The only people who treasure systems are those whom the whole truth evades, who want to catch it by the tail. A system is just like truth's tail, but the truth is like a lizard. It will leave the tail in your hand and escape; it knows that it will soon grow another tail.
(Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian author. Letter, January 3, 1857, to Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. Turgenev: Letters, ed. David Lowe (1983).)
If one reads a newspaper only for information, one does not learn the truth, not even the truth about the paper. The truth is that the newspaper is not a statement of contents but the contents themselves; and more than that, it is an instigator.
(Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader, ed. Harry Zohn (1976). "In These Great Times," Die Fackel (Vienna, Dec. 1914).
speech, Nov. 19, 1914, Vienna.)
An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.
(Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, ch. 8 (1976). Die Fackel, no. 270/71 (Vienna, January 19, 1909).)
What use soever be made of truth, yet truth is truth, and now the question is not, what is fit to be preached, but what is true.
(Thomas Hobbes (1579-1688), British philosopher. English Works, "Of Liberty and Necessity," p. 252, ed. Molesworth (1839-1845).
Concerning the pernicious use that may be used of the doctrine of predestination.)
There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing. A truth is something that everybody can be shown to know and to have known, as people say, all along.
(Mary McCarthy (1912-1989), U.S. author, critic. repr. In On the Contrary (1961). "The Vita Activa," New Yorker (Oct. 18, 1958).)
The most distinct and beautiful statement of any truth must take at last the mathematical form.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 386, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)