Essay 5 - The art Of Controversy by Schopenhauer Arthur

By Schopenhauer Arthur

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Extra info for Essay 5 - The art Of Controversy

Sample text

This is the most interesting work of fiction that I know, where all the effects due to interest, as I have given them generally in the preceding remarks, may be most clearly observed. At the same time it is a very beautiful romance throughout; it shows the most varied pictures of life, drawn with striking truth; and it exhibits highly different charac- cient reason; whereas interest has its sphere mainly in circumstance, and it is out of this principle that the complexity of circumstance arises.

On the other hand, we call drama or descriptive poetry interesting when it represents events and actions of a kind which necessarily arouse concern or sympathy, like that which we feel in real events involving our own person. The fate of the person represented in them is felt in just the same fashion as our own: we await the development of events with anxiety; we eagerly follow their course; our hearts quicken when the hero is threatened; our pulse falters as the danger reaches its acme, and throbs again when he is suddenly rescued.

But when the adherents of the new school proved to them that they were quite right, and had really failed to understand it, they were in a very bad humour. This is a trick which may be used only when you are quite sure that the audience thinks much better of you that of your opponent. A professor, for instance may try it on a student. Strictly, it is a case of the preceding trick: it is a particularly malicious assertion of one’s own authority, instead of giving reasons. The counter-trick is to say: “I beg your pardon; but, with your penetrating intellect, it must be very easy for you to understand anything; and it can only be my poor statement of the matter that is at fault”; and then go on to rub it into him until he understands it nolens volens, and sees for himself that it was really his own fault alone.

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