The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Tolstoy (Leo)
Source: Tolstoy (Leo) - The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
Paper - Abstract

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See my write-up Note1.


Aka "Ilych".

Write-up2 (as at 17/08/2018 17:35:31): Ivan Ilych

Plug Note3

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/08/2018 17:35:31).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 3:
  • A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
  • I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
  • As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
  • The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
Footnote 5:
  • I’m also interested in the question “What references to card games appear, and what is the implied objection to them?”, but it is scarcely relevant.
Footnote 6:
  • When I originally wrote this in February 2016.
Footnote 7:
  • Tolstoy’s main purpose is moral – to encourage us to live less conventional and more authentic lives.
  • There’s a helpful footnote in "Kamm (F.M.) - Rescuing Ivan Ilych: How We Live and How We Die":-
    • In brief, this is the way Ivan lived. He conformed to the social code, having a profession, a wife, and a family, but he was driven by concern for social and professional climbing, had no deep feelings for others, enjoyed having power over them, and got pleasure from superficial pursuits.
    • We may not agree that everything was all wrong with his mature years. For example, he was an incorruptible judge. This should count for something positive, at least if the laws he applied had any justice in them. One may even argue that the real pleasure he took in his last interior decoration project can be defended.
    • However, when Tolstoy has Ivan say that his life was all not right, Tolstoy may have in mind that the reasons why Ivan did even the useful acts in his life were wrong. That is, the principle (or maxim) of his conduct was competitive social climbing. Tolstoy would then be suggesting that when we judge our lives, we focus on the maxim at the root of it, rather than on behavior.
    • But surely it would be correct to feel better about a life in which we did not kill someone (due to an accidental intervention) than one in which we did, even if the deep maxim in each life that led us to act as we did was equally wrong.
    • This is the problem of moral luck. Even if this were true, we should remember that Tolstoy’s point is that someone who was not a bad person in the most obvious criminal way can still have a remarkably worthless life. Since most people are not criminals, this makes Ivan’s story of greater relevance to them.
Footnote 8:
  • If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
  • Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
  • There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
Footnote 9:
  • Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
  • In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
  • In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
  • My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
Footnote 10:
  • I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
  • Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.

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