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Euripides, with greater dramatic skill, brings the two brothers together in presence of their mother, Jocast锚. When Polyneic锚s has spoken, Eteocl锚s replies:鈥.
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Meanwhile, hedonism had been temporarily taken up by Plato, and developed into the earliest known form of utilitarianism. In his Protagoras, he endeavours to show that every virtue has for its object either to secure a greater pleasure by the sacrifice of a lesser pleasure, or to avoid a greater pain by the endurance of a lesser pain; nothing being taken into account but the interests of the individual agent concerned. Plato afterwards discarded the theory sketched in the Protagoras for a higher and more generous, if less distinctly formulated morality; but while ceasing to be a hedonist he remained a utilitarian; that is to say, he insisted on judging actions by their tendency to promote the general welfare, not by the sentiments which they excite in the mind of a conventional spectator.?
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It is, after all, very questionable whether human happiness would be increased by suppressing the thought of death as something to be feared. George Eliot, in her Legend of Jubal, certainly expresses the contrary opinion.180 The finest edge of enjoyment would be taken off if we forgot its essentially transitory character. The free man may, in Spinoza鈥檚 words, think of nothing less than of death; but he cannot prevent the sunken shadow from throwing all his thoughts of life into higher and more luminous relief. The ideal enjoyment afforded by literature would lose much of its zest were we to discard all sympathy with the fears and sorrows on which our mortal condition has enabled it so largely to draw鈥攖he lacrimae rerum, which Lucretius himself has turned to such admirable account. And the whole treasure of happiness due to mutual affection must gain by our remembrance that the time granted for its exercise is always limited, and may at any moment be brought to an end鈥攐r rather, such an94 effect might be looked for were this remembrance more constantly present to our minds.!
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Nor was this all. Laws and justice once established would65 require to have their origin accounted for, and, according to the usual genealogical method of the early Greeks, would be described as children of the gods, who would thus be interested in their welfare, and would avenge their violation鈥攁 stage of reflection already reached in the Works and Days of Hesiod.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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