I only just learned this guy existed. All I’ve found of his own work in English is this (but there is also useful information here and here). If I weren’t prepared to judge his entire life’s work on the basis of one summary, though, I wouldn’t be saying anything about him at all, and these days the poor fellow needs all the attention he can get.

I’m not keen on any of the stuff about evolution or much of that about psychology so far. I should also point out that G.E. Moore is (in his inimitable fashion) not impressed. Some bits I like the sound of, though. Like this:

“The Utilitarians are still too absorbed by considerations of finality; they are entirely wrapped up in the end, which for them is utility, which is itself reducible to pleasure. They are hedonists, i.e., they make of pleasures, in an egoist or sympathic form, the great spring of mental life. We, on the contrary, place ourselves from the point of view of efficient causality, and not finality; we note in ourselves a cause which acts even before the attraction of pleasure as an end. This cause is life, tending by its very nature to grow and spread, thus finding pleasure as a consequence, but not taking it necessarily as an end.”

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These three songs were all written (and probably choreographed) by Germans within a couple of years at the end of the ’70s. The second two are, of course, by the same group, who give essentially the same performance both times. This stuff must have been pretty popular for that to have been worth doing. Why this, then and there? And why are there no songs about how great it is to live in, say, Bavaria? Do Bavarians just not have sufficiently interesting dances? Not enough capes? Or maybe there are plenty of such songs, and I just haven’t seen them yet (they’re probably all in Russian).
Another one:

“So it is with language – the man who has a fine feeling for its tempo, its fingering, its musical spirit, who can hear with his inward ear the fine effects of its inner nature and raises his voice or hand accordingly, he shall surely be a prophet; on the other hand the man who knows how to write truths like this, but lacks a feeling and an ear for language, will find language making a game of him, and will become a mockery to men, as Cassandra was to the Trojans. And though I believe that with these words I have delineated the nature and office of poetry as clearly as I can, all the same I know that no one can understand it, and what I have said is quite foolish because I wanted to say it, and that is no way for poetry to come about.”
If we take any baby born today (let’s call the individual we pick ‘Baby’), the history of its life has been born at exactly the same time. That history (let’s call it ‘H’) will grow relentlessly from nothing, adding a year to its girth every time Baby ages a year. If Baby eventually dies, at that moment H will reach its greatest size, and it will subsequently remain frozen in that state for the rest of time.

Such histories are clearly entities that inhabit time, because they can change (grow). The interesting thing is this: whatever our theory of how Baby persists through time may be, H has to persist by enduring. It can’t have temporal parts. (See here and here for the jargon.)

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For a series of quotes with another common theme:

“The world was made before the English language, and seemingly upon a different design. Suppose we held our converse not in words, but in music; those who have a bad ear would find themselves cut off from all near commerce, and no better than foreigners in this big world.”
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