Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This research will begin with the statement that George Eliot, a pen name of Mary Ann Evans, sought in her novels to give people both a sense of how actions led to consequences through laws of causation and how those consequences had moral or immoral results…
Download full paper File format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.4% of users find it useful
Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy
Read Text Preview

Extract of sample "Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy"

Download file to see previous pages The researcher states that Eliot believed that art has a social, moral mission – that its twin goals should be the destruction of egoism and the creation of sympathy for others”. Adam Bede is no different and tries to illustrate the ideas of moral sympathy and the realist law of causation through allegory and allusion to other work, usage of established plot conventions, the utilization of the legal system and its associated gaze as a plot point, and uses of language and character development. Eliot's mission was quite open: “The greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies... [A] picture of human life such as a great artist can give, surprises even the trivial and the selfish into that attention of which is apart from themselves, which may be called the raw material of moral sentiment”. From this quote, we can deduce a few elements of Eliot's style and intent. First: She specifically associates morality with “sympathy”, or what we may call today empathy. For Eliot and thinkers like her, the moral life springs directly from human capacities to feel others' pains and be concerned for others' plight. Hume similarly declared that “sympathy is the source of the esteem, which we pay to all the artificial virtues”. For Hume, as for Eliot, ideas like justice and abstract codes of morality are created because, while people naturally do not greatly harm they love and are directly connected to, they find it much easier to harm those whose connections are more tenuous and abstract. But Eliot goes one step further and argues that good art can make specific and real general moral concepts and thus develop the species character of sympathy into more general “moral sentiment”. Similarly, Eliot shared with other Victorian thinkers (but not Hume) an almost ironclad certainty, or at least a belief that that certainty would be possible and valuable, in a particular model of the world and causality. Victorian-era novelists operated from an assumption that, at least in the world of fiction if not in the world of fact, there was a clear order of things, a “rock-solid... connection between realism and a philosophy of epistemological assurance”. Coming on the heels of the sceptical revolution, these realists tried to resist extremes of Cartesian certainty while nonetheless arguing that “scrupulous attention to detail” and accepting established models of reality would lead to successful prediction. Adam Bede, unsurprisingly, embodies and presages these developments. The setting of pastoral, country life and an idyllic farm town serves to make the later infanticide more shocking and thus help drive home the immorality of the action while opening the readers' mind to the consequences of such cruelty and wanton disregard. The people of the town are friendly and good hosts: “Take off the bridle and give him a drink, ostler”. They're candid, responding to questions about what Pastor Irwine thinks with simple, clear explanations and insight into Irwine's behavior. They are also humble and aware of cultural differences, helpfully explaining them to passersby: “I'm not this countryman, you may tell by my tongue, sir. They're cur'ous talkers i' this country, sir; the gentry's hard work to understand 'em. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy Essay)
“Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy

Bandura's Philosophy Theory

His memories are an accumulation of yesterdays. In yesterday's are written his dealings to others and to himself. He finds life more meaningful in the lives of others. His reason for living is to serve others because he learns more of himself by dealing, relating with and loving others. Hence his motto in life is: “Do to others what he wants others to do to him.”

Bandura’s theory confirms the reality of the experience. A man needs mirroring of others to tell him whether what he is doing is fine or not. The wife is the best critic of the husband and vice versa. This is what makes marriage a wonderful ground for discovery for the two is made into one yet uniqueness of each is still there.

7 Pages (1750 words) Coursework

Adam Smith's View of Slavery

He supports this conclusion by observing that the “late resolution of the Quakers in Pennsylvania to set at liberty all their Negro slaves, may satisfy us that their number cannot be very great. Had they made any considerable part of their property, such a resolution could never have been agreeing to." This quotation reveals the weight which Adam Smith assigns to benevolence. Freeing the slaves was certainly a benevolent action but hardly one likely to be undertaken if the price was a personal ruin. (Ronald Coase: "Adam Smiths View of Man."
If the western European succession argued in support of the dominance of wage labor, the overturn seemed to have been the...
7 Pages (1750 words) Assignment

Strict Liability of Law Philosophy

The use of the strict liability is also justified on the ground on of adoption of legal policies which attains a socially desirable purpose which the legislative body has the sole prerogative to promote and protect in the pursuit of public welfare. Arguments for and against the thesis using decided cases and other author’s views will also be discussed and resolved any issues will follow on the basis of whether there is enough ground or to uphold the thesis of this paper.
Strict liability rule first is beneficial to society. In at least two decided cases this theory was clearly shown by the courts. The first is the case of United States V. Balint et al., 258 U.S. 250 (1922). The facts of the said case had it that “...
7 Pages (1750 words) Coursework

