Selections from the Philosophes
March 26, 2011 3:48 PM   Subscribe

"Maxims and axioms are, just like summaries, the work that spirited people do, it seems, for the use of mediocre or lazy spirits." Presenting maxims, axioms and more from the Philosophes: Vauvenargues! Chamfort! Fontenelle! La Bruyère! Galiani! La Rochefoucauld! Saint-Évremond! posted by Iridic (9 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
*Tags to my Delicious bookmarks for reading someday.*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Most compilers of verse or of bon mots resemble people who eat cherries or oysters, at first choosing the best ones, and finishing by eating everything.

posted by chavenet at 4:30 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Malcom De Chazal

And my favorite, that I just read a few hours ago, and which it seems has been awaiting me to place it online:

"Without the shadows, light could not ride the objects, and the sun would go everywhere on foot."
posted by BigSky at 4:35 PM on March 26, 2011

I think my friends are going to loathe my status updates for a while.
posted by MasonDixon at 6:06 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Apropos nothing, a fontenelle is a natural hole in the braincase of a skull, such as the newborn's "soft spot."
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:32 PM on March 26, 2011

Don't forget minims
posted by anazgnos at 8:57 PM on March 26, 2011

a fontenelle is a natural hole in the braincase of a skull

Is that not a fontanelle?

And if we are talking philosophes, why no Voltaire? Diderot? Rousseau?
posted by Wolof at 6:35 AM on March 27, 2011

Here are some interesting modern maxims (aka epigrams or aphorisms).
posted by Bureau of Public Secrets at 11:19 AM on March 27, 2011

I'm not allowed to answer "Metafilter" when my partner asks me "Whatcha reading?" Thanks for making me, for at least one answer to this question, seem a little brighter than usual -- or at least catching him off guard.

Also, let this thread be my nth opportunity to rally for Instapaper for saving stuff you want to read later and can have ability to do so on your phone, in your browser, or even (gasp) on paper.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:34 PM on March 27, 2011

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