Common Courtesy in Eighteenth-century English Literature
In one of his Idlers, Johnson indicated the problems involved in such an achievement as follows: "As a question becomes more complicated and involved, and extends to a greater number of relations, disagreement of opinion will always be multiplied: not because we are irrational, but because we are finite beings, furnished with different kinds of knowledge, exerting different degrees of attention, one discovering consequences which escape another, none taking in the whole concatenation of causes and effects, and most comprehending but a very small part, each comparing what he observes with a different criterion and each referring it to a different purpose. "Where, then, is the wonder, that they who see only a small part should judge erroneously of the whole?
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acknowledges actually agreement allows apparent argument asserts attention Author believe Berkeley Berkeley's Boswell circle common sense concern Consider continually conversation course courteous courtesy critics described discourse discussion doubt effect enforces epistle Essay established evident example existence experience explains expression feel figures further give hope human Hylas ideas imagine immediately indicated individual instance intellectual Johnson judgment kind knowledge learned least letter literary Lord matter meaning mind nature never notice observed occasion once opinion particular passage passive philosophers poem poet polite Pope Pope's position possible practice present Press question quotes Rambler readers reason recognizes reference remarkable represented respondent seems Shandy share social society sometimes style suggests things thought throughout tion Toby's topics train Treatise Tristram truth turn uncle understanding universal writing