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Extra info for A Crisis of the Weimar Republic: A Study of the German Referendum of 20 June 1926 (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)

Example text

3 Kierkegaard is here making a conceptual statement, a statement about the role of the concept of remorse in morality. His point is that if one has a concern for the good, if one cares about doing what is right, then one cannot at the same time wish to be freed from this concern. In this morality is quite unlike any other form of activity, unlike artistic or scientific activity, for Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, Zodiac Press (New York, 1955) p. 46. It should be noted that Bullough's tendency to talk of the moral 'attitude', as if morality were something one adopted (as I may adopt a certain attitude towards my father or my boss), has an important part to play in the deception.

For, in his desire to reject the claim that art is a part of morality, the autonomist is led also to reject the rather more moderate claim that artistic activity (like any other form of activity) may be subject to moral criticism. In this way, he is tempted to distort the role which moral considerations play in men's lives. There is, however, another, and in many ways more extreme form of autonomism, which is also to be found in the writings of Oscar Wilde, but which, unlike the first, involves confusions not about morality but about art.

On the other hand, I suggest that the account is largely correct in so far as it is intended to apply to art. That is to say, in so far as a man's concern with art brings in no moral considerations, he may well think in the way Bullough indicates. For a man chooses to concern himself with art or to ignore it, and which he does depends largely upon who he is and what he wants. When a man does choose to engage in artistic activities, then he opens himself to certain criticisms, criticisms concerning his capabilities as an artist or the depth of his understanding of literature perhaps.

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