Aphorisms, Quips, and Tweets


Epictetus, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein — they’re just some of the philosophers known for putting big ideas into small packages. They are great to read, yet the aphoristic or epigrammatic style is not very common among philosophers today. Sydney Morgenbesser comes to mind as a more recent master of the philosophical quip (e.g., “Of course pragmatism is true; the trouble is it doesn’t work.”). Fans of this genre should be aware that Jerry Dworkin has put together Philosophy: A Commonplace Book, which is a goldmine of philosophers’ aphorisms, quips, jokes, insults, and the like.

There is probably more out there, given that we live in an age of a new literary art form, the tweet, and I imagine that there are good providers of philosophically-related insight or amusement on Twitter. For example, check out this article in the LA Times on @NeinQuarterly (“At Starbucks I order under the name Godot. Then leave.”). Of course you all already follow @dailynouseditor. But who out there in Twitterdom should philosophers follow for the occasional pause to reflect–or chuckle?

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