Quotes, sayings, aphorisms, maxims. What's the difference between all these, especially aphorism vs. maxim?
An aphorism is a synonym for a proverb, that's also short and to the point. Usually, it's supposed to impart some important moral lesson. Here's a well-known example:
A maxim is a slogan or a personal prescription for some generality of life; importantly, it does not have the same moral connotations as an aphorism. Maxims can be downright dangerous; consider
from the famous Orwell satire Animal Farm, a phrase famous for connoting the kind of totalitarian mindset required for enforcing the simplistic sociology Orwell found in communism.
A big difference between the two words is that aphorisms need be drawn from society somehow -- they are known to people other than yourself, they are received wisdom. In contrast, one can have personal maxims; it's fairly common nowadays for people to tattoo such on their bodies, things like "Faith and Family" in elaborate script to apparently remind them how to live.