Rhyme of the Day

Various meanderings with a rhyme in there somewhere.

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Carlyle on Heroes
At book club tonight we discussed Thomas Carlyle's book on Heroes & Hero Worship & the Heroic in History, based on some lectures he gave in 1840. The book itself I found an unreliable guide to the announced topic, full of preachy fulminations in the 19th century style. I remember finding it unreadable when I was in college.

The theory of historically relativistic truth is incidentally championed. Of course in a literal sense, something can be "true then but not true now". For instance, "Virginia is a British colony" was true once, but no longer. But to say that Dante's beliefs were true once, and no longer, is a deeply problematic form of discourse, if it is to be taken seriously.

Embracing contradiction
Brings on mental friction.

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hmm -- for some reason I associate him with Hegel on heroes:

"No man is a hero to his valet. This is not because the hero is not a hero, but because the valet is a valet."

Yes. There are curious parallels. They're apparently both deeply influenced by Fichte, who I know only through summaries.

Carlyle, like Hegel, upholds the hero, and scorns the saying that "no man is a hero to his valet". Carlyle seems to coin the term "valetism" as the "reverse of heroism".


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