"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
4 Of essay writing6 Of essay writingOf essay writing"Of essay writing" by David HumeTo be serious, and to quit the Allusion before it be worn thread-bare, I am of Opinion, that Women, that is, Women of Sense and Education (for to such alone I address myself) are much better Judges of all polite Writing than Men of the same Degree of Understanding; and that ’tis a vain Panic, if they be so far terrified with the common Ridicule that is leveled against learned Ladies, as utterly to abandon every Kind of Books and Study to our Sex. Let the Dread of that Ridicule have no other Effect, than to make them conceal their Knowledge before Fools, who are not worthy of it, nor of them. Such will still presume upon the vain Title of the Male Sex to affect a Superiority above them: But my fair Readers may be assured, that all Men of Sense, who know the World, have a great Deference for their Judgment of such Books as lie within the Compass of their Knowledge, and repose more Confidence in the Delicacy of their Taste, though’ unguided by Rules, than in all the dull Labors of Pedants and Commentators. In a neighboring Nation, equally famous for good Taste, and for Gallantry, the Ladies are, in a Manner, the Sovereigns of the learned World, as well as of the conversible; and no polite Writer pretends to venture upon the Public, without the Approbation of some celebrated Judges of that Sex. Their Verdict is, indeed, sometimes complained of; and, in particular, I find, that the Admirers of Corneille, to save that great Poet’s Honor upon the Ascendant that Racine began to take over him, always said, That it was not to be expected, that so old a Man could dispute the Prize, before such Judges, with so young a Man as his Rival. But this Observation has been found unjust, since Posterity seems to have ratified the Verdict of that Tribunal: And Racine, tho’ dead, is still the Favorite of the Fair Sex, as well as of the best Judges among the Men. Continue reading…