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(ăf`ərĭz'əm), short, pithy statement of an evident truth concerned with life or nature; distinguished from the axiom because its truth is not capable of scientific demonstration. HippocratesHippocrates
, c.460–c.370 B.C., Greek physician, recognized as the father of medicine. He is believed to have been born on the island of Cos, to have studied under his father, a physician, to have traveled for some time, perhaps studying in Athens, and to have then
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 was the first to use the term for his Aphorisms, briefly stated medical principles. Note his famous opening sentence: "Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experimenting dangerous, reasoning difficult."



a generalized, finalized, and profound idea of an author, expressed in laconic, refined form; it is distinguished by its apt expressiveness and obvious unexpectedness of judgment. Like a proverb, an aphorism does not prove or document but rather acts on the consciousness through the original formulation of a thought. The expressiveness of aphorisms increases with a decrease in the number of words; about three-fourths of all aphorisms consist of three to five words. Aphorisms are formed both in the context of scientific, philosophical, and artistic works and independently: “Mediocrity is more easily forgiven than talent” (E. Krotkii); “Each hears only what he understands” (J. W. Goethe); “Knowledge is power” (F. Bacon). The verbal fabric of aphorisms permits no changes.


Uspenskii, L. “Korotko ob aforizmakh.” In the collection Aforizmy. Compiled by E. S. Raize. Leningrad, 1964.
Asemissen, H. U. “Notizen über den Aphorismus.” Trivium. [Zürich,] 1949, no. 2.


References in periodicals archive ?
As Lough writes: "An insight aphorism is anarchic, a bomb exploding in an empty house, blasting out the windows, blowing the doors off their hinges.
Consider the following aphorism about modern life: "Adaptation to the modern world exacts both the sclerosis of our sensibility and the debasement of our character.
That demand, however, recalls the aphorism I quoted about a great task requiring no hope for its solution.
1) Throughout I reference the Ames and Rosemont (1998) edition of The Analects of Confucius, by page number when it is their annotations and by book and aphorism number when it comes from the text proper.
His annotations to Lavater, to return to the example above, often direct the reader from one aphorism to another, sometimes distant, aphorism in the book, thereby creating a pre-digital hyper-text--in other words, a text built of links and fragments.
The winner opposes again but Aphorism is now 2lb better off and can reverse the placings.
Aphorism has been lightly-raced this season and Fanshawe's wife Jacko said: "She needs a strong pace and hadn't had much luck in her other two races this season.
In fits and starts, Richard Deming's book advances a project of sensual reorientation in the spirit of Stanley Cavell's ordinary language philosophy, and his achievements are noteworthy in a few directions, including a sophisticated intertextuality, a knack for aphorisms, and most importantly a contribution to literary ethics where the ear can play a central role.
Ford Madox Ford first used the aphorism in 1911 in Memories and Impressions (UK title: Ancient Lights, NY, 1985, p.
They use an aphorism to illustrate their philosophy: 'To respect differences and the right to disagree'.
Ben Franklin would surely have an aphorism to share here, about the greasy palm getting the suet, while the vinegar-voiced harridan walks away empty-handed.
As a successor and former colleague of mine in the role of editor of this newspaper, you would likely subscribe to the aphorism that one David Harris in the world of Anglican journalism is sufficient.