Day 173: June 22 – Criticism, Its Uses and Disadvantages

~ Olympia by Édouard Manet

Scandalous and provocative were the two words that are used to describe this painting when it was first revealed in public. This painting was no nude Goddess or nymph, it was that of a modern woman. But what kind of woman? Does her direct gaze at her viewer mean anything? Why is the woman wearing a single slipper? And what is the symbolic meaning of the black woman and the black cat standing in front of the dark green curtains?

~

Wisdom

The essential characteristic of philosophy, which makes it a study distinct from science, is criticism. It examines critically the principles employed in science and in daily life; it searches out any inconsistencies there may be in these principles, and it only accepts them when, as the result of a critical enquiry, there is no reason for rejecting them.

~ Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

~

Wit

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

~ Ambrose Bierce

~

What Happened

1527: Death of Niccolo Machiavelli.

1815: Napoleon abdicates and proclaims his son Emperor of the French.

~

Writers Addendum

Criticism, if helpful, needs to be constructive. One should not, as a general rule of good conduct, find faults continuously with the things around them.

Nothing is absolutely perfect in this world. There is no shoe that fits everyone in this world. What that doesn’t work for one individual might work for another. 

If you see a problem, point it out. But offer a solution as well. 

Never criticise for the sake of  criticizing. 

Worse, never think that you appear to be more ‘cultured’ when you criticise everything around you. The only impression you give is that you are a whiner. 

Understand the advantages and disadvantages of thoughts and things. Analyze and criticise within your heart. Make your true feelings known only when they serve a purpose. 

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