Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Some Aphorisms

from Søren Kierkegaard:

It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards. And if one thinks over that proposition it becomes more and more evident that life can never really be understood in time simply because at no particular moment can I find the necessary resting place from which to understand it--backwards.

The majority of men are subjective towards themselves and objective towards all others, terribly objective sometimes--but the real task is in fact to be objective towards oneself and subjective towards all others.

A man walked along contemplating suicide, at the very moment a slate fell and killed him, and he died with the words: God be praised.

In relation to their systems most systematizers are like a man who builds an enormous castle and lives in a shack close by, they do not live in their own enormous systematic buildings. But spiritually that is a decisive objection. Spiritually speaking a man's thought must be the building in which he lives--otherwise everything is topsy-turvy.

The method which begins by doubting in order to philosophize is just as suited to its purpose as making a soldier lie down in a heap in order to teach him to stand up straight.

All this nonsense one hears about making experiments as opposed to a priori knowledge is all very well, but it cannot be denied that the conscientious judge who wished to try every form of punishment, in order to be the more satisfied in imposing it, showed a praiseworthy tact in not extending his experiments to the death sentence.

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