Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fragmentary Philosophizing

Fragmentary philosophizing means only the making of thought-experiments by means of reason; these have little reliability, so long as the division of the whole has not been able to assign them their determinate place and relation to others.

Immanuel Kant, Opus Postumum (21:524). I would add the caveat, after 'reliability', that it depends on precisely what you are doing, but for most aims Kant's exactly right -- the quality of one's rational thought-experiments or philosophical fragments depends on division of the whole.

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