The Worth of Encapsulated Wisdom
The worth of encapsulated wisdom is either directly or inversely related to its length. Thus, taking two great clichés about history, if Santayana ( “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”) is true or false then Henry Ford (“history is bunk”) is correspondingly false or true. Whether concerning history, politics, love, wealth or life itself (“life is a bitch and then you die”), the thousands (millions?) of aphorisms, maxims and wise saws are the stuff of conversation and argument.
Our guest, Professor Gary Saul Morson, collects them and writes books about them and in this conversation we kick many of them around. pondering their correct attribution and incidentally asking: Is it true or false, partially or universally and who handled the truth of the matter better than this?
After you listen you are invited to provide your commentary and do please add to the discussion with any other aphorisms of your choice.