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Friday, April 2, 2010

recently relevant Kant (well, relevant to me)

Many historians of philosophy with all their intended praise, let the philosophers speak mere nonsense. They do not guess the purpose of the philosophers... They cannot see beyond what the philosophers actually said, to what they really meant to say.
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If we take single passages torn from their context and compare them with one another, contradictions are not likely to be lacking, especially in a work that is written with any freedom of expression. But they are easily resolved by those who have mastered the idea of the whole.

Immanuel Kant (via Galen Strawson)
If you fill in the gaps of any other person's thought to your own satisfaction that makes their thought more valuable to you and others who share your prejudices. I don't think it thereby lends itself to accurate reading.

And If "the whole" is the sort of consistency found in the person (the sentiment Emerson articulates), that doesn't mean it will be free of logical contradictions.

the whole in regard to the person (honesty) is different than the whole in regard to a pristine system. And never the twain shall meet.

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Also Relevant - Four (Nietzsche) Aphorisms for Readers

1 comment:

Mike said...

Carl Johnson offers some further thoughts on this at Life in this World.