Inconsistencies and Contradictions

aphorisms Jan 08, 2020

If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!

Jonathan Swift

But would he recognize and admit the inconsistencies and contradictions?

Swift wrote in a time before social science was really a thing. Does this hold up in light of what we know now?

Probably. Opinions and views are frequently tied to personality traits. Personality traits (which are a real thing!) are pretty stable over time. But they do gradually change over the course of a person’s life. Usually for the better.

I think to think that the more I age, the more I am aware of the bundle of contradictions that is me. That means admitting I’m wrong. And that is hard.


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