Merold Westphal Quotes
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In a revolutionary age talk of equality may well have represented a passion to provide full human dignity to those who had previously been denied it by systems of political and economic domination; but in the present age it softens the spiritual requirements that are an essential ingredient in human dignity. Thus the slogans of equality serve not so much to elevate individuals to the dignity of being human as to free them from the responsibility of rising to this vocation.
Hegel's lack of charity toward the instrument metaphor is not arbitrary. It represents his disenchantment with the assumption that knowledge is power and that method is the means to this end.... Descartes' conception of method, like Bacon's, is linked to this idea of knowledge as an instrument of power.... The same could be said of Locke. Hegel can rightly claim that the instrument metaphor pervades the epistemological tradition he is seeking to transcend.
[For Hegel] it is the ethical task of the individual to transcend particularity and conform to the universal, to exhibit as a matter of character and behavior the values expressed in the laws and customs of his or her people. The problem is that the universal … is itself without moral obligations as soon as it has been absolutized. As divine, its will is law and its deeds are good.
For the amoral herd that fears boredom above all else, everything becomes entertainment. Sex and sport, politics and the arts are transformed into entertainment. … Nothing is immune from the demand that boredom be relieved (but without personal involvement, for mass society is a spectator society).