Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Majestic Statue

Canova and anyone who delighted in scratching and drilling holes in his most accomplished statues would not both be called sculptors; Raphael and a desecrator of his painting would not both be called artists. It would never occur to anyone that such a contorted use of words could be justified by claiming that both Canova and the person who destroyed his statues, or Raphael and his assailant used the same implements.

What is the system of truth but a kind of majestic statue or noble image of God himself, of much greater worth than anything produced by human hands. It is, after all, impressed upon immortal souls by the living image of eternal wisdom. The person who devotes himself to such a great work is called a philosopher and the subject he pursues is called philosophy. How, then, can such a name be profaned and abused by applying it to those who, although, they too use their intellects, do so in such a shoddy way that their sole achievement is the demolition and disfigurement of the philosopher's work? Their sophistry obscures the light of truth revealed by true philosophy and daubs with falsehood the respectable limbs of the body of wisdom which the philosopher depicts in his writings.

Antonio Rosmini, About the Author's Studies, Murphy, tr., Rosmini House (Durham: 2004) p. 94.

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