July 04, 2011

More sincere, more free and more savage

another polar inversion
His conclusion, that in a more numerous society one enjoys more pleasures and suffers fewer fears (in which, in short, men are free), than one does living outside any society or within a very limited one, is an axiom which could be developed in a sociological treatise, and subsequently confirmed, modified or corrected in the light of our experience today. In the same way an entire typology and categorisation of conformisms and rebellions, judged according to their relative levels of sociability or unsociability, could be elaborated from the final sentence of the work [Calculation of the Value of Opinions and of the Pleasures and Pains of Human Life] where there is a contrast between he who is ‘susceptible’ to a greater number of ‘opinions’ and he who is ‘susceptible to fewer opinions’: the former becomes ‘more and more reserved, civil and dissimulating’, the latter ‘more sincere, more free and more savage’.

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