Pride and the Pursuit of Applause

Nicholas Hudson

in Samuel Johnson and Eighteenth-Century Thought

Published in print June 1990 | ISBN: 9780198112143
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670671 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Pride and the Pursuit of Applause

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter discusses vanity as being the basis of the classical philosophy's view of man and virtue. Naturally there were a number of people against this claim, but based on the discussions in this chapter, it is shown that this claim diminished as the years progressed. It is also said that Samuel Johnson was deeply sceptical of what was usually accounted greatness or fame, and that he passionately admired those who did their best without recognition. It is through his idealism and scepticism that he was able to excel in his age, rather than rely on any new realization of how the pursuit of applause could be directed.

Keywords: vanity; classical philosophy; man; virtue; Samuel Johnson; idealism; scepticism; applause

Chapter.  12594 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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