Updates from Doug Belshaw Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Doug Belshaw 6:46 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    I a not so much worried about how I am in the minds of other men as how I am to myself. I want to be enriched by me not by borrowings from others. Those outside us only see events and external appearances: anyone can put on a good outward show while inside he is full of fever and fright. They do not see my mind: they only see the looks on my face.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:44 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Whoever acts worthily only when others can know of it (and think better of him when they do), whoever never wishes to act well in circumstances where his virtue cannot come to the knowledge of men, is not a man who will be of much use to you.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:42 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    All the glory I claim for my life is to have lived a tranquil one — not tranquil according to the standards of Metrodorus or Arcesilas or Aristippus but my own. Since Philosophy has been able to discover no good method leading to tranquillity which is common to all men, let each man seek his own one as an individual.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:41 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Yet within ourselves we are somehow double creatures, with the result that what we believe we do not believe, what we condemn we cannot rid ourselves of.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:39 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    That was also one of the principal doctrines of Epicurus: for that precept of his School, Conceal thy life (which enjoins men not to lumber themselves with business and affairs) also necessarily presupposes a contempt for glory, which is the world’s approbation of such of our actions as we make public.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:38 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Chrysippus and Diogenes were the first and most decisive authorities to hold that glory is to be disdained; they said that of all the pleasures none was more dangerous nor more to be fled than the pleasure which comes to us from other men’s approval. And, truly, experience shows us that its deceptions can often be very harmful.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:35 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    There are names and there are things. A name is a spoken sound which designates a thing and acts as a sign for it. The name is not part of that thing nor part of its substance: it is a foreign body attached to that thing; it is quite outside it.

    Michel de Montaigne, ‘On glory’, The Complete Essays
     
  • Doug Belshaw 8:27 pm on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: freedom, ,   

    We often mistake the very things that enable us to be free — context, meaning, facticity, situation, a general direction in our lives — for things that define us and take away our freedom. It is only with all of these that we can be free in a real sense.

    Sarah Bakewell, At the Existentialist Café, p.155
     
  • Doug Belshaw 7:26 am on April 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    A deserted street is not one along which no one walks, but a street along which people walk as if it were deserted. (Fernando Pessoa)
     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:18 pm on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Existential Cliff 

    I’ve just started reading Sarah Bakewell’s At The Existentialist Café: freedom, being, and apricot cocktails, a book I’ve been looking forward to reading ever since enjoying her previous book on Montaigne.

    Sure enough, right in the first chapter, she hit me right between the eyes with this:

    Sartre read Kierkegaard and was fascinated by his contrarian spirit and by his rebellion against the grand philosophical systems of the past. He also borrowed Kierkegaard’s specific use of the word ‘existence’ to denote the human way of being, in which we mild ourselves by making ‘either/or’ choices at every step. Sartre agreed with him that this constant choosing brings a pervasive anxiety, not unlike the vertigo that confess from looking over a cliff. It is not the fear of falling so much as the fear that you can’t trust yourself not to throw yourself off. Your head spins; you want to cling to something, to tie yourself down — but you can’t secure yourself so easily against the dangers that confess with being free. ‘Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom’, wrote Kierkegaard. Our whole lives are lived on the edge of that precipice, in his view and also in Sartre’s.

    Perhaps I’m a phenomenogical existentialist, as this seems to sum up my inner life pretty well.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
shift + esc
cancel
css.php