Quotations about   discussion

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To have a discussion coolly waived when you feel that justice is all on your side is even more exasperating in marriage than in philosophy.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, Book 3, ch. 24 (1871)
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Added on 3-Nov-17 | Last updated 3-Nov-17
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Philosophy had supplied Socrates with convictions in which he had been able to have rational, as opposed to hysterical, confidence when faced with disapproval.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 1 “Consolations for Unpopularity” (2000)
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Added on 24-Aug-17 | Last updated 24-Aug-17
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A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years’ study of books.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb

Given in translation in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, ch. 7 (1839).
Added on 6-Jul-17 | Last updated 6-Jul-17
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You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened. … Or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.

Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) American rapper, record producer, actor [b. Lesane Parish Crooks]
(Attributed)

Widely quoted and included in memes, but without citation. Considered spurious by a number of fans.
Added on 31-May-17 | Last updated 31-May-17
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Don’t take up a man’s time talking about the smartness of your children; he wants to talk to you about the smartness of his children.

Edgar Watson "Ed" Howe (1853-1937) American journalist and author [E. W. Howe]
Country Town Sayings (1911)
Added on 1-Nov-16 | Last updated 1-Nov-16
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Be brief, for no discourse can please when too long.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist
Don Quixote, Part 1, Book 3, ch. 7 (1605)
Added on 25-Mar-16 | Last updated 18-Mar-16
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Our companions please us less from the charms we find in their conversation than from those they find in ours.

Fulke Greville (1554-1628) 1st Baron Brooke; Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman
Maxims, Characters and Reflections, 98 (1757 ed.)
Added on 20-Oct-14 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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It is only when they cannot answer your reasons that they wish to knock you down.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Assault upon Mr. Sumner,” speech, Concord (26 May 1856)
Added on 2-May-14 | Last updated 2-May-14
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That was excellently observed, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
“Thoughts on Various Subjects” (1706)
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Added on 17-Feb-10 | Last updated 6-Feb-15
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Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]

Alt. trans.: "The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress." [tr. Paul Auster (1983)]
Added on 9-Dec-08 | Last updated 24-Jan-17
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So then, I am simply in favor of intellectual hospitality — that is all. You come to me with a new idea. I invite you into the house. Let us see what you have. Let us talk it over. If I do not like your thought, I will bid it a polite “good day.” If I do like it, I will say: “Sit down; stay with me, and become a part of the intellectual wealth of my world.” That is all.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Limits of Toleration,” debate at the Nineteenth Century Club, New York (8 May 1888)
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Added on 3-Jul-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
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“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

Sig Lines
~

Attributed to many people, most prominently Eleanor Roosevelt and Hyman Rickover, but the origin appears to be a recollection of a statement by Henry Thomas Buckle: "Men and women range themselves into three classes or orders of intelligence; you can tell the lowest class by their habit of always talking about persons; the next by the fact that their habit is always to converse about things; the highest by their preference for the discussion of ideas." -- Charles Stewart, Haud Immemor: Reminiscences of Legal and Social Life in Edinburgh and London 1850-1900 (1901). More information here.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Nov-14
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The time for action is past! Now is the time for senseless bickering!

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots #1019
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-May-15
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Anyone who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but his memory.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian artist, engineer, scientist
Notebooks (c. 1500) [tr. Richter]

Alt. trans.: "The one who relies on authority during a discussion does not use his mind but his memory."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 6-Nov-18
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There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Jan-16
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As a matter of fact, have you never noticed that most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness?

Margaret Millar (1915-1994) American-Canadian mystery and suspense writer
The Weak-Eyed Bat (1942)

Often attributed to Mark Twain, usually as "Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses." See here for more details.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Apr-14
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It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Studies,” Essays, No. 50 (1625)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
“25 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years,” #12 (1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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