Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Freedom was not an escape from obligations, but a call to obey them"

Via Anecdotal Evidence, Roger Scruton on Samuel Johnson:
Johnson’s eccentric habits...made his defence of orthodoxy all the more impressive. The search for the right opinion, the correct response, the sensible emotion was also, in Johnson’s world, an expression of the highest freedom. He could be haughty and compassionate, indignant and remorseful by turns, but in everything he responded to the world with an exalted sense of responsibility for his own existence. Freedom, for Johnson, was not an escape from obligations, but a call to obey them, whether or not they have been consciously chosen.