Single Idea 20429

[catalogued under 16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection]

Full Idea

The motives we actually experience are too close to us to enable us to feel them clearly. They are in a sense unintelligible.

Gist of Idea

Most of us are too close to our own motives to understand them


Roger Fry (An Essay in Aesthetics [1909], p.30)

Book Reference

Fry,Roger: 'Vision and Design' [Penguin 1937], p.30

A Reaction

Fry is defending the role of art in clarifying and highlighting such things, but I am not convinced by his claim. We can grasp most of our motives with a little introspection, and those we can't grasp are probably too subtle for art as well.