Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Wrongly Adduced

“We wrongly adduce the honour and beauty of an activity from its usefulness, and our conclusion is wrong if we reckon that all are bound to perform it, and that it is honourable for each to do so, provided it be useful.”

Michel de Montaigne, “On the Useful and the Honourable”, The Complete Essays, Bk.III:1, tr. & ed. M.A. Screech (London: Penguin Books, 1991), p.906.
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4 comments:

dearieme said...

We would also wrongly adduce the honour and beauty of an activity from its uselessness. From what should we adduce it?

Deogolwulf said...

By their own lights?

James Higham said...

Yet what of the useless and beautiful? Should all beautiful things be useless?

jcw said...

Maybe beauty requires us to see usefulness differently.