Monday, April 30, 2007

Antimonies of Kant


This evening I was swimming at the gym, which here is like gray salty lights: it is like reading. And like a reader, somewhere after my 40th lap I crashed across my lane into another. It hut me most, but I apologized anyway:

"Sorry," I said, I was thinking about Kant."

"Oh not at all -the First Critique?"

"Oh no, no, just the Prolegomena."

It was then I realized that Kant was the perfect excuse for anything.


Notice how this will not work for reading Hume or Hegel.


A man sells his soul to answer hitherto unanswered problems in Kant scholarship. His interlocutor takes the form of a grotesque and licentious demon who can only be bribed by indulging the grossest of appetites. Yet for the price of his immortal being, the exgetical riddle is solved and his publication places him at the pinnacle of Kant scholarship.

Only during an honorary visit to Konigsberