Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Method of Truth

It is far, therefore, from being requisite that philosophy, following the mathematical sciences as a handmaid, should endeavor servilely to copy them, as has been so often erroneously done, and, in spite of experience of its impracticability, over and over again attempted....The true method (that, namely, which alone deserves to be so called, the method of truth) is based on the simple process of thought and its living development, in which one thought springs and unfolds itself naturally from another, and rigidly excludes all that is foreign and repugnant. The true method does not move in paragraphs and numbered propositions, making an outward parade of an apparently strong chain of evidence, in which, however, a rigid scrutiny often detects some specific link in the chain totally valueless and without illative force, or at least weak and far from cogent, or placed in a false position, to which it has properly no reference, and only in appearance filling the void it covers.

Friedrich von Schlegel, The Philosophy of Language, Morrison, tr., p. 346.

2 comments:

  1. Streetsong8:55 PM

    This sounds a bit like an excuse to avoid the work. Go back to sleep!

    ReplyDelete
  2. branemrys9:59 PM

    Schlegel argues that in fact it is the work and the pseudo-mathematical dressing is just a way to look like you're doing the work without actually doing it.

    ReplyDelete

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