For there are so many more immediate pleasures to be

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Unformatted text preview: own to be discussed, to whom it is a personal affront to do this. What we call urbanity is tolerance of other opinions; what we call reasonableness is the willingness to change opinions if convinced. What we call vacillation is to have no fixed opinion, to be influenced at once by the opinions of others. The pleasure sought in argument is a victory for our opinions and thus for ourselves. Here Montaigne's wisdom aptly expresses itself: "We deride ourselves a hundred times when we mock our neighbor." He is stubborn and unreasonable who does not agree with us. "Be reasonable," cry the unreasonable as they argue. "How stubborn and pigheaded you are," say those inaccessible to reason. The difficulty in reaching a true estimate of the world, ourselves and our neighbors lies in the egoism which permeates our beliefs and opinions. A second direction of the impulse to superiority is personal beauty. Not only does the young girl (or any other, male or female) dress and adorn herself to attract those whose good opinion she seeks, but also she seeks superiority over her competitors. Her own self-valuation increases with the admiration of some and the discomfiture of others. To be beautiful, attractive or pretty becomes thus a goal to many aims of the personality; it offers a route to success in obtaining power, riches, etc.; it yields the longed-for admiration, and it gives the satisfaction of superiority. It rarely has in it any ideal of service or of help, though beauty in the abstract is an ideal of high value. To desire to be beautiful physically as a leading aim usually leads to selfishness and petty vanity. As a subsidiary aim it balances character, but unfortunately, as we have before seen, it is inculcated as a primary aim early in the life of a girl. True, men seek to be beautiful in a masculine way, but the goal of masculine beauty is strength, which is directly serviceable. This is not to say that there are no men who are vain of their good looks, for th...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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