by Theodore Dalrymple (July 2015)
In a crowded train a few days ago I was reading Hazlitt preparatory to writing an essay comparing his Shakespeare criticism with that of Dr Johnson (whom he detested). Which of them was the more acute, the more penetrating? And the essay which I happened to read on the train was On the Ignorance of the Learned, which ends with the famous words:
If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to know the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.
As Hazlitt had by then written his book about Shakespeare’s characters, he presumably knew whereof he spoke. more>>>
This eloquent article disappointed me sadly - but only because I now realise that " my " Laws of Psychology were discovered by others before me. The Laws - of which I thought I was the discoverer - are 1. there is no notion so foolish , no concept so idiotic , no idea so daft that some-one , some-where , does not believe it. 2. And the corollary , no idea so daft , no notion so stupid etc that some idiot , some-where, some-how , will try to implement it . Dr Dalrymple has in his excellent prose convinced me that other and greater people discovered these laws well before my time realised my laws . My one claim to be an original thinker is now destroyed. I still contend that these laws are the only ones which are needed in life. In the meantime , please ask Dr Dalrymple to desist from ruining my few remaining illusions.
I a wrote a comment two hours ago and nothing happened is the site OK now?