As poet and critic, philosopher and moralist and metaphysician, he to some extent invented those new, difficult and radical criteria by which we have learned to judge work like his own.
One problem with absolutism about honesty is that it drives the moralist into a kind of dishonesty of her own.
He is the moralist for whom, in the religious life, morality counts as everything.
Gide, being the moralist he is, otherwise pays heed only to the book's intent and not to its consequences.
For a moralist teaches us the anatomy of virtue and vice, helping us to see and understand what is at stake in particular judgments and practices.
But also the moralist forgets that morality cannot be imposed or legislated or begotten by an act of will.
He was not simply a writer, but in his later decades a moralist and philosopher who influenced, among others, Gandhi.
The most famous legal moralist is Patrick Devlin, who argues that a shared morality is essential to the existence of a society.
‘She was a moralist and puritan who would consider the topic of sex a taboo,’ he said.
But donning the robes of the moralist presents problems of its own, notably the problem of Presentism, that is judging historical figures by contemporary moral standards.