Maxims are not so great

I don’t think that philosophical maxims are that great. Granted, they have their potential, but their overuse leads to twisted thinking and to paradoxes which shouldn’t even occupy anyone’s brain. And analogies do the same.

Let me explain.

Let’s say that you’re running a race. Is it better to run with the same speed the whole time or to run faster on some parts and run slower on other parts?


What do you think?




There is no answer. It depends, it always depends on the particular situation.

Yet, people often feel inclined to respond with something that probably comes from a maxim in their mind. Something along the lines of the slow but consistent turtle winning the race. Or their counterpart, the maxim that “Only change is constant“ and that you should change your tempo.

Thing is, those maxims/metaphors/proverbs/analogies are just ideas, and they need to be accepted as only ideas. They can be guidelines in life, but over-reliance on maxims instead of a rational calculation when faced with a problem is sure to lead you to stupid decisions.

So the point is not to throw maxims away. The point is that you should use them, but not rely too much on them.


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