Our situation is therefore, in an elementary way, self-contradictory. For it is characterized by a longing for the abolition of the very limits that give all our longings their meaning — limits whose final abolition, were it actually attainable, would not be the fulfillment of our deepest ambition but the elimination of the ground of our having any ambitions at all, and therefore of living lives that possess any meaning whatsoever. This is the human condition, which is characterized by our subjection to fateful limits that we can neither tolerate nor do without. This is the truth about who we are.

— Anthony T. Kronman, Education’s End

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