Monday, June 13, 2011

The Savage and the Barbarian

But man can be at odds with himself in two ways: either as savage, when feeling predominates over principle; or as barbarian, when principle destroys feeling. The savage despises Civilization, and acknowledges Nature as his sovereign mistress. The barbarian derides and dishonours Nature, but more contemptible than the savage, as often as not continues to be the slave of his slave. The man of Culture makes a friend of Nature, and honours her freedom whilst curbing only her caprice.

Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man (Wilkinson and Willoughby, trs.), Fourth Letter, section 6.

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