"Beautiful Soul Syndrome" (Timothy Morton)

by on Aug.03, 2013

“A truly theoretical approach is not allowed to sit smugly outside the area it is examining. It must mix thoroughly with it. Adopting a position that fogoes all others would be all too easy, a naive negative criticism that is disguised position all of its own. it is all very well to carp at the desires of others while not owning up to the determinacy of one’s own desire. This is a political as well as an intellectual position, one to which ecological thinking is itself prone. After Hegel, I call it beautiful soul syndrome… The “beautiful soul” washes his or her hands of the corrupt world, refusing to admit how in this very abstemiousness and distaste he or she participates in the creation of that world. The world-weary soul holds all beliefs and ideas at a distance. The only ethical option is to muck in…”

(Timothy Morton, from “Ecology Without Nature”)

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