Thursday, October 13, 2022

Quote of the Day (Lionel Trilling, on ‘Moral Realism’)

“[M]oral realism [is] …the perception of the dangers of the moral life itself. Perhaps at no other time has the enterprise of moral realism ever been so much needed, for at no other time have so many people committed themselves to moral righteousness. We have the books that point out the bad conditions, that praise us for taking progressive attitudes. We have no books that raise questions in our minds not only about conditions but about ourselves, that lead us to refine our motives and ask what might lie behind our good impulses.”— American literary critic, short story writer, essayist, and Columbia University professor Lionel Trilling (1905-1975), “Manners, Morals, and The Novel,” in The Liberal Imagination (1950)

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