a Aphorismus is a philosophical thought fragment, which was usually formulated as short , rhetorically delightful sense saying (Sentenz, Aperçu, Bonmot) and conceived as single text. Pointed quotations, sentences, were thus inferred those due to its effect a larger text and - like alsoAphorismen - without connection with a text-whole get along, do not apply from literature-scientific view not as Aphorismus. Only since early 20. Century as independent pro saying corroding recognition and investigated, are still Aphorismen a contradictory text form:

  • In the tendency rather nichtfiktional,they are to be assigned neither to the literature nor philosophy clearly.
  • The consequence of their statement contrasts with their Lakonik. Often they consist sentence of only one - every now and then elliptical -, can several sentences however quite cover. A clearly defined „upper limit “by literature scientists by the majority one rejects. The transition to „the large brother of the Aphorismus “, the essay, is flowing.
  • Typically Aphorismen formulate a spirit-rich, stress subjective thought (an original Werturteil, a personal realization, a Lebensweisheit), at the same time raise it already throughits preferential Sujets (moral, philosophy, psychology, aesthetics, politics, language) the requirement on general validity.
  • By their shortness they affect some readers apodiktisch. In contrast to this those stands frequently (even) ironical and paradoxes form of the aphoristischenStatement. Pretty often are Aphorismen, which already forestall the spontaneous contradiction of their recipients, by making it the topic (self reference).

Table of contents

term origin

the word „Aphorismus “originates from the Greek one. aph orismόs can the following meanings have:

  • Demarcation, definition
  • medical theorem
  • Sentenz as truth saying
  • short concise style.

The associated verb aph orίzein can be determined, defined with „exactly “translate. Both are related in etymologischer regard to the word horizon.

historical development

the first Aphoristiker was Hippokrates, which (in aphoristischer form) set up medical theorems. The literary-philosophical kind developed only later. To their masters belongabove all the French moralists 17. and 18. Century, and. A. La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère, Joubert, Vauvenargues as well as the Spaniard Gracián. A long tradition has the Aphorismus in the German linguistic area. On Lichtenberg (Sudelbücher)in 18. Follow century among other thingsGoethe, Jean Paul, Friedrich Schlegel, new fact-read, Schopenhauer, Nietz, Kraus, Adorno, Canetti and Benyoëtz. In Poland are to be called: Lec, Irzykowski and Nowaczyński. Further well-knownAphoristiker are savage, Shaw and Valéry.

Aphoristiker over Aphorismen

  • Marie of smoothing he ash brook (* 1830; † 1916): A Aphorismus is the last ring of a long thought chain. (Aphorismen opens the volume, 1880)
  • Ambrose Bierce (* 1842;† 1914):Aphorismus, - wisdom, before-digests and again-chewed. (The Devil's Dictionary, 1911)
  • Friedrich Nietz (* 1844; † 1900): [...] A Aphorismus, honestly coined/shaped and filled, is deciphered thereby that he is read off, not yet „“; rather has nowto begin its interpretation, to which it requires an art of the interpretation. [...] (Quotation from the Vorrede to the genealogy the moral, 1887)
  • Robert Musil (* 1880; † 1942): Aphorismus: the smallest possible whole.
  • Hans Kudszus (* 1901; †1977):Each Aphorismus is the Amen of an experience. (Jaworte, no words opens the volume. Aphorismen. Frankfurt A. M.: Suhrkamp, 1970)
  • Elias Canetti (* 1905; † 1994): The large Aphoristiker reads itself in such a way, as if they would have known each other well. (Recordings 1942-1948. Munich: Hanser, 1965)
  • Elazar Benyoëtz (* 1937): A Aphoristiker says so much, as can be imagined, and no more, than one can paint oneself. (Humans exist for each individual case. Leipzig: Reclam, 2002, S.82)
  • Klaus von Welser (* 1942): The Systematiker implements its thoughts, the Aphoristiker leads it home. (Newer studies to the Aphoristik and Essayistik. Hrsg. v. G. Cantarutti. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1986, S. 31)

Aphoristi style means

all Beispielaphorismen of Stanisław Jerzy Lec

famous Aphoristiker


  • Karl Dedecius: Consider, before you think. 2222 Aphorismen, Sentenzen and thought fragments of the last hundred years. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1984, ISBN 3-518-38920-3 (Polish Aphoristiker)
  • Gerhard Fieguth: German Aphorismen. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam June., 1994 (examined and bibliographic supplemented expenditure), ISBN 3-15-059889-3
  • Harald Fricke, Urs Meyer (Hg.): Torn off ideas. German Aphorismen 18. Century. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1998, ISBN 3-406-43669-2
  • Ulrich refuge man: English Aphorisms.Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam June., 1993, ISBN 3-15-009296-5 (English original texts, with translation references)
  • Evelyne polarize Heinzl: Wisdom for all days. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam June., 1997, ISBN 3-15-009666-9
  • Fritz Schalk: French moralists. among other things: Zurich: Diogenes, 1995, ISBN 3-257-22791-4
  • peace man Spicker: Aphorismen of the world literature. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam June., 1999, ISBN 3-15-058017-X
  • Klaus von Welser: German Aphorismen. Munich: Piper, 1988, ISBN 3-492-10815-6


  • Stephan Fedler: The Aphorismus. Term play between philosophy and poetry. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1992, ISBN 3-476-45014-7
  • Harald Fricke: Aphorismus. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1984, ISBN 3-476-10208-4
  • Heinz Krüger: Over the Aphorismus as philosophical form. Thesis. Munich: edition text + criticism, 1988, ISBN 3-88377-301-8
  • Gerhard Neumann: The Aphorismus. To history, to the forms and possibilitiesa literary kind. Darmstadt: Scientific book company, 1976, ISBN 3-534-05731-7
  • peace man Spicker: The Aphorismus. Term and kind of the center 18. Century until 1912. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 1997, ISBN 3-11-015137-5
  • peace man Spicker: Studies to the German Aphorismusin 20. Century. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2000, ISBN 3-484-35079-2
  • peace man Spicker: The German Aphorismus in 20. Century. Play, picture, realization. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2004, ISBN 3-484-10859-2
  • Thomas Stölzel: Raw and polished thoughts. Studies for the impact of aphoristischer texts. Thesis. Freiburgin mash gau: Rome brook, 1998, ISBN 3-7930-9185-6
  • Klaus von Welser: The language of the Aphorismus. Forms of implicit argumentation from Lichtenberg to the present. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang 1986, ISBN 3-8204-9170-8

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