quotations about appearances
So may the outward shows be least themselves:
The world is still deceived with ornament.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, The Merchant of Venice
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.
CHARLES DICKENS, Great Expectations
Appearances are deceitful, I know, but so long as they are, there's nothing like having them deceive for us instead of against us.
GEORGE HORACE LORIMER, Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son
The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Crime and Punishment
All appearances are initially classed as real. Any appearance found self-contradictory is (deductively) illusory, and its contradictory is consequently self-evident and (deductively) real.
AVI SION, Logical Philosophy: A Compendium
Appearances can be deceiving.
Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem. Most things are judged by their jackets.
BALTASAR GRACIAN, attributed, Quote Unquote
For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.
EUGENE IONESCO, Notes and Counter-Notes
Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream.
W. S. GILBERT, H.M.S. Pinafore
Be the thing first, and you will grow to resemble it.
LIAM PERRIN, Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights
But above all, in order to be, never try to seem.
ALBERT CAMUS, Notebooks, 1935-1951
The vulgar herd catches at the gross apparent fact, but the man of insight knows what lies on the surfaces does lie.
ISRAEL ZANGWILL, The Big Bow Mystery
You have to look at a thing long enough for it to really show itself to you.
KATE MILFORD, Shadowhunters and Downworlders
In all aspects of life, we take on a part and an appearance to seem to be what we wish to be--and thus the world is merely composed of actors.
FRANCOIS LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Reflections; Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims
To judge the appearances we receive of things, we should need a judicatory instrument; to verify this instrument, we should need a demonstration; to rectify this demonstration, we should need an instrument: so here we are arguing in a circle. Seeing the senses cannot decide our dispute, being themselves full of uncertainty, we must have recourse to Reason; there is no reason but must be built upon another reason, so here we are retreating backwards to all eternity.
MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, "Apology for Raimund Sebond"
Appearances are often deceiving.
Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.
Our reason is always disappointed by the inconstancy of appearances.
BLAISE PASCAL, Pensees
The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.
AGATHA CHRISTIE, Murder on the Orient Express
If we don't want to define ourselves by things as superficial as our appearances, we're stuck with the revolting alternative of being judged by our actions.
ELLEN DEGENERES, My Point ... And I Do Have One