Wednesday, January 19

What I was learning, of course, is that philosophy is a work of art; the best philosophers were the ones who wrote best; the best systems were the prettiest. Nothing could be less like the real world than Plato's Timaeus, or Leibnitz's Monadology, or McTaggart's timeless, spaceless universe of love. Their virtues are of the same order as a fugue or a Cubist painting. I cannot understand why the practice of philosophy never imparts wisdom but rather the opposite. Imagine a college student going to the head of the philsophy department for advice about a pregnancy or venereal disease, or a decision to refuse to be drafted. The subject seems to have as deleterious effect upon good sense as the practice of poetry.

— Kenneth Rexroth, An Autobiographical Novel, p. 153