The pursuit of merit is a Buddhist principle that Christianity sorely needs and counters the persistent captiousness
of the Old Testament.
It does not take long for one of the felons to murder Anders, provoked as he is by Anders's overweening captiousness
and by what must appear to any sensible reader as Anders's incomprehensible failure to understand the great peril of the moment.
Mossman (London: Duckworth, 1997), 41-58), using it as a key to understanding a work, Plutarch's On Stoic Self-Contradictions, that can all too readily seem nothing more than an infuriating exercise in captiousness
. (2a) seems at first sight reminiscent of the "old philosophy" that Antiochus of Ascalon claimed to find in its purest form in Plato and in inferior forms in the Peripatetics and Stoics.
The corruption of government life lies in the effects of power and publicity--as Henry Adams put it, an "aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies; a diseased appetite, like a passion for drink or perverted tastes." The corruption of academic life is pettifoggery, captiousness
, and preening vanity which differs from but is just as harmful as its governmental counterpart.
He described Hume's works as "those unnatural productions, the vile effusions of a vile and stupid heart, that mistakes its own restlessness for the activity of genius, and its own captiousness
for sagacity of understanding." Beattie's book was not well received in Scotland, where Hume was extremely popular in spite of his views on religion, but enjoyed a great vogue in England.