La Rochefoucald’s note on mental complaints


“Everybody complains of their memory, but nobody of their judgement”.

French writer François de La Rochefoucauld comments on the limits of human insight.


  1. Peter Ellis
    Posted January 22, 2006 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Incisive comment, indeed. It’s rubbish though – I don’t know anyone who’s got to age 20+ without regretting many of the decisions they’ve made. From “why do I always pick the wrong blokes/women” to “I wish I’d gone to college” to “I should never have taken that job” – *everyone* complains about their judgement, all the time.

  2. Posted January 23, 2006 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Peter – ‘rubbish’ is a bit strong. Regret at actual decisions is common like you say; but how many people actually say “I am bad at making the right decisions. Fundamentally, the way i view the world is inaccurate and full of harmful errors”. They might say “I wish i hadn’t done that”, but i don’t think it is as common to curse your bad judgement as it is to curse your bad memory (“I’ve got an awful memory” or “I just can’t recall faces” etc)

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