster when it claims for itself omnipotence. Attribution of omnipotence to reason is as bad a piece of idolatry as is worship of stock and stone believing it to be God. I plead not for the suppression of reason, but for a due recognition of that in us which sanctifies reason.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


I'll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has got to say.


Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865, British novelist)


Reason can never be popular. Passions and feelings may become popular, but reason will always remain the sole property of a few eminent individuals.


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


Reason is a faculty far larger than mere objective force. When either the political or the scientific discourse announces itself as the voice of reason, it is playing God, and should be spanked and stood in the corner.


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


Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.


Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804,  American  statesman)


As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.


Vaclav Havel (1936-, Czech playwright, president)


To give a reason for anything is to breed a doubt of it.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.


Georg Hegel (1770-1831, German philosopher)


What is rational is actual, and what is actual is rational.


Georg Hegel (1770-1831, German philosopher)


Remember that in giving any reason at all for refusing, you lay some foundation for a future request.


Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875, British historian, novelist, essayist)


Reason gains all people by compelling none.


Aaron Hill (1685-1750, British dramatist)


Treason is like diamonds; there is nothing to be made by the small trader.


Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857, British humorist, playwright)


Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason.


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804, German philosopher)


We frequently do good in order to enable us to do evil later with impunity exemption of punishment.


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


Reason is a supple nymph, and slippery as a fish by nature. She had as leave give her kiss to an absurdity any day, as to syllogistic truth. The absurdity may turn out truer.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


Reason now gazes above the realm of the dark but warm feelings as the Alpine peaks do above the clouds. They behold the sun more clearly and distinctly, but they are cold and unfruitful.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


An appeal to the reason of the people has never been known to fail in the long run.


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


Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has.


Martin Luther (1483-1546, German leader of the protestant reformation)


Our reason may prove what it will: our reason is only a feeble ray that has issued from Nature.


Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949, Belgian author)


I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.


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


There is really nothing more to say except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.


Toni Morrison (1931-, African-American novelist)


He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


The heart has its reason which reason does not know.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


There are two extremes that are equally dangerous -- shutting reason entirely out, and letting nothing in.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


There is something peculiarly sinister and insidious in even a charge of disloyalty. Such a charge all too frequently places a strain on the reputation of an individual which is indelible and lasting, regardless of the complete innocence later proved.


John Lord O'Brian


Reason clears and plants the wilderness of the imagination to harvest the wheat of art.


Austin O'Malley


What is now reason was formerly impulse or instinct.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


We are a rebellious nation. Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born; our creeds were infidelity to the mother church; our constitution treason to our fatherland.


Theodore Parker (1810-1860, American minister)


In general, we are convinced more easily by reasons we discover ourselves than by those that others have given us.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards.


Soren F. Petersen


Write on my gravestone: "Infidel, Traitor." -- infidel to every church that compromises with wrong; traitor to every government that oppresses the people.


Wendell Phillips (1811-1884, American reformer, orator)


Whenever a person strives, by the help of dialectic, to start in pursuit of every reality by a simple process of reason, independent of all sensuous information -- never flinching, until by an act of the pure intelligence he has grasped the real nature of good -- he arrives at the very end of the intellectual world.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.


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


When you rely too much on reason, you end up not relying enough on feeling.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Reason lies between the bridle and the spur.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


There is not a single season without fruit.


Turkish Proverb (Sayings of Turkish origin)


Reason is the wise man's guide, example the fool's.


Welsh Proverb (Sayings of Welsh origin)


Everyone has his reasons.


Jean Renoir


I got fame and fortune, and I lost my sense of reasoning.


Little Richard (1932-, American entertainer)


Reason is the historian, but passions are the actors.


Antoine Rivarol (1753-1801, French journalist, epigrammatist)


Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.


James H. Robinson (American businessman, chairman of American express)


Reason over passion.


Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000, Canadian Prime Minister (1968-79, 1980-4))


Reason is like an officer when the king appears. The officer then loses his power and hides himself. Reason is the shadow cast by God; Go is the sun.


Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273, Persian sufi, mystic poet)


Reason is a harmonizing, controlling force rather than a creative one.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


The irrational in the human has something about it altogether repulsive and terrible, as we see in the maniac, the miser, the drunkard or the ape.


George Santayana (1863-1952, American philosopher, poet)


A noble heart will always capitulate to reason.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


Strong reasons make strong actions.


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


Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason, to fast in us unused.


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


Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out.


Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British writer, clergyman)


The gods plant reason in mankind, of all good gifts the highest.


Sophocles (495-406 BC, Greek tragic poet)


Our passion and principals are constantly in a frenzy, but begin to shift and waver, as we return to reason.


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British author)


Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off.


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


Too much sensibility creates unhappiness and too much insensibility creates crime.


Charles Maurice De Talleyrand (1754-1838, French statesman)


He that speaketh against his own reason speaks against his own conscience, and therefore it is certain that no man serves God with a good conscience who serves him against his reason.


Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667, British churchman, writer)


Man always has two reasons for the things he does; the logical one and the real one.


Author Unknown


Wise men are instructed in reason men of less understanding by experience; The most unknowing learn by necessity. Wise men do in the beginning what fools in the end.


Author Unknown


You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.


Author Unknown


Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason.


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


The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.


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


Reason is the test of ridicule, not ridicule the test of truth.


William Warburton (1698-1779, Bishop of Gloucester)


Passion and prejudice govern the world; only under the name of reason.


John Wesley (1703-1791, British preacher, founder of Methodism)


An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.


Edwin P. Whipple (1819-1886, American essayist)


Reason has never failed men. Only force and repression have made the wrecks in the world.


William Allen White (1868-1944, American editor, writer)


There are thousands of reasons why you cannot do what you want to.  All you need is one reason why you can.


Willis R. Whitney


I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.


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


Reason is emotion for the sexless.


Heathcote Williams


The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


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