Admit not sleep into your tender eyelids till you have reckoned up each deed of the day—How have I erred, what done of left undone So start, and so review your acts, and then for the vile deeds chide yourself, for the good be glad.
—Epictetus Discourses, III.10
What is art for? “L’art pour l’art” wrote Théophile Gautier as a slogan in 1835. And today’s bohemians continue to repeat the creed “Art for art’s sake.” It’s a catchy slogan, still what most people unreflectively tell themselves when confronted with the question: “What is the purpose of art?”
Socrates invented the art of cultivating a beautiful soul, perhaps because he was been born with such a famously ugly face.