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On Criticism...


Criticism of a new idea is a great way to kill it off before it can do any harm. It’s sad that although criticism can be constructive, it is mostly destructive, and aimed as much at the person as the idea.

See also

being uncreative, conservatism, fragility*, ideas, resistance, science


‘The more you judge, the less you love.’

Honoré de Balzac

‘Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain--and most fools do.’

Dale Carnegie

‘I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.’

Marcus Tullius Cicero

‘We must be careful what we say. No bird resumes its egg.’

Emily Dickinson

‘The sceptic will say, ‘It may well be true that this system of equations is reasonable from a logical standpoint, but this does not prove that it corresponds to nature.’ You are right, dear sceptic. Experience alone can decide on truth.’

Albert Einstein

‘There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think before you speak is criticism’s motto; speak before you think creation’s.’

E. M. Forster

‘He that flings dirt at another dirties himself most.’

Thomas Fuller

‘When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.’

A. A. Milne

‘Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.’

Bertrand Russell

‘Criticism often takes from the tree caterpillars and blossoms together.’

Jean-Paul Sartre

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they cannot find them, make them.’

George Bernard Shaw

‘You worthy critics, or whatever you may call yourselves, are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and passing madness which is found in all real creators, the longer or shorter duration of which distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints of unfruitfulness, for you reject too soon and discriminate too severely.’

Friedrich von Schiller

‘The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.’

Oscar Wilde

‘What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.’

Oscar Wilde



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