P. 1
An Essay on Man, By Alexander Pope

An Essay on Man, By Alexander Pope

|Views: 949|Likes:
Published by dan mihalache
See more on my sites: http://danmihalache.wordpress.com/continut-legislatie/

The Essay on Man is a philosophical poem, written, characteristically, in heroic couplets, and published between 1732 and 1734. Pope intended it as the centerpiece of a proposed system of ethics to be put forth in poetic form: it is in fact a fragment of a larger work which Pope planned but did not live to complete. It is an attempt to justify, as Milton had attempted to vindicate, the ways of God to Man, and a warning that man himself is not, as, in his pride, he seems to believe, the center of all things. Though not explicitly Christian, the Essay makes the implicit assumption that man is fallen and unregenerate, and that he must seek his own salvation.

The "Essay" consists of four epistles, addressed to Lord Bolingbroke, and derived, to some extent, from some of Bolingbroke's own fragmentary philosophical writings, as well as from ideas expressed by the deistic third Earl of Shaftsbury. Pope sets out to demonstrate that no matter how imperfect, complex, inscrutable, and disturbingly full of evil the Universe may appear to be, it does function in a rational fashion, according to natural laws; and is, in fact, considered as a whole, a perfect work of God. It appears imperfect to us only because our perceptions are limited by our feeble moral and intellectual capacity. His conclusion is that we must learn to accept our position in the Great Chain of Being — a "middle state," below that of the angels but above that of the beasts — in which we can, at least potentially, lead happy and virtuous lives.
See more on my sites: http://danmihalache.wordpress.com/continut-legislatie/

The Essay on Man is a philosophical poem, written, characteristically, in heroic couplets, and published between 1732 and 1734. Pope intended it as the centerpiece of a proposed system of ethics to be put forth in poetic form: it is in fact a fragment of a larger work which Pope planned but did not live to complete. It is an attempt to justify, as Milton had attempted to vindicate, the ways of God to Man, and a warning that man himself is not, as, in his pride, he seems to believe, the center of all things. Though not explicitly Christian, the Essay makes the implicit assumption that man is fallen and unregenerate, and that he must seek his own salvation.

The "Essay" consists of four epistles, addressed to Lord Bolingbroke, and derived, to some extent, from some of Bolingbroke's own fragmentary philosophical writings, as well as from ideas expressed by the deistic third Earl of Shaftsbury. Pope sets out to demonstrate that no matter how imperfect, complex, inscrutable, and disturbingly full of evil the Universe may appear to be, it does function in a rational fashion, according to natural laws; and is, in fact, considered as a whole, a perfect work of God. It appears imperfect to us only because our perceptions are limited by our feeble moral and intellectual capacity. His conclusion is that we must learn to accept our position in the Great Chain of Being — a "middle state," below that of the angels but above that of the beasts — in which we can, at least potentially, lead happy and virtuous lives.

More info:

Published by: dan mihalache on Jul 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/30/2012

pdf

text

original

Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Himself, as an Individual.

I. The business of Man not to pry into God, but to study himself. His
Middle Nature; his Powers and Frailties, v.1 to 19. The Limits of his
Capacity, v.19, etc. II. The two Principles of Man, Self-love and
Reason, both necessary, v.53, etc. Self-love the stronger, and why, v.67,
etc. Their end the same, v.81, etc. III. The Passions, and their use,
v.93 to 130. The predominant Passion, and its force, v.132 to 160. Its
Necessity, in directing Men to different purposes, v.165, etc. Its
providential Use, in fixing our Principle, and ascertaining our Virtue,
v.177. IV. Virtue and Vice joined in our mixed Nature; the limits near,
yet the things separate and evident: What is the Office of Reason, v.202
to 216. V. How odious Vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into
it, v.217. VI. That, however, the Ends of Providence and general Good
are answered in our Passions and Imperfections, v.238, etc. How usefully
these are distributed to all Orders of Men, v.241. How useful they are
to Society, v.251. And to the Individuals, v.263. In every state, and
every age of life, v.273, etc.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->