The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Montaigne 1.16

An engraving of the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators
The Gunpowder plot conspirators, Crispin de Passe the Elder 1605
via Giornale Nuovo (ca. 2007)

The recurring theme of willfulness, and the conflation of cowardice and ignorance as two pernicious forms of weakness one can, in part, lay at the feet of Nature, but only in part:

It is reasonable indeed to see difference between those faults which are the result of our weakness, and those which proceed from wickedness. For in the latter we knowingly oppose the laws of reason that Nature has imprinted in us, whereas in the former, it seems to me, we may justify ourself by making that same Nature responsible for leaving us so weak and imperfect. […] When however ignorance or cowardice is so gross and apparent that it exceeds the ordinary, it is but right to regard them as sufficient proof of malice and wickedness, and to punish them as such.

—Montaigne (Essays, ‘Of the punishment of cowardice’)


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