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TSE  February 2013

TSE February 2013

Subject:

Re: Can less be more? was Re: (something else.

From:

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 12:45:09 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (150 lines)

Ha,

I checked Engels on  class morality and discovered he thought  the cat  an evil creature - probably best not raised on an Eliot list.

cheers Pete

On 24/02/2013, at 12:30 PM, Peter Dillane wrote:

> Hi Carrol.
> 
> Russells' comments reminded me of Engels; "Only very exceptionally and by no means to his and other people's profit can an individual satisfy his urge towards happiness by preoccupation with himself"
> 
> Pete
> On 24/02/2013, at 11:53 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:
> 
>> Russell's comment makes sense. It's an explanation after the fact, however.
>> Moral principle as _cause_ of action implies a separation of act and thought
>> I find unacceptable. No one stops; formulates the abstract moral principle;
>> 'applies' it to the situation; then acts.  G. M. Tamás argues, " Marx does
>> not ‘oppose’ capitalism ideologically; but Rousseau does. For Marx, it is
>> history; for Rous­seau, it is evil." I take an analogous position on
>> 'individual' behavior.( On "the individual" see Carrol Cox: "Citizen Angels:
>> Civil Society and the  Abstract Individual in Paradise Lost," Milton Studies
>> 23, 1987). If a person _is_ rather than _has_ a history, we can't assume
>> clean breaks between the person and the act, between thought and action.
>> 
>> Even if Eliot felt "guilty," which he probably did, he would also work out
>> various self-exculpations. And as Peter observes, it only matters if it
>> helps us with the writing. Eliot's dead and our opinions mean nothing to
>> him. 
>> 
>> Doesn't _The Cocktail Party_ posit something like different standards for
>> Leonard and Celia? They each assume the responsibilities their history has
>> created for them
>> 
>> Carrol
>> 
>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>>> Behalf Of Nancy Gish
>>> Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:17 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: Can less be more? was Re: (something else.
>>> 
>>> Dear Pete and Carrol,
>>> 
>>> I actually quite like Bertrand Russell's comment that if you want to be
>> happy,
>>> you must resign yourself to letting others be happy also. I'm not sure if
>> that is
>>> a natural law, but it covers a lot of moral decisions.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Nancy
>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Peter Dillane 02/23/13 6:07 PM >>>
>>> Hi Carrol,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I agree that it likely included Eliot himself.
>>> However  I wonder about how he figured his suitors' responsibility….. ( by
>>> the way I think it only matters to the extent it might learn you something
>>> about the writing).
>>> Lyndall Gordon notes that Eliot said to Trevelyan that she had an
>> ingenious
>>> way of putting him in the wrong. ( I recall this because it is near one of
>> the
>>> several  medically naive observations in the biography). This suggests
>> that he
>>> rejected that he was culpable or at least solely culpable in these
>> matters.
>>> My attitude is that if you ask someone to marry you and they say no even
>>> once you should not be troubling them in future - that's proper behaviour.
>>> My mother taught me this so I have to believe it - not that i lived up to
>> it
>>> entirely.
>>> There is a nice turn on that old saw which a Hell's Angel had on his T
>> shirt:
>>> "If you love something set it free.
>>> If it returns it is yours
>>> If it doesn't…Hunt it down and kill it."
>>> I expect Eiot felt hunted with no Odysseus to come home and put the
>> suitors
>>> on their way (  actually he fed their genitals to the dogs as I recall -
>> but then
>>> he did that to everyone)
>>> and Today's Gospel is the transfiguration where my namesake offered to
>>> build a block of flats for Jesus and the prophets to keep them just as
>> they
>>> were so he could adore them.
>>> But to be serious which as you may have noticed I find a challenge on a
>> lovely
>>> day. I agree with your proposition about the illusion but I respect on
>> principle
>>> those who theorise a Natural Law.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Cheers Pete
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 24/02/2013, at 6:59 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 	Peter Dillane:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 		Hi Nancy,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 		by "we" I meant society.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 		I did not mean to subsume you ( maybe not even me) in
>>> moral relativism.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 	-------
>>> 
>>> 	"Moral relativism" is an inevitable outcome of "moralism"; the
>>> remedy is to
>>> 	drop the illusion of an abstract set of principles prior to and
>>> independent
>>> 	of human activity.
>>> 
>>> 	In reference to the particular behavior at issue here, we find it
>>> 	despicable, and "we" here almost certainly includes Eliot himself.
>>> And since
>>> 	he was also a moralist himself, the result was probably a good deal
>>> of
>>> 	internal conflict, perhaps finding expression in his writing.
>>> 
>>> 	Carrol
>>> 
>>> 	P.S. The interesting exchanges between you and Nancy are
>>> somewhat cluttered
>>> 	by trying to respond to the trolls on the list. Their attempts to
>>> "defend"
>>> 	what Eliot himself almost certainly did not lead nowhere but a
>>> buzzing
>>> 	confusion.
>>> 
>>> 

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