Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Courage to Learn

The process of learning good judgment, virtuous judgment, in Pride and Prejudice is extremely difficult. How does one know how to judge without excessive prejudice, excessive anger, and without arrogance, self-righteousness, and rigid intolerance? The answer implicit in the novel is through the prudence and wisdom to adhere to good principles in the first place, but also through the courage to learn, accept, and revise the places where one goes wrong. Pride and Prejudice is about cultivating the courage to be open to education through a constant revision of self-knowledge in order to try to understand one's principles better and to act according to them. Paradoxically, courage requires humility.

Sarah Emsley, Jane Austen's Philosophy of the Virtues, p. 102

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