Wednesday, August 22, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Maria Edgeworth

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Obtain power, then, by all means; power is the law of man; make it yours.
--
"An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification" (1795); Tales and Novels, vol. 1, p. 206.

 
Maria Edgeworth

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The particular thing about science is to combine that [the dreams of obtaining power] with a retreat from the world. Other people want to obtain power by going out into the world, but the scientist really wants to obtain power by retreating from the world.

 
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Benefiting and hurting others are ways of exercising one's power upon others; that is all one desires in such cases. One hurts those whom one wants to feel one's power, for pain is a much more efficient means to that end than pleasure; pain always raises the question about its origin while pleasure is inclined to stop with itself without looking back. We benefit and show benevolence to those who are already dependent on us in some way (which means that they are used to thinking of us as causes); we want to increase their power because in that way we increase ours, or we want to show them how advantageous it is to be in our power; that way they will become more satisfied with their condition and more hostile to and willing to fight against the enemies of our power.

 
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