Saturday, June 27, 2009

Distinct Notion and Kindly Mode of Feeling

To examine any thing wisely, two conditions are requisite: first, a distinct notion of the desirable ends, in the complete accomplishment of which would consist the perfection of such a thing, or its ideal excellence; and, secondly, a calm and kindly mode of feeling, without which we shall hardly fail either to overlook, or not to make due allowances for, the circumstances which prevent these ends from being all perfectly realized in the particular thing which we are to examine. For instance, we must have a general notion what a man can be and ought to be, before we can fitly proceed to determine on the merits or dements of any one individual.

S. T. Coleridge, The Friend

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