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German Romantic fragments: Friedrich Schlegel

One can only become a philosopher, not be one. As soon as one thinks one is a philosopher, one stops becoming one.


Philosophy is the real homeland of irony, which one would like to define as logical beauty: for wherever philosophy appears in oral or written dialogues – and is not simply confined into rigid systems – there irony should be asked for and provided.


Irony is the form of paradox. Paradox is everything simultaneously good and great.


In investigating ancient Greek mythology, hasn’t too little attention been paid to the human instinct for making analogies and antitheses? The Homeric world of gods is a simple variation of the Homeric world of men . . . . In that old remark of Aristotle that one gets to know people through their gods, one finds not only the self-illuminating subjectivity of all theology, but also the more incomprehensible innate spiritual dualism of man.


Jumbled ideas should be the rough drafts of philosophy.


The imagination is man’s faculty for perceiving divinity.


Only someone who has his own religion, his own original way of looking at infinity, can be an artist.


Every particular conception of God is mere gossip. But the idea of God is the Idea of ideas.


The priest as such exists only in the invisible world. In what guise is it possible for him to appear among men? His only purpose on earth will be to transform the finite into the infinite; hence he must be and continue to be, no matter what the name of his profession, an artist.


No idea is isolated, but is what it is only in combination with all other ideas.


Out of this disturbance and doubt, knowledge might emerge.


All the greatest truths of every sort are completely trivial and hence nothing is more important than to express them forever in a new way and, wherever possible, forever more paradoxically, so that we won’t forget they still exist and that they can never be expressed in their entirety.


About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science


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