Looking at a dictionary, I found that "one and all" means "everyone", but in the excerpt below from Schopenhauer's On Human Nature, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Also note that the verb maintain doesn't have an s, which seems to imply that "one and all" isn't used to refer to "everyone".


To say that the world has only a physical and not a moral significance is the greatest and most pernicious of all errors, the fundamental blunder, the real perversity of mind and temper; and, at bottom, it is doubtless the tendency which faith personifies as Anti-Christ. Nevertheless, in spite of all religions—and they are systems which one and all maintain the opposite, and seek to establish it in their mythical way—this fundamental error never becomes quite extinct, but raises its head from time to time afresh, until universal indignation compels it to hide itself once more.

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    Cambridge English Dictionary: one and all (literary) - everyone. The news of his resignation came as a surprise to one and all. In your exact context, every [religious] system, rather than every person. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 15:38
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    One and all means something. which one and all maintain the opposite is gibberish.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 16:00
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    one and all is effectively an optional adverbial / adjectival element here. The "true" subject noun is plural systems, which is why the verb form is plural maintain, not singular maintains. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


One and all is, in my experience, usually used to mean everyone, but it can also mean every one. That would mean every one of [whatever].

Thus, it is saying that they are systems and every one of them maintains the opposite. However, that doesn't shift the verb to a singular because it is acting in an adverbial/adjectival role (which one depends how you choose to parse it). You might think of it as:

They are systems, and all of the systems maintain the opposite

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