Philosophy of Early Childhood Learning

Relatively few studies, however, have been conducted to determine how the understanding of prescribed concepts leads to an improved learning experience.  This experience is defined as an increase of the child’s cognitive awareness along with the substance retained resulting from utilizing a theory.  In an attempt to address the deficiency, this discussion examines

Dewey lived in a time when children were to be seen and not heard much less interacted within a way that would stimulate their senses and imagination. Dewey believes that ideas are a crucial element in developing a theory of learning. “Dewey knew that, out of necessity, even the youngest children participated in household chores and activ...
6 Pages (1500 words) Coursework

The Philosophy of Medieval Christianity and Its Influence on the Arts of the Period

Philosophy means the love of wisdom and is essential “a human search for the truth about ultimate questions” Dulles (2000: 24). Christian philosophy consists of the philosophical reason that is purified by faith in a two-fold way: “curing it of its pride, and inspiring philosophy to tackle the most difficult questions by casting the light of revelation upon them”. 

       It is observed that both the conception and form of early medieval art is strange, and does not focus on creating an illusion of reality. It is believed that the odd and sometimes bizarre nature of early medieval art forms part of its appeal to the modern viewer. The integrated approach of including word...
7 Pages (1750 words) Term Paper

Philosophy into Fiction

This suggests that a lot of nonfiction work does not seem to have a particular basis with which a solid criterion could be set upon. Also, it clearly manifests the writers’ quest to touch areas that simply do not fall under the jurisdictions of nonfiction writing. Corrective efforts are more or less discarded off in the wake of breaking new grounds in nonfiction writing since this is considered as a first in the related pieces of writing. A bias that usually comes to the picture is of the characterization regimes where the different characters within the nonfiction work document something which has never been seen in real-life or is unheard of in the literal sense of the word. Nonfiction work is best written when these biase...
6 Pages (1500 words) Assignment

Anwering Three Questions of Philosophy

Basically, where he drew a comparison between the two, was by equating their attempt to explain concepts and constructs therein, by the use of numbers (Pythagoras) and ideas (Plato).

Aristotle believed that these were comparable in the sense, that these were arrangements of convenience, wherein additions or subtractions in the notions could be contrived at a theoretical convenience, just so that a link could be established amongst the theoretical construct originally proposed by them. Aristotle believed that Plato advocated the notion that forms (ideas) cause both existence and generation. On the other hand, Aristotle felt that Pythagoras supported the idea that numbers try to explain the connotation of the universe and...
7 Pages (1750 words) Assignment

The Philosophy and Theories of John Locke

The ‘state of nature’ according to social contract theory describes the hypothetical condition of humanity before the state’s foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force (Wikipedia). The 17th and 18th-century thinkers believed that whatever good things one had in the ‘state of nature’ should not be lost when one entered into society. They even evaluated the government based on this condition. The citizens of New Orleans like everyone else had been living in the ‘state of nature’ and hence their sentiments and revolt against the government is natural when their expectations have not been met. Locke believed that in the state of nature, men mostly kept their promises....
6 Pages (1500 words) Term Paper

Philosophy of Education

As a consequence of my belief about the motivational dimension of students, I have come to the conclusion that school is a setting where one is allowed to discover new ideas and ways of thinking. Therefore the purpose of school is to provide a place where an individual can be exposed to different ways of thinking and thereby empower the individual to make quality decisions in life.

In view of the fact that school provides a gateway to new horizons, it is the conviction of the author of this paper that all children should be educated. It is their right to learn and be exposed to a plethora of ideas about life. Regardless of their color, race, creed, socio-economic background, physical, intellectual or emotional state, al...
7 Pages (1750 words) Essay

The Notion of Free Will on Understanding of Crime Causation

They, therefore, believe that internal and external factors affect the chances of a person being subject to a crime. The situation at which a person commits a crime also forms the basis of the determinist approach of causes of crimes.
Several theories elaborate on the factors that dispose of different people toward crimes. The classical theory explains that crimes occur when their benefits outdo the costs or consequences of the crime. The theory of Routine Activities suggests that a crime likely occurs if a motivated offender finds an attractive target and no appropriate guardianship in place. Various biological factors also influence the causes of crimes as evident in the discussion.
One of the major assumptions of the...
8 Pages (2000 words) Term Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Adam Bede: Sympathy, Causation and Victorian Philosophy for FREE!

Contact Us