Essays in the philosophy of humanism

the essays humanism in of philosophy. A small boy essays in the philosophy of humanism of eighteen months laughed when his pants slipped down. Less attention has, for pretty obvious reasons, been paid to those aspects and accompaniments of the state which seem to some, when regarded from the point of view of the normal type of consciousness, to illustrate human folly in one of its larger manifestations. In order to understand this, it is to be observed, that virtue may be considered either as the quality of an action, or the quality of a person. Indeed he can neither be attached to his own interest nor that of others but in consequence of knowing in what it consists. ‘What can we reason, but from what we know?’ Again, it is quite wrong, instead of the most striking illustrations of human nature, to single out the stalest and tritest, as if they were most authentic and infallible; not considering that from the extremes you may infer the means, but you cannot from the means infer the extremes in any case. The crowd was enraged at the loss of the promised exhibition; the Dominicans had so confidently promised a miracle that the drawn battle was universally regarded as their defeat, an armed guard was required to protect their return to their convent, and Savonarola’s power over the Florentine populace was gone. The motions of the Sun and Moon being more regular than those of the Five Planets, by assigning three Spheres to each of them, Eudoxus imagined he could connect together all the diversity of movements discoverable in either. But it is quite otherwise with the person principally concerned. Every step taken, _invita Minerva_, costs us something, and is set down to account; whereas we are borne on the full tide of genius and success into the very haven of our desires, almost imperceptibly. Symons come to resemble a common type of popular literary lecture, in which the stories of plays or novels are retold, the motives of the characters set forth, and the work of art therefore made easier for the beginner. In the feeling it is frequently not unlike the effect of what is called the expression of Painting, and is sometimes equally interesting. Among his other selfish passions, vanity is one of the strongest, and he is always easily flattered and greatly delighted with the applauses of those about him. Resolution is of no avail; for the very essence of the character consists in this, that the present impression is of more efficacy than any previous resolution. In the same manner bread has, since the world begun been the common nourishment of the human body, and men have so long seen it, every day, converted into flesh and bones, substances in all respects so unlike it, that they have seldom had the curiosity to inquire by what process of {336} intermediate events this change is brought about. She wittily develops the idea of a syndicate–the British Novelists, Limited–in which one writer is told to do the descriptions, another the character-drawing and a third the thrills. It is, however, not the control of details but rather the watching of general methods and results. Only where there is a real earnestness and good feeling at bottom, will our laughter be in the full sense that of the mind and the heart. It enlivens their own indignation against his enemy, whom they rejoice to see him attack in turn, and are as really gratified by his revenge, provided it is not immoderate, as if the injury had been done to themselves. It seems not unlikely that this consideration, the utility of laughter as a guarantee to a playful challenger that his overtures will be received in the essays in the philosophy of humanism proper spirit, applies to the evolution of all laughter which enters into such forms of social play as the pretence to attack, to frighten, and generally what we call good-natured teasing. In fact, Titian’s _Mistress_ answers exactly, I conceive, to the idea conveyed by the English word, _sweetheart_.—The Marchioness of Guasto is a fairer comparison. It is instructive to see the parade of insisting upon the necessity of strong preliminary evidence,[1709] and to read the elaborate details as to the exact kind and amount of testimony severally requisite in each description of crime, and then to find that common report was held sufficient to justify torture, or unexplained absence before accusation, prevarication under examination, and even silence; and it is significant of the readiness to resort to the question on the slenderest pretexts when we see judges solemnly warned that an evil countenance, though it may argue depravity in general, does not warrant the presumption of actual guilt in individual cases;[1710] though pallor, under many circumstances, was considered to sanction the application of torture,[1711] even as a pot containing toads, found in the home of a suspected witch, justified her being placed on the rack.[1712] In fact, witchcraft, poisoning, highway robbery, and other crimes difficult of proof, were considered to justify the judge in proceeding to torture on lighter indications than offences in which evidence was more readily obtainable.[1713] Subtle lawyers thus exhausted their ingenuity in discussing all possible varieties of indications, and there grew up a mass of confused rules, wherein, on many points, each authority contradicted the other. In both cases, the propriety of our own sentiments and feelings seems to be exactly in proportion to the vivacity and force with which we enter into and conceive his sentiments and feelings. The too tender mother, the too indulgent father, the too generous and affectionate friend, may sometimes, perhaps, on account of the softness of their natures, be looked upon with a species of pity, in which, however, there is a mixture of love, but can never be regarded with hatred and aversion, nor even with contempt, unless by the most brutal and worthless of mankind. Do they not wish to extend ‘the greatest happiness to the greatest numbers,’ by putting a stop to population—to relieve distress by withholding charity, to remedy disease by shutting up hospitals? W. There is a tune in it, a mechanical recurrence of the same rise and fall in the clauses of his sentences, independent of any reference to the meaning of the text, or progress or inflection of the sense. So be it, for certain necessary and general purposes, and in compliance with the infirmity of human intellect: but at other times, let us enlarge our conceptions to the dimensions of the original objects; nor let it be pretended that we have outraged truth and nature, because we have encroached on your diminutive mechanical standard. A frequent termination of the action in this comedy is a climax, in which the folly of the comic character rises to an outburst so voluminous and torrent-like as to throw the onlookers in his world into uproarious mirth. Patrick is preserved near Belfast, and is used extra-judicially as an ordeal, in the full conviction that the slightest variation from the truth will bring instantaneous punishment on the perjurer,[1181] and in Sardinia a similar oath on relics is believed when false to flay the hand of the accused.[1182] In the Middle Ages these dangerous relics were common, and however we may smile at the simplicity of the faith reposed in them, we may rest assured that on many occasions they were the means of eliciting confessions which could have been obtained by no devices of legal subtlety according to modern procedures. Several complaints of this sort from the same branch may indicate the necessity of enlarging the reference collection there or perhaps of adopting some such scheme as we are trying in St Louis of a central reference collection of duplicates for supplying temporary branch needs. As society cannot subsist unless the laws of justice are tolerably observed, as no social intercourse can take place among men who do not generally abstain from injuring one another; the consideration of this necessity, it has been thought, was the ground upon which we approved of the enforcement of the laws of justice by the punishment of those who violated them. A consequence of this recognition of the relation of the laughable to our laughter as a whole is that we shall need to alter our method of treating the subject. An epistle which is attributed both to Stephen V. Wister has told librarians that all subjects are “fit for fiction.” This is interesting as an academic thesis, but when the French proceed to act upon it, the Anglo-Saxon catches his breath. Blifil would have been Blifil still, and Jones what nature intended him to be.

