The influence of the imagination - Dugald Stewart the...

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Dugald Stewart: the effects of the imagination on character i) The lively imagination of women The intellectual and moral differences between the sexes seem to me to be entirely the result of education; using that word in its most extensive sense, to comprehend not merely the instruction reiceived from teachers, but the habits of mind imposed by situation, or by the physical organization of the animal frame. It must be remembered, too, that certain intellectual and moral habits are the natural and necessary consequences of that difference in point of strength which Plato allows to distinguish the Sexes. The form of the male is evidently much the better fitted for bodily exertion, and a less measure of exercise seem to be sufficient to preserve the female in health. Hence the sedentary habits early acquired by the other sex, and that comparative timidity which results from a want of familiarity with those external injuries to which the stronger sex is daily exposed. This timidity, it is to be observed, by no means implies an impatience under present suffering; for the female, though less courageous than the male, is commonly more resigned and patient under severe affliction. The mental constitutions, in this respect, of the sexes are happily adapted to the different provinces allotted to them in life; the male being the natural protector of the female in moments of danger and suddern alarm; the female destined to be his comfort and support in seasons of sorrow, and of protracted suffering. From the greater delicacy of their frame, and from the numerous ailments connected with their sexual temperament, combined with their constant familiarity with distresses which are not their own, the sympathy of women with the sufferings of others is much more lively, and their promptitude to administer relief, wherever it is possible, is much more eager than in the generality of men. To the truth of this remark, every day’s experience bears witness...
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  • Fall '13
  • Montwieler
  • Romanticism, young men, greater degree, Dugald Stewart, early habits, greater nervous irritability

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