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.Continue Reading
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 about Philosophy
Socrates differed from the Sophists because he believed in looking for the absolute truth in an objective fashion, while the Sophists believed that people should make decisions based on what they felt was "true" inside of themselves. Socrates felt that society needed wisdom, and that wisdom was more than the subjective "truth" that the sophists praised.Full Answer >
Transcendentalists define truth as an ultimate reality that goes beyond, or transcends, what people can know by means of the five senses. In the transcendentalist view, people gain knowledge of the ultimate reality through intuition rather than through mental training or education.Full Answer >
Transcendentalists believed in Christian Unitarianism, in the efficacy of human nature, the unknowable nature of religious truth and the corrupting influence of society. Transcendentalists were influenced by a variety of diverse sources, including Romanticism, German idealist philosophy and the Hindu religion.Full Answer >
The anthropic principle is a response to the seemingly coincidental characteristics of our universe that allow for life to exist. The anthropic principle states that if the universe were not able to support life, then humans would not exist to inquire about its ability to do so. Therefore, instead of understanding why the universe has formed in this way, we need to simply accept it as fact.Full Answer >