Barcelona The Great Enchantress by Robert Hughes

By Robert Hughes

Starting with a brilliant description of his marriage ceremony within the fantastic medieval ceremonial chamber in Barcelona's urban corridor, Hughes launches right into a energetic account of the historical past, artwork, and structure of the storied urban. He tells of architectural treasures abounding in 14th-century Barcelona, developing it as considered one of Europe's nice Gothic towns, whereas Madrid was once hardly ever greater than a cluster of huts. the town spawned such nice artists as Antoni Gaudi, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Casals. Hughes's deep wisdom of town is evident--but it's his own reflections of what Barcelona, its humans, and its storied heritage and tradition have intended to him over the a long time that units Barcelona the nice Enchantress except all others' books.

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Any such artifice is supposed to be for the advantage of “the whole and every part” of society, but it is difficult to see that either adult women or adult men do benefit from the arrangement Hume describes. ” It is during this time that children learn to speak and learn the customs of their group, and so become acculturated. Later ethologists have seen this long infancy, or “serious prematurity of birth,” as what explains our possession of a much richer culture than other species exhibit. Birds may learn birdsongs, and cats are taught by their mothers to bury their fecal excreta and how to hunt, but we learn far more while in our malleable prolonged childhood.

Only with contractual rights are we able to count on others doing what they have solemnly sworn they will do, when this affects our own plans and interests. Promise and contract extend trust, Hume says, beyond family and friends to strangers, though some basic trust in one another is shown in acceptance of any convention, when we trust others to conform to it. Hume sees our ancestors to have “invented” property, promise, and (later) governors. Of course, once they are invented, there will indeed be new prohibitions, such as “Don’t steal, don’t break contracts,” just as the enabling rules of a game generate some forbidden moves or fouls.

He relies on self-analysis. And there is considerable resemblance between the cause, pleasure in fine possessions, and the effect, plea sure in oneself as possessor. Had Hume begun his Treatise with the passions, we might have had a quite different analysis of the causal relation. Pride is, of course, a deadly sin for Christians, and Hume in Book 2 has Malebranche’s treatment of it, in his Search for Truth, in fairly clear view. Some of Hume’s theses echo Malebranche, for example, when he speaks of the effects on our mind of any sort of perceived grandeur.

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