Monday, 18 June 2007

The limits of comfort

Hegel, in The Philosophy of Right [add. to para 191], has this to say about comfort:

What the English call comfort is something inexhaustible and illimitable. Others can reveal to you that what you take to be comfort at any stage is discomfort, and these discoveries never come to an end.

But comfort, here, is really another word for untroubled passivity; and passivity is like temperature in that there is an absolute zero of passivity, a state so passive that comfort superconducts though consciousness with deadly rapidity. There can't be such a thing as illimitable comfort.

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