chapter  43
12 Pages

Suggestions Towards a Theory of Value 1935

WithS. L. Bethell

In S. L. Bethell's Principles of Literary Criticism, Dr Richards has attempted to bring psychology to the service of criticism. Recent literary criticism, most of which is acutely self-conscious, abounds in references to 'Value' and 'Values': author is exhorted 'to safeguard the values of tradition', or forsaking the past 'to help in creating a new age with the values appropriate to it'. The author is convinced that the root evil, as in so many modern problems, is specialization, which is so characteristic of our age whether in industry, science, philosophy, or the arts. Though aware, apparently, of the shortcomings of infans polypervers, Dr Richards, in common with other utilitarian's, takes an almost Rousseauesque view of homo adults. It is only by an act of faith which fleers at the mature judgement of the race, that he can equate 'that organization which is least wasteful of human possibilities'.