Thoughts & Quotes of

the letter and you will be brought to the beginning of the thoughts beginning with that letter.


Obiter Dicta
¶ "An expression of opinion on a matter of law, given by a judge in court in the course of either argument or judgement, but not forming an essential part of the reasons determining the decision, and therefore not of binding authority; hence gen. Anything said by the way, an incidental statement or remark." (OED)
¶ "An obiter dictum, in the language of the law, is a gratuitous opinion, an individual impertinence which, whether it be wise or foolish, right or wrong, bindeth none -- not even the lips that utter it." (OED: Augustine Birrell, in his book, Obiter Dicta, 1885.)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- November 28th, 1999.
¶ "I believe when one is not first in a person's life, it is necessary, however difficult, to make one's feelings towards that person purely receptive and passive. I mean, that one should not have an opinion about what such a person should do, unless one is asked; that one should watch their moods, and make oneself an echo, responding with affection in the measure in which it is given, repressing whatever goes further, ready to feel that one has no rights, and that whatever one gets is so much to the good." (Bertrand Russell.)
¶ "The opinions of others is a peaceful check upon a person, but then it must be the opinion of his own class. Experience has shown that there is no action so wicked that even an honest man will not do it if he is borne out by the opinion of those with whom he habitually associates." (John Stuart Mill.)
¶ "An opinionated person is one who is "apt to comment as if he did not belong to the world of human beings on which he passed his judgment - as if he had come from another planet, and had the means of return ready." (Sir W. Robertson Nicoll, 1851-1923.)
¶ "'Aye, aye,' said Mr Macey, who felt very well satisfied with this attack on youthful presumption: 'you're right there, Tookey: there's allays two 'pinions; there's the 'pinion a man has of himsen, and there's the 'pinion other folks have on him. There'd be two 'pinions about a cracked bell, if the bell could hear itself.'" (George Eliot, Silas Marner, 1861.)
¶ "They hear a remark at the Globe which they do not know what to make of; another at the Rainbow in direct opposition to it; and not having time to reconcile them, vent both at the Mitre. In the course of half an hour, if they are not more than ordinarily dull, you are sure to find them on opposite sides of the question. This is the sickening part of it. People do not seem to talk for the sake of expressing their opinions, but to maintain an opinion for the sake of talking. We meet neither with modest ignorance nor studious acquirement. Their knowledge has been taken in too much by snatches to digest properly. There is neither sincerity nor system in what they say. They hazard the first crude notion that comes to hand, and then defend it how they can; which is for the most part but ill." (Hazlitt, "On Coffee-House Politicians.")
¶ "Never did two men judge alike about the same thing, and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly alike, not only in different men, but in the same man at different times." (Montaigne)
¶ "Our opinions are grafted upon one another." (Montaigne)
¶ "I offer them [my opinions] as what I believe, not what is to be believed." (Montaigne)
¶ "I set little value on my own opinions, but I set just as little on those of others. Fortune pays me properly. If I do not take advice, I give still less." (Montaigne)
¶ "Heresy is a word which, when it is used without passion, signifies a private opinion. So the different sects of the old philosophers, Academians, Peripatetics, Epicureans, Stoics, &c., were called heresies." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common." (John Locke)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- March 14th, 1999.
¶ An optimist is one "who cannot bear the world as it is, and is forced by his nature to picture it as it ought to be, and the pessimist is one who cannot only bear the world as it is, but loves it well enough to draw it faithfully." (John Galsworthy.)
¶ "... everything important to his purpose was said at the exact moment when he had brought the minds of his audience into the state most fitted to receive it; how he made steal into their minds, gradually and by insinuation, thoughts which, if expressed in a more direct manner would have aroused their opposition." (John Stuart Mill, Autobiography.)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- November 15th, 1998.
¶ "Absolute originality in a late age is only possible to the hermit, the lunatic, or the sensation novelist." [John Nicholl's biography of Byron as found in Morley's English Men of Letters (New York: The Publishers Plate Renting, nd), p. 136.]
OUGHT versus IS
¶ "We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do." (Francis Bacon)



Custom Search


Peter Landry