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Showing posts from July 18, 2010

natural kinds and the seven ages of man

In Jacques’ speech in As you like it, he delivers this well known commentary on the seven ages of man: Jaq All the world’s a stage And all the men and women merely players 140 They have their exits and their entrances And one man in his time plays many parts His acts being seven ages. At first the infant Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms Then the whining school boy with his satchel And shining morning face creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eye brow. Then a soldier Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard 150 Jealous in honour sudden and quick in quarrel Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice In fair round belly with good capon lined With eyes severe and beard of formal cut Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon. With spectacles on nose and pouch on sid

Kant and Hamann

There’s a story related in Manfred Kuehn’s Kant. When Hamann finally moved back to his native town from Riga – breaking off his engagement with the daughter of the man he was working for, the merchant Behrens – he began to express opinions much different from the enlightened ones that he had left Konigsberg with in 1752. At that time, as he wrote in a letter to his father that he was being driven from the narrow society of Konigsberg because it stymied his ‘freedom to think and to act, our highest privilege.” He was, he said, forced into a “kind of life in which I can grow neither morally nor intellectually,” whereas in the wide world, with cities like Berlin, he could prove himself to his father’s satisfaction. But he came back to take care of his father’s house with a different sense of what growing in morals and insights meant. This disturbed his friend Kant. When Johann Christoph Berens visited Konigsberg in 1759, Kant and he got together and decided to pay a visit – to make a sor