domingo, 6 de novembro de 2016


"To divide (and not merely to distinguish as facets or aspects of one substance) body and soul, science and craft or art, the individual and society, description and evaluation; philosophical, scientific and historical judgement, empirical and metaphysical statements, as if any of these could be independent of one another, is for Herder false, superficial and misleading. (...) One upon a time men 'were all things: poets, philosophers, land surveyors, legislators, musicians, warriors'. In those days there was unity of theory and practice, of man and citizen, a unity that the division of labour destroyed; after that men became 'half thinkers and half feelers'. There is, [Herder] remarks, something amiss about moralists who do not act; epic poets who are unheroic, orators who are not statesmen, and aestheticians who cannot create anything. Once doctrines are accepted uncritically - as dogmatic, unaltered, eternal truths - they become dead formulae, or else their meaning is fearfully distorted. Such ossifications and decay lead to nonsense in thought and monstrous behaviour in practice".

Isaiah Berlin, 'Herder and the Enlightment', in: Isaiah Berlin, The Proper Study of Mankind, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000, pp. 419-20

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