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The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery,
by Paul Valery

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery,
a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a
spring of capital truths,
and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
- Paul Valery

Related topics: Science

Politeness is organized indifference.
- Paul Valery

Love is being stupid together.
- Paul Valery

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
- Paul Valery

 

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
- Paul Valery

An artist never really finishes his work,
he merely abandons it.
- Paul Valery

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
- Paul Valery

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The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
- Paul Valery

The history of thought may be summed up in these words:
it is absurd by what it seeks and great by what it finds.
- Paul Valery

Poe is the only impeccable writer.
He was never mistaken.
- Paul Valery

Serious-minded people have few ideas.
People with ideas are never serious.
- Paul Valery

Two dangers constantly threaten the world:
order and disorder.
- Paul Valery

War: a massacre of people who don't know each other
for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other.
- Paul Valery

Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us,
exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude
of pronouncing upon our fellows.
- Paul Valery

Man's great misfortune is that he has no organ,
no kind of eyelid or brake, to mask or block a thought,
or all thought, when he wants to.
- Paul Valery

Politics is the art of preventing people from busying
themselves with what is their own business.
- Paul Valery

We are enriched by our reciprocate differences.
- Paul Valery

A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
- Paul Valery

Power without abuse loses its charm.
- Paul Valery

A man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.
- Paul Valery

Books have the same enemies as people:
fire,
humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
- Paul Valery

Long years must pass before the truths we have made
for ourselves become our very flesh.
- Paul Valery

That which has been believed by everyone,
always and everywhere, has every chance of being false.
- Paul Valery

A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner
madman under lock and key.
- Paul Valery

At times I think and at times I am.
- Paul Valery

In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well.
- Paul Valery

History is the science of things which are not repeated.
- Paul Valery

To write regular verses destroys an infinite number of fine possibilities,
but at the same time it suggests a multitude of distant
and totally unexpected thoughts.
- Paul Valery

A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.
- Paul Valery

A man is a poet if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas;
he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.
- Paul Valery

The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely
different idea of the things we know best.
- Paul Valery

God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone,
gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
- Paul Valery

The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry
of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect.
- Paul Valery

A businessman is a hybrid of a dancer and a calculator.
- Paul Valery

That which has always been accepted by everyone,
everywhere, is almost certain to be false.
- Paul Valery

Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes
that are always successful.
All the rest is literature.
- Paul Valery

In war as in life, it is often necessary
when some cherished scheme has failed,
to take up the best alternative open,
and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
- Winston Churchill

Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom,
but Babbling is ever a folly.
- Benjamin Franklin

Those who realize their folly are not true fools.
- Zhuangzi

Experience - the wisdom that enables us to recognise
in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
- Ambrose Bierce

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that
which he has the power to obtain by himself.
- Epicurus

One man's folly is another man's wife.
- Helen Rowland

The vanity of loving fine clothes and new fashion,
and placing value on ourselves by them is one of the
most childish pieces of folly.
- Matthew Hale

Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between
the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth -
two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.
- Ambrose Bierce

Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise.
- Thomas Gray

At times it is folly to hasten at other times,
to delay.
The wise do everything in its proper time.
- Ovid

There is perhaps no surer mark of folly,
than to attempt to correct natural infirmities of those we love.
- Henry Fielding

Always the cat remains a little beyond the limits we
try to set for him in our blind folly.
- Andre Norton

In the vain laughter of folly wisdom hears half its applause.
- George Eliot

You can do but one of these things; it is folly to attempt anything else,
for there cannot exist a slave confederacy and a free
confederacy side by side upon this continent.
- John Brough

Folly enlarges men's desires while it lessens their capacities.
- Robert South

I only did my duty to my country when I tried to oppose
the criminal folly of Hitler.
- Wilhelm Canaris

But I can tell you what your folly and injustice will compel us to do.
It will compel us to be free from your domination,
and more self-reliant than we have been.
- John H. Reagan

Man's wisdom is his best friend; folly his worst enemy.
- William Temple

The preserve of ambition and folly in pursuit of illusion,
or delusion.
- Derek Jarman

The world is neither wise nor just, but it makes up
for all its folly and injustice by being damnably sentimental.
- Thomas Huxley

Human folly does not impede the turning of the stars.
- Tom Robbins

At sixty, I know little more about wisdom than I did at thirty,
but I know a great deal more about folly.
- Mason Cooley

It may be assumed as an axiom that Providence has never
gifted any political party with all of political wisdom
or blinded it with all of political folly.
- John George Nicolay

True wisdom is less presuming than folly.
The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind;
the fool is obstinate,
and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance.
- Akhenaton

The folly which we might have ourselves committed is
the one which we are least ready to pardon in another.
- Joseph Roux

It would be stupid tameness, and unaccountable folly,
for whole nations to suffer one unreasonable,
ambitious and cruel man, to wanton and riot in their misery.
- Jonathan Mayhew

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly,
science into superstition, and art into pedantry.
Hence University education.
- George Bernard Shaw

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
- William Blake

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.'
All issues are political issues,
and politics itself is a mass of lies,
evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
- George Orwell

To be bowed by grief is folly; Naught is gained by melancholy;
Better than the pain of thinking,
Is to steep the sense in drinking.
- Alcaeus

It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of
a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.
- Jonathan Swift

Courts of law, and all the paraphernalia and folly
of law cannot be found in a rational state of society.
- Robert Owen

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue?
It is the greatest of all possible evils;
for it is folly,
vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.
- Edmund Burke

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly,
is to fill the world with fools.
- Herbert Spencer

To take my work seriously would be the height of folly.
- Edward Gorey


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