Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Any statement intended as a statement for or from an intellectual position and made "at leisure" (removed from any practical necessity) should be made in such a way as to acknowledge both the position it argues and the one it manifests. Great authors engage with subtexts, even those of which they're not quite aware. Hope engages preference: history will be the judge of which is more central to the work (if either is).
Content, as opposed to subject matter, may be described in the words of Peirce as that which a work betrays but does not parade. It is the basic attitude of a nation, a period, a class, a religious or plulosophical persuasion—all this unconsciously qualified by one personality, and condensed into one work. It is obvious that such an involuntary revelation will be obscured in proportion as either one of the two elements, idea or form, is voluntarily emphasized or suppressed.

Erwin Panofsky, The History of Art as a Humanistic Discipline, in Meaning in the Visual Arts
"What is the good of philosophy if it does not make me a better human being?"
Wittgenstein

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