Character and the
Conduct of Life
Our Need of Self-Criticism
"KNOW thyself"; that is a maxim which wise men long ago propounded as fundamentally important. In this modern world of ours its importance is greater than ever. Self-knowledge is only to be obtained by critical reflection about oneself, about other persons and about our relations to one another. Reflection about oneself is necessarily introspective; one has to look inwards and observe the movements of the mind, the impulses of the heart, the workings of conscience, the nature and direction of desires, the shrinkings and aversions and antipathies we discover; one has to learn not only to recognize these things for what they are, but also to value them, to estimate them as good, bad or indifferent, and to discover whether they are deeply rooted, pervasive and recurrent, or merely fleeting and incidental.
Am I, then, inviting you, my reader, to be introspective? A terrible word! Will not every schoolmaster throw up
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Character and the Conduct of Life:Practical Psychology for Everyman. Contributors: William McDougall - Author. Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons. Place of publication: New York; London. Publication year: 1927. Page number: 3.