Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 C - Chesterfield


Chesterfield: Lord Chesterfield, would be patron of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Wrote a practically sensible book of advice on how to live and make a career for his bastard son, that is cynical, realistic and well-written.

Chesterfield's dictum comes from this book and reads "If you want to be pleased, please!". This is true and realistic about human beings, as is the equally valid advice "If in Rome, do as the Romans do", and its logical equivalent "if among cannibals, do as cannibals do".

Chesterfield's dictum may be taken as the bronze rule of morals, to be contrasted with the golden rule: "Do not do to others as you would not be done to".


See also: Brass Rules, Levenslessen, Morals


 Original: Aug 8, 2004                                                 Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top