Aphorism (re-edited)

To say not what it is by saying what it is.


The philosopher’s life and work: a continual re-defining of terms, if only for his own sake and use; all so that he may craft, at the draw of his days, a single sentence to definitively punctuate death.


Contemplation of the word Google

To modern science: indebtedness – for your healthy aesthetic instincts which first manifested as a weariness, if not outright rejection, of the notion that contemporary language is capable of communicating timeless epistemological truth, the kind that can withstand, with at least a semblance of surety, the decadent erosion of history and popular usage.

Gratitude, for thus founding your lexicon upon the Greek instead of Latin, the latter having been contaminated for centuries by the schizophrenic morality of the Church; contamination which limited Latin’s highest epistemological achievement to the false peaks of moralism and theology. (How tragic then, that in these latter days even you, dear Science, after claiming the illustrious heights of cultural power, are succumbing to the same temptation in an attempt to maintain such ground.) 

Consider how different – and more interesting – the modern word and thought would be if the men of computers and software and algorithms had heeded similar instincts, had they any in the first place.  


A writer can argue unending against his longer sentences, but never his short ones.


Does it not seem anachronistic and slightly sardonic that the scientist, when he has completed his dissertation, still receives a Doctor of Philosophy?

What had age-long been subordinate, now supreme: Son now lord of He who gave him birth. Son now tyrant too.

Few are the cases, I suppose, when the heir of a despot is less tyrannical than his old man. Far more common is the son stricken from birth with madness and incurable maladies, the kind that leave him utterly incapable of producing anything life-giving and noble. 


Writer :

Be ruthless with the “thats” and “whichs”; and the superfluous adjectives; and all those commas; and be mindful of your will to clarify. Don’t be afraid of opacity, even to and of yourself.


En·thu·si·asm: {archaic} possessed by god’s essence; specifically of Apollo or Dionysus.

Philosopher :

… it retreats immediately… from its height… with the whisper: “what was?”


Philosopher’s impressions upon completing Nietzsche’s major works:

“Funny fellow, that Pole.”


If a writer does not each day prune and purge the language in which he lives – he is no writer.


Devil :

Consider Kirkegaard – not his moralism, of course, but his use of pseudonym.


Oh? And not Dostoevsky?   


Philosopher’s Remainder-of-Year Goals:

  1. Increase in ever more nuance
  2. Swim North Sea, December
  3. To have no idea whatsoever’s going on in the world
  4. To say not what it is by saying what it is
  5. To be more surprised when someone says, “in that piece you wrote”
  6. Devise more diabolical ways to undermine the morality of the Roman Stoics, specifically: Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Cato the Younger


Philosopher :

So what the Greeks called gods, we call “states of mind”?


No, “emotion”. Sort of.


After Antigone, can there truly be another noble woman?


The nearest literary imitation of life-as-man-thinks-it: the aphorism.

And its most logical home: the internet