motto lotto

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"merely a plaster cast of a living man"

Whatever may be the original source of a cognition, it is, in relation to the person who possesses it, merely historical, if he knows only what has been given him from another quarter, whether that knowledge was communicated by direct experience or by instruction. Thus the Person who has learned a system of philosophy- say the Wolfian- although he has a perfect knowledge of all principles, definitions, and arguments in that philosophy, as well as of the divisions that have been made of the system, possesses really no more than a historical knowledge of the Wolfian system; he knows only what has been told him, his judgments are only those which he has received from his teachers. Dispute the validity of a definition, and he is completely at a loss to find another. He has formed his mind on another's; but the imitative faculty is not the productive. His knowledge has not been drawn from reason; and although, objectively considered, it is rational knowledge, subjectively, it is merely historical. He has learned this or that philosophy and is merely a plaster cast of a living man.

Immanuel Kant
We haven't thrown this quote around for a while, thought I'd post it here for posterity.

No comments: