Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday Words

Amour propre - Essentially, the opposite of self-preservation (amour de soi). Amour propre is an acute awareness of, and regard for, oneself in relation to others. Whilst the savage person cares only for his survival, civilized man also cares deeply about what others think about him. This is a deeply harmful psychological deformation, linked to the development of human reason and political societies. At its root is a difference between being and appearing. Savage man can only "be", and has no concept of pretence: civil man is forced to compare himself to others, and to lie to himself. Rousseau traces the development of amour propre back to the first village festivals, in which competition to dance and sing well increases the villagers' awareness of each other's talents and abilities. Amour propre is best expressed in a society in which wealth dominates; there, all are compared on an insubstantial and harmful basis. -

Canticle - a song, poem, or hymn esp. of praise.

Denunciation - an act or instance of denouncing; public censure or condemnation.

Fillip - to strike with the nail of a finger snapped from the end of the thumb.

Vacillation - a state of indecision or irresolution.


  1. Wow, that amour propre term is so complicated. I kind of like 'to fillip'...I'm trying to figure out if it's something like a pinch, I guess? So funny how there's actually a term for this!

  2. I think fillip came from Evergreen Gallant and I cannot remember the context. Amour propre is a term I wrote down a long time ago and I want to say it was from The Loves of Charles II trilogy or The Queen's Confession. I tried to find a dictionary term, but the only description I found was from Spark Notes. I thought it was interesting and so posted it :)