Subtlety

quality of being hard to grasp, not obvious or easily understood, barely noticeable

Subtlety is the quality of being hard to grasp, not obvious or easily understood, barely noticeable.

QuotesEdit

  • How much better it is to see men live exactly than to hear them argue with subtlety!
    • John Flavel, in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 315
  • There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly. They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a noble race of men.

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