Attitudes Toward History, Third edition
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like Whitman, but with out the "salute.” B u rlesq u e We might add one justification for externality that Lewis does not offer. Namely: if the state of the world and the criteria of art have gone to such a point that we are conas a Communist Society becomes established, hence requiring emphasis upon the attitude of defiance (grounded in defiance of death) will require abatement. Thus, in Russia we note a tendency for God to return (first perhaps in the form of Santa C lau s). Usually, the
of "muddling through,” rationalizing a relativistic opportunism, of the serviceable "let well enough alone” variety. And since this atomism attained much of its rationale through the quantitative tests of "good business,” it stimulated an attitude of "tolerance” towards any aspects of the local that did not radically atomistic relativistic all mores 88 POETIC CATEGORIES The over-all unification is, in this interpretation, accom plished by ritual, by tone, by the poet’s m u s ic (for in
vocabularies for the charting of human motives. And implicit in our theory of motives is a program of action, since wT: form ourselves and judge others (collaborating with them or against them) in accordance with our attitudes. A supernatural scheme of motives too quickly misleads the social critic by serving as a "eulogistic covering” for utilitarian interests. But the antithetical scheme, of purely "debunking” motives, makes co-operation difficult, since it sees utilitarian motives everywhere.
system.” It promoted a kind of any-port-in-a-storm attitude, annoying perhaps to lovers of the symmetrical when it takes the metaphysical guise of pluralism, but extremely helpful for the moral jugglings we must manage in this imperfect world: "One can meet mortal (or would-be mortal) disease,” he writes to his dying friend Davidson, "either by gentlemanly levity, by highminded stoicism, or by religious enthusiasm. I advise you, old T. D., to follow my example and try a playful durcheinander of
such sensitivity is out raged, as it must be outraged by the acts of others or by the needs that practical exigencies place upon us. §'// And one is exposed indeed to the possibilities of being cheated shamelessly in this world, if he does not accumulate at least a minimum of spiritual resources that no man can take from him. The comic frame, as a m e th o d o f stu d y (man as eternal journeyman) is a better personal possession, in this respect, than the somewhat empty accumulation of facts