Birds do not lead epic lives…

22 May 2004 at 08:01 Leave a comment

Here is my life philosophy carefully fitted out to appear to be the fault of other people:

‘Shorter’ philosophy:

“You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavor to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness.”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Chapter 24

The ‘Long-play’ version:

“Human thought, one might say with Hegel, always tends to move from one extreme to another before attaining a balanced synthesis. Yet, when we try to make sense out of the idea of human dignity, we should not settle for too cheap and easy a solution, as we might be tempted to do. Man’s dignity is not merely something that is given him with his birth, according to Pico, but rather something he has to attain and to realize through his own effort. What is given is merely the ability to strive toward this end. We assert our dignity as human beings not simply by being what we happen to be but by choosing the best among our potentialities, by cultivating reason rather than blind feeling, and by identifying ourselves with tasks that are morally and intellectually worthwhile and that lead us beyond the narrow confines of our personal interests and ambitions.”

Paul Oskar Kristeller
from Renaissance Concepts of Man, Page 21.

Emphasis mine.

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Entry filed under: misanthropy, of interest.

in an Irish pub in Paris Carolyn Heilbrun

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T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.

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