“Psychology at last leads us to conclude that the most generous human impulses spring from a root of…”

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“Psychology at last leads us to conclude that the most generous human impulses spring from a root of egoism. Tolstoy’s “love to one’s neighbour,” for example, proves to be a branch of the old self-love. The same may be said of Kant’s idealism, and even of Plato’s. Though they glorify the service of the idea, in practice they succeed in getting out of the vicious circle of egoism no better than the ordinary mortal, who is neither a genius nor a flower of culture. In my eyes this is “almost” an absolute truth. (It is never wrong to add the retractive “almost”; truth is too much inclined to exaggerate its own importance, and one must guard oneself against its despotic authority.)”

Lev Shestov, All Things Are Possible

Originally appeared on Philosophy Bits Read More

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