...An even more provocative version of this theme, "Freud: Within and Beyond Culture," was delivered as a lecture in 1955...here Trilling posed the issue as biology versus culture: biology representing the "given," the immutability of man's nature; culture, the forces of society ("civilization," as Freud put it) that strove to alter and overcome biology[...]Unlike most of his listeners, who regarded any idea of a "given" as "reactionary," Trilling insisted that the givenness of our biological condition was, in fact, "liberating"--liberating man from a culture that would otherwise be absolute and omnipotent. "Somewhere in the child, somewhere in the adult, there is a hard, irreducible, stubborn core of biological urgency, and biological necessity, and biological reason that culture cannot reach and that reserves the right, which sooner or later it will exercise, to judge the culture and resist and revise it."Nice. Trilling again (from article):
"Some paradox of our natures leads us, when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion. It is to prevent this corruption, the most ironic and tragic that man knows, that we stand in need of the moral realism which is the product of the free play of the moral imagination."