A maxim refers to a basic rule of conduct or principle that's generally accepted as truth, or it may refer to a succinct saying of such rule or principle. Maxims, such as "the bigger the better" and "opposites attract," are brief, forceful and witty.
Maxims that contradict each other are known as dueling maxims. For instance, a wise person may say that "you're never too old to learn," but another may say that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." A cautious person believes in the saying that "it's better to be safe than sorry," whereas a risk taker could counter it with "nothing ventured, nothing gained." A maxim is often believable by itself as long as no other maxims challenge it.
Though they also appear in writing, a maxim is primarily a tool in oral communication for relaying one's wisdom and learning. A maxim often sounds smart and is easy to memorize because it employs a certain rhetorical strategy, figurative language or grammatical structure. These include ellipses, hyperbole, paradox and parallelism. Because it validates the speaker's extent of his experience and knowledge, a maxim is also effective in persuasion. In enthymemes, or arguments that omit certain elements of truths in their logic, a maxim can appear as either the premise or conclusion.Learn More
"Trust thyself" refers to the self-motivational mindset that tells a person to listen to their instincts, mind and heart. Ralph Waldo Emerson said in "Essays," "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string." This quote speaks to trusting one's own feelings and avoiding conformity, because choosing conformity sacrifices independence.Full Answer >
Although a follower of Voltaire's deist beliefs early in his life, Denis Diderot became an ardent atheist and a believer in materialism, the view that the fundamental substance that makes up the whole of nature is matter and that material interactions produce all phenomena, even human thought and consciousness. He was a deep skeptic and a humanist, who warned against the assumption that knowledge and technology were automatically progressive.Full Answer >
Paying attention to details is important for avoiding errors, maintaining efficiency, preventing injuries, making a good impression and analyzing information. Professionals who are detail-oriented have an advantage in a variety of career fields, including engineering, technology, medicine, science, law, research, accounting and banking.Full Answer >
Ralph Waldo Emerson was the president of the Transcendental Club and is said to have led the Transcendentalist movement in America. The members of the Transcendental Club included literary figures Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Henry David Thoreau.Full Answer >