Quotes from The Art of Always Being Right

Arthur Schopenhauer ·  65 pages

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“there are very few who can think, but every man wants to have an opinion; and what remains but to take it ready-made from others, instead of forming opinions for himself?”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“If human nature were not base, but thoroughly honourable, we should in every debate have no other aim than the discovery of truth; we should not in the least care whether the truth proved to be in favour of the opinion which we had begun by expressing, or of the opinion of our adversary. That we should regard as a matter of no moment, or, at any rate, of very secondary consequence; but, as things are, it is the main concern. Our innate vanity, which is particularly sensitive in reference to our intellectual powers, will not suffer us to allow that our first position was wrong and our adversary’s right. The way out of this difficulty would be simply to take the trouble always to form a correct judgment. For this a man would have to think before he spoke. But, with most men, innate vanity is accompanied by loquacity and innate dishonesty. They speak before they think; and even though they may afterwards perceive that they are wrong, and that what they assert is false, they want it to seem thecontrary. The interest in truth, which may be presumed to have been their only motive when they stated the proposition alleged to be true, now gives way to the interests of vanity: and so, for the sake of vanity, what is true must seem false, and what is false must seem true.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“A last trick is to become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand. In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character. This is a very popular trick, because everyone is able to carry it into effect.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“Every light can be extinguished. The intellect is a light. Therefore it can, be extinguished.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“It would be a great mistake to suppose that it is sufficient not to become personal yourself. For by showing a man quite quietly that he is wrong, and that what he says and thinks is incorrect — a process which occurs in every dialectical victory — you embitter him more than if you used some rude or insulting expression. Why is this? Because, as Hobbes observes, all mental pleasure consists in being able to compare oneself with others to one’s own advantage. — Nothing is of greater moment to a man than the gratification of his vanity, and no wound is more painful than that which is inflicted on it. Hence such phrases as “Death before dishonour,” and so on.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“Dialectic is the art of intellectual fencing; and it is only when we so regard it that we can erect it into a branch of knowledge.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“The only safe rule, therefore, is that which Aristotle mentions in the last chapter of his Topica: not to dispute with the first person you meet, but only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to cherish truth, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong, should truth lie with him. From this it follows that scarcely one man in a hundred is worth your disputing with him. You may let the remainder say what they please, for every one is at liberty to be a fool—desipere est jus gentium.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“إن ما يسمى الرأي المشترك هو -بالنظر إليه جيداً- رأي شخصين أو ثلاثة أشخاص، وقد يمكننا أن نقتنع به إذا نحن لاحظنا كيف تولد فكرة كهذه. سنلاحظ إذن أنهما في البداية شخصان أو ثلاثة أشخاص هم الذين سلموا به أو أوردوه وأكدوه، وإنه من باب الرفق بهم الاعتقاد أنهم فحصوه تماماً. والبعض الآخر طفق بالمثل، مستعجلاً الحكم بالكفاءة الكاملة لهم في تبني هذا الرأي. بدوره عدد كبير من الأشخاص يركنون إلى هؤلاء. يحملهم كسلهم على تصديق الأمور دفعة واحدة عوض عناء فحصها. هكذا ازداد يوماً بعد يوم عدد هؤلاء الأتباع الكسالى والسّذج، لأنه بمجرد أن يحوز الرأي عدداً لا بأس به من الأصوات يظن اللاحقون أنه ما كان له -أي الرأي- أن يشدّهم إلّا بفضل صحة أسسه. والآخرون مجبرون إذن على الاعتراف بما كان مقبولاً عامةً لكيلا يتمَّ اعتبارهم أرواحاً قلقة ثائرة ضد آراء مقبولة عالمياً ووقحين يحسبون أنفسهم أشد مكراً من جميع الناس. إن التأييد إذن أصبح واجباً. من الآن فصاعداً، العدد القليل من أولئك الذين هم قادرون على الحكم مجبر على الصمت، وأولئك الذين لهم الحق في الكلام هو أولئك العاجزون تماماً عن أن يختلقوا لأنفسهم رأياً وحكماً، والذين ليسوا إذن إلّا صدى لآراء الغير. إنهم مع ذلك مدافعون عنها، شديدون ومتعصبون. لأن ما يمقتونه عند ذلك الذي يفكر على نحو مغاير؛ ليس كثيراً الرأي المخالف الذي يعظمه أكثر من التعجرف الموجود لدي في إرادته الحكم بنفسه، الشيء الذي لا يفعلونه أنفسهم بطبيعة الحال أبداً، والذي هم واعون به في سرّهم. باختصار، القليل من الناس يحسنون التفكير، لكن الجميع يريد أن يمتلك آراءً.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of this world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“Heiraten heißt das Mögliche t(h)un, einander zum Ekel zu werden.


