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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Machiavelli, , philosophy, , , , ,   


    If there’s one thing I think we can all agree on about Donald Trump, it’s that he isn’t a philosopher. If, however, he can be said to have one guiding precept remotely resembling a philosophy, it has to be IT’S ALL ABOUT ME….or, secondarily, DON’T BLAME ME (which happens to be the title of a song I was going to link here until — faster than you can say Niccollo Machiavelli — Google removed share, embed & copy from their music clips, leaving technologically-challenged mistermuse at a loss as to how to post them).

    Be that as it may, I got to thinking that if THE DONALD were a lit-wit (rather than a nitwit) who wished to appear philosophical, there must be any number of wise philosophical quotes he might plagiarize to his greater glory (or, if he were stoned, learn from). Here are some I drug up which could fill the (Duck’s) bill:

    There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed if repeated often enough. — William James, American philosopher

    Philosophy teaches us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of others. –Oscar Wilde, Irish wit, poet and playwright

    Any man can be a philosopher if he only thinks enough about his own foolishness. –Edgar Watson Howe, American novelist and editor

    Philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it. –Karl Marx, German philosopher, political theorist and socialist revolutionary

    If I killed everyone who was stupid, I wouldn’t have time to sleep. –Tamora Pierce, American fantasy fiction writer

    Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. –Plato, Greek philosopher

    Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end. — Immanuel Kant, German philosopher

    Philosophers before Kant had a tremendous advantage over philosophers after Kant, in that they didn’t have to spend years studying Kant.  –Bertrand Russell, British philosopher, writer and social critic

    Only one philosopher in history had a perfect alibi for doing nothing, and his name was I. Kant. –Evan Esar, American humorist

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Greeks, , John Keats, ODE ON A GRECIAN URN, philosophy, , , , , , , ,   


    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty — that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
    –John Keats, from ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

    On this day in February, 399 BC (according to onthisday.com) occurred the fateful trial of the famed Grecian philosopher Socrates, of whom it is said that he didn’t put anything in writing during his lifetime — or even afterward, for that matter. This might lead one to think he was either paranoid or illiterate. By all odes, however, he was neither — otherwise his life/trial/death-by-hemlock would have earned him no esteem….and in theory, the following quotes attributed to Socrates might have been not only recorded by, but credited to, Plato (as well as others Greek to me):

    Wisdom begins in wonder.

    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    To find yourself, think for yourself.

    By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.

    I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

    But why should Plato and a few of his fellow G(r)eeks get all the credit for handing down what Socrates supposedly said? I may not be quite as ancient as they, but I go back far enough to be able to confide with the utmost confidence that Socrates never denied saying the following:

    Wisdom begins in wonder….and ends the same way.

    There’s no fool like an old fool. (On the other hand, some of us “old fools” prefer to think of ourselves as misanthropically eccentric seniors.)

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. (Or, you could just pay your electric bill on time.)

    My wife would talk to a wooden Indian. (That’s why I keep a wooden Indian around the house.)

    All’s well that ends well. (Well, I don’t know about that….but I suppose if it was good enough for the doomed Socrates, it’s good enough for the likes of Shakespeare and mistermuse.)




    • linnetmoss 7:33 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What the long-suffering Socrates actually said about wives, according to Xenophon (Symp. 2.10):
      “If that is your view, Socrates,” asked Antisthenes, “how does it come that you don’t practise what you preach by yourself educating Xanthippe, but live with a wife who is the hardest to get along with of all the women there are—yes, or all that ever were, I suspect, or ever will be?”

      “Because,” he replied, “I observe that men who wish to become expert horsemen do not get the most docile horses but rather those that are high-mettled, believing that if they can manage this kind, they will easily handle any other. My course is similar. Mankind at large is what I wish to deal and associate with; and so I have got her, well assured that if I can endure her, I shall have no difficulty in my relations with all the rest of human kind.”

      These words, in the judgment of the guests, did not go wide of the mark.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 8:20 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse are you saying that Socrates was like Yogi in that he didn’t say all the things people say he said? Or was it just that there was no pen and paper as yet and he didn’t feel like hammering away with a chisel and a piece of stone? He thought it was just to crude.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 8:29 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Linnet — I appreciate your very interesting comment.

      From what I’ve read (admittedly limited) of the writings of Plato and Xenophon re Socrates, Plato’s were the more brilliant/less literal, and Xenophon’s the more prosaic….so, assuming that the latter took fewer or no liberties with Socrates’ words, “What the long-suffering Socrates actually said about wives” was indeed on the mark. However, whatever the “By all means, marry” quote lost in translation, length-and-literatim-wise, it apparently captured gist-wise.