In the mean time I wish the reader to be apprized, that I do not use the word _imagination_ as contradistinguished from or opposed to reason, or the faculty by which we reflect upon and compare our ideas, but as opposed to sensation, or memory. Charles Whibley, and there are two statements to make about him: that he is not a critic, and that he is something which is almost as rare, if not quite as precious. Lively sallies and connected discourse are very different things. has sworn.”[158] A century later, in a compilation of the Lombard law, it appears: “That which the accused has sworn is true, so help me God.”[159] The form specified in Bearn, at a period somewhat subsequent, is curt and decisive: “By these saints, he tells the truth;”[160] while the code in force in Normandy until the sixteenth century directs an oath identical in spirit: “The oath which William has sworn is true, so help me God and his saints.”[161] It will be observed that all these, while essentially distinct from the oath of a witness, are still unqualified assertions of the truth of the principal, and not mere asseverations of belief or protestations of confidence. According to this test, the American is much closer to the white than to the yellow race. Indeed, he confessed a want of sufficient acquaintance with books when he found himself in literary society in London. He believed in Swedenborgianism—he believed in animal magnetism—he had conversed with more than one person of the Trinity—he could talk with his lady at Mantua through some fine vehicle of sense, as we speak to a servant downstairs through a conduit-pipe. A similar analysis seemed to show the same principles in most of the other compound bodies. Possibly the best way to answer these may be to give a brief account of the way in which the work was done in these four cases. Under the Republic, while the authority of the _paterfamilias_ was still unabridged, any one could offer his slaves to the torture when he desired to produce their evidence. I could multiply such examples, but that I am sure the reader will easily supply them himself; and they shew sufficiently that Shakespear was not (as he is often represented) a loose or clumsy writer. {102}—Hence where these rules are observed, it is often perceived that they will, on their first entrance, keep their delusions out of sight; so much so, that it is often for awhile essays in the philosophy of humanism difficult to discover their insanity.—The early prospect also of their liberation often induces this concealment: we must encourage this, but at the same time, they should see that we have the power to perceive when it is real, and when it is feigned for this purpose. From thence again there is a decrease towards the north; the elevation at the Spurn Point being from nineteen to twenty feet, and at Flamborough Head, on the Yorkshire coast, from fourteen to sixteen feet. Nor could it well be expected until after a child had acquired some understanding of others’ language, so as to note how they agree in naming and describing certain objects as funny, which understanding only begins to be reached in the second half of the year. The casting aside for the moment of the decent veil and the facing of what is customarily hidden away seems, indeed, to be attended by a distinct feeling of liberation from restraint and of joyous expansion. It was a dread and bitter throe— Such as fond hearts, when doomed to sever, At once unheeded and for ever, Pure ardent souls alone could know. The peasant, who at noon rests from his weary task under a hawthorn hedge, and eats his slice of coarse bread and cheese or rusty bacon, enjoys more real luxury than the prince with pampered, listless appetite under a canopy of state. A weak mind in a sound body is better, or at least more profitable, than a sound mind in a weak and crazy conformation. The quickness of the eye of mirth for expressions of the mood of romping play is seen in a child’s laughter, already referred to, at the gambols of a horse or other animal. He has little conception of this ideal perfection, about which he has little employed his thoughts; and it is chiefly to the works of other artists, of, perhaps, a still lower order, that he deigns to compare his own works. He discovered that many of the sounds of the Spanish alphabet were represented by signs or pictures of objects whose names in the Maya begin with that sound. By the same power of mind which enables him to conceive of a past sensation as about to be re-excited in the same being, namely, himself, he must be capable of transferring the same idea of pain to a different person. By some, indeed, sympathy is regarded as the great distinguishing characteristic of humour.[261] But it seems well to add that it is the infusion of a proportionate amount of the sympathetic into our blithe survey of things which carries us far in the path of humorous appreciation. This is evading and at the same time increasing the difficulty. Bertrand Russell about mathematics, we believe that the mathematician deals with objects—if he will permit us to call them objects—which directly affect his sensibility. All the former were graded as A and the latter as B. brought about the restoration of the royal family. The word for love in the Guarani is _aihu_, in another form _haihu_, the initial _h_ being dropped in composition. In fact, the bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious. This is the song of Kuk-ook, the bad boy. Or rather, have not a thousand real feelings and incidents hung upon these impressions, of which such dim traces and doubtful suggestions are all that is left?