Online Encyclopedia

APHORISM (from the Gr. a4oA'ecv, to d...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 165 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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APHORISM (from the Gr. a4oA'ecv, to define), literally a distinction or a definition, a term used to describe a principle expressed tersely in a few telling words or any general truth conveyed in a short and pithy sentence, in such a way that when once heard it is unlikely to pass from the memory. The name was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, a long series of propositions concerning the symptoms and diagnosis of disease and the art of healing and medicine. The term came to be applied later to other sententious statements of physical science, and later still to statements of all kinds of principles. Care must be taken not to confound aphorisms with axioms. Aphorisms came into being as the result of experience, whereas axioms are self-evident truths, requiring no proof, and appertain to pure reason. Aphorisms have been especially used in dealing with subjects to which no methodical or scientific treatment was applied till late, such as art, agriculture, medicine, jurisprudence and politics. The Aphorisms of Hippocrates form far the most celebrated as well as the earliest collection of the kind, and it may be interesting to quote a few examples. Old men support abstinence well: people of a -ripe age less well: young folk badly, and children less well than all the rest, particularly than
End of Article: APHORISM (from the Gr. a4oA'ecv, to define)
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