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Leonard?

Are you suggesting that a person is the summary of his or her actions, or, as the modern jargon would have it, a narrative?
P. M.

Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 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.
>> 
>>