Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Origins of Wednesday

  This is nevertheless an autobiography that celebrates 
  an extraordinary confidence in self-determination and 
  in the efficacy of the conscious mind. There is no sug-
  gestion that the purposes of rational men are commonly 
  cross-purposes, and of the compulsion to repeat patterns 
  of behavior; therefore a life can be seen as a progress 
  and as a learning by experience, almost as if it were a 
  scientific inquiry. That element in human behavior which 
  makes puppets plausible is nowhere represented: the limit-
  ed repertory of expression and gesture, the disconnections 
  and abrupt reversals, and the expected repetitions. The 
  confession of a static, absurdly contrived nature which is 
  delightful to some philosophers, such as Sartre, who are 
  obsessed with the contingency of any individual’s interests, 
  is not permissible in Russell, for whom there must always 
  be freely willed development, and true self-assertion.


Stuart Hampshire
The Autobiography of
  Bertrand Russell, 1914-1944
The New York Review of Books©
August 22, 1968

1879 Hall
Hampshire's study above arch

Martin Conte

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