by Constance Naden
Eternal Beauty, Truth’s interpreter,
Is bound by no austere æsthetic creed;
All forms of art she uses at her need,
And e’en unlovely things are slaves to her:
And we, whose hearts her lightest breath can stir,
Must prize her flowers, whoe’er has sown the seed,
And love each noble picture, song, or deed,
Whose soul is true, although the form should err.
She is God’s servant, but the queen of man,
Who fondly dreams she lives for him alone,
And while her power is felt through time and space,
Proclaims her priestess of some petty clan,
Catching but transient glimpses of a face
Veiled in rich vestures, loved but still unknown.
Because Hylo-Idealism recently came up in reading Oscar Wilde, I have been thinking a bit about Constance Naden (1858-1889), one of the philosophical movement's primary figures. In her lifetime she was recognized as one of the great English poetesses of the day, but she also wrote philosophical works, mostly essays for various scientific or freethinking periodicals. Her Induction and Deduction, first published in 1887, is an unusually good discussion of the history of various positions taken on the relation of induction to deduction, particularly given the state of philosophical historiography of the time -- while not perfect, the work bursts a number of myths that you can still find professional philosophers accepting a hundred years later. People largely stopped reading her works until the 1980s, and since then there has been a slowly increasing interest in her.
Post a Comment
Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.