The living thought of a real object, however imperfect and incomplete it may be, contains, nevertheless, the first beginning and germ of a knowing. It is only out of a dead thought that a true knowing can never arise; properly, indeed, whenit is but a mere formula, it is not even a true thinking. Knowledge, therefore, in general is the living thought of some real object; but perfect and complete knowledge is the full and correct development of this thought, by means of which it becomes perfectly defined, both outwardly and inwardly. But a real object is invariably the first foundation and beginning, from which all knowledge springs up, and to which all thought must be immediately directed and also closely attach itself.
Friedrich von Schlegel, Philosophy of Language, Morrison, tr., p. 538.