Social Philosophy

Download Contentment in Contention: Acceptance versus Aspiration by B. Southgate PDF

By B. Southgate

Southgate attracts on rules inside of historical past, philosophy, literature, psychology, and theology to discover traditions: contentment with our state of affairs because it is, and the aspiration to go beyond it. He discusses the chance of escape from highbrow constraints, and advocates a favorable 'duty of discontent', and its implications.

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In such early twentieth-century works as those of Arnold Toynbee, whole civilisations are surveyed and compared and contrasted in what Schlegel had earlier described as ‘so-called universal history’. But even (or perhaps especially) in such widely ranging studies, some focal point has to be adopted from which a potentially infinite mass of material may somehow be organised and brought to order. 23 That other ‘much’ (including aspects of repudiated ‘myth’) still remains liable – as we earlier saw Emerson and Nietzsche insisting – to ‘burst in on us’, and challenge the ‘artificially dammed-up world’ of historical ‘reality’.

Conclusion Defining ‘reality’ and ‘common-sense’ is indeed a morally and politically charged activity. At a personal level, we often try to persuade others to adopt our own perceptions by discounting theirs as ‘unreal’ or ‘unrealistic’. ’39 In other words, you see nothing as I see it; your reality is not mine – and mine, of course is the real reality! And similarly at a political level: most of us, most of the time, are simply expected to accept unthinkingly the ‘common-sense’ conception of reality held by the majority.

Be] made a fool’. That is to say, too much intellectualising can seriously damage your health, or ability to act – as the centipede discovered when it tried to analyse the respective movements of its various feet and ended up unable to move any of them. With a similarly excessive introspective drive, humans might be encouraged similarly to consider such physiological details as their digestive systems, including ‘the nicety of the passage of a piece of bread down his throat’, and end up starving.

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