    • mistermuse 8:38 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I think they had papyrus by Socrates’ time, but they definitely didn’t have a Yogi Berra. Too bad, because he was a man for the ages!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:01 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As our nation undergoes this period of fractious foolishness, Sr. Muse, reflect that it was old fools who elected one of their own as our leader.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:33 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently, they wanted one of their own kind in the White House, Ricardo (notice I said “they” instead of “old fools” because I disavow guilt by association).


    • Colane Conundrum 4:57 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I recall that Socrates called writing “the dead flower of speech.”

      I’m not sure if he was responding to my blog … or maybe he just wasn’t a good gardener?

      In any event, we’re lucky Plato recorded all of Socrates’s wisdom so future humanities students could groan about it in Philosophy 101. I can’t remember quite how they go, but I recall one where Socrates said “Don’t put words in my mouth!” while Plato scribbled away furiously, putting words in his mouth.

      Or something like that. I’m not sure; I didn’t do to well in humanities. Clearly.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:54 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Clearly a Conundrum. I, on the other hand, might be labeled a Punundrum, judging by all the groans my writing seems to induce. It probably has something to do with a prophet being without honor in his own puntry (I know that’s not exactly what Jesus said, but Jesus, give me a break).

      Liked by 2 people

    • literaryeyes 9:10 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Good one: Wisdom begins in wonder….and ends the same way. And lots of confuciousness in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on March 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cartesian philosophy, , , March 31, philosophical humor, philosophical thinkers, philosophy, psychiatrist, ,   


    I think, therefore I am.  –Rene Descartes

    Monsieur Descartes, famed French philosopher, was born on March 31 and is considered to be the father of modern philosophy. Coincidentally, mistermuse was not born on this day and is considered to be the fodder of modern poetry. It is only fitting, therefore, to celebrate the day with appropriate Cartesian poems:

    DESCARTES EPITAPH (1596-1650)

    I thought,
    I was.


    I stink,
    I am.


    I Tarzan,
    you Jane.


    I shrink,
    I think.


    I think,
    I jam.


    I think I am
    there — for
    what, I know not.


    I think like ewe,
    I lamb.


    I think,
    Why am I?



    • Don Frankel 6:26 am on March 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “I am what I am.” or “I yam what I yam.” Popeye the Sailor.

      Muse, every once in a while we all get off classics, in that something is quintessential to our styles and this is one of yours.


    • mistermuse 8:28 am on March 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love Popeye —
      Olive Oyl too —
      I even love spinach.
      I think that will do.


    • D R (Donnie) Hosie 2:16 pm on November 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Allow me to put forward one – that particularly suggests itself:
      I think, therefore I muse.


      • mistermuse 3:41 pm on November 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of which, after taking another look at the PHILOSOPHICAL PSYCHIATRIST poem above, I think maybe I should have reversed the order:

        I shrink,
        I think.

        ….which leads me to think I think, therefore I muse too much.
        Or maybe it should be I muse, therefore I think too much.


  • mistermuse 6:28 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , philosophy, ,   



    “Mostly this we have of God; we have man.”
    –Walt Whitman

    “Allah akbar!” “God is great!”
    And the thrall is….so is fate.

    “Bonis Dominus!” “God is good!”
    And the thought is….well He should.

    “Eikh anu yod’im?” “How do we know?”
    And the thing is….men say so.


    Truth is not tamed;
    Loose ends abound.
    The more it’s claimed,
    The less it’s found.

    One life to learn
    What life’s about,
    And yet we burn
    Our one-and-out.

    You’re bound to grow
    Before the end?
    Time races so.
    Good luck, my friend.


    Old age is a sad estate;
    With it comes wisdom,
    But it comes so late.

    Now recall artless youth:
    Ignorance was bliss,
    But less than truth.

    Why can’t life be in reverse:
    Born knowing the score,
    Blameless in the hearse?


    O, to be a celebrity,
    With naught to do but celebrate me.
    There’d be no more writing poetry
    For free for but the few to see.
    An idol to the inane I’d be –
    A lion of media-ocrity.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately,
    The masses want asses bigger than me.

    • leesis 8:21 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      just wanted to say…Love it! Cheers…Leesa


    • mistermuse 12:25 am on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse appreciates your comment & is indeed cheered that you took time to do so. He will check out your site later, but right now it’s past his bedtime.


  • mistermuse 6:54 pm on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: educators, , philosophy, ,   


    This introduction was going to be about writing introductions to introduce my poetry. What may seem rather dashed-off on the surface is actually a pain in the brainpower. In other words, ‘twould be time better spent on the poems themselves, so….


    “Most educators would continue to lecture
    on navigation while the ship is going down.”
    –James H. Boren

    Sea you later,


    why am I?


    so I


    Of course God knows everything –
    He’s been around forever.

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