(Marrying means doing whatever possible to become repulsed of each other.)”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“Wenn die Disputation etwas streng und formell geführt wird und man sich recht deutlich verständigen will so verfährt der welcher die Behauptung aufgestellt hat und sie beweisen soll gegen seinen Gegner fragend um aus seinen eignen Zugeständnissen die Wahrheit der Behauptung zu schließen. Diese erotematische Methode war besonders bei den Alten im Gebrauch heißt auch Sokratische : auf dieselbe bezieht sich der gegenwärtige Kunstgriff und einige später folgende. Sämtlich frei bearbeitet nach des Aristoteles Liber de elenchis sophisticis 15.

Viel auf ein Mal und weitläufig fragen um das was man eigentlich zugestanden haben will zu verbergen. Dagegen seine Argumentation aus dem zugestandenen schnell vortragen: denn die langsam von Verständnis sind können nicht genau folgen und übersehn die etwaigen Fehler oder Lücken in der Beweisführung.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“The only certain rule is the one that Aristotle already gave: do not dispute with anyone and everyone, but only with those people you know who are intelligent enough to avoid saying things that are so stupid as to expose themselves to humiliation, who appreciate the truth, and who gladly listen to good reasons, even when the opponent claims them, and who are balanced enough to bear a defeat when the truth is on the other side.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“L'Art d’avoir toujours raison La dialectique 1 éristique est l’art de disputer, et ce de telle sorte que l’on ait toujours raison, donc per fas et nefas (c’est-à-dire par tous les moyens possibles)2. On peut en effet avoir objectivement raison quant au débat lui-même tout en ayant tort aux yeux des personnes présentes, et parfois même à ses propres yeux. En effet, quand mon adversaire réfute ma preuve et que cela équivaut à réfuter mon affirmation elle-même, qui peut cependant être étayée par d’autres preuves – auquel cas, bien entendu, le rapport est inversé en ce qui concerne mon adversaire : il a raison bien qu’il ait objectivement tort. Donc, la vérité objective d’une proposition et la validité de celle-ci au plan de l’approbation des opposants et des auditeurs sont deux choses bien distinctes. (C'est à cette dernière que se rapporte la dialectique.) D’où cela vient-il ? De la médiocrité naturelle de l’espèce humaine. Si ce n’était pas le cas, si nous étions foncièrement honnêtes, nous ne chercherions, dans tout débat, qu’à faire surgir la vérité, sans nous soucier de savoir si elle est conforme à l’opinion que nous avions d’abord défendue ou à celle de l’adversaire : ce qui n’aurait pas d’importance ou serait du moins tout à fait secondaire. Mais c’est désormais l’essentiel. La vanité innée, particulièrement irritable en ce qui concerne les facultés intellectuelles, ne veut pas accepter que notre affirmation se révèle fausse, ni que celle de l’adversaire soit juste. Par conséquent, chacun devrait simplement s’efforcer de n’exprimer que des jugements justes, ce qui devrait inciter à penser d’abord et à parler ensuite. Mais chez la plupart des hommes, la vanité innée s’accompagne d’un besoin de bavardage et d’une malhonnêteté innée. Ils parlent avant d’avoir réfléchi, et même s’ils se rendent compte après coup que leur affirmation est fausse et qu’ils ont tort, il faut que les apparences prouvent le contraire. Leur intérêt pour la vérité, qui doit sans doute être généralement l’unique motif les guidant lors de l’affirmation d’une thèse supposée vraie, s’efface complètement devant les intérêts de leur vanité : le vrai doit paraître faux et le faux vrai.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“sont inséparables) comme étant « la science des lois de la pensée, autrement dit, la méthode de la raison » et la dialectique (dérivant de διαλεγεσϑαι : « converser » car toute conversation communique des faits ou des opinions, c.-à-d. est historique ou délibérative) comme étant « l’art de la controverse » (dans le sens moderne du terme). Il est donc évident que la logique traite des a priori, séparables en définitions empiriques, c.-à-d. les lois de la pensée, les processus de la raison (le λογος),”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“Ihmiselle ylittämätöntä on hänen turhamaisuutensa tyydyttäminen. Mikään vamma ei koske häneen niin kuin turhamaisuutensa kokema kolaus.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“(...) one man will look another in the face, with the impudent assurance that he will never see anything but a miserable resemblance of himself; and this is just what he will see, as he cannot grasp anything beyond it. Hence the bold way in which one man will contradict another.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


About the author

Arthur Schopenhauer
Born place: in Free City of Danzig (today Gdańsk), Poland
Born date February 22, 1788
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