Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Picking a Few Bones With John Stuart Mill

“To say that we know not
what does or does not lead to happiness
is as high a pitch, I think,
as absurdity has ever reached in philosophical discourse.”
For a long time I had this quote lodged in my mind
Spoke it often in conversation
One of the last bits of intellectual sediment
That had settled on the riverbed of my mind
After a freshman year philosophy class.

But when I came across the text years later
A long search for the quote
Turned up nothing.
Had I just made it up?
Despite the mellifluous phrasing
It occurs to me that the sentiment may be mistaken
If indeed it exists at all.

He also wrote (as I recall)
Regarding the pleasures of intellectual pursuits
"Better to be Socrates dissatisfied
Than a pig satisfied."
On lonely Sunday afternoons
I'm not so sure about that one either. 

No comments:

Post a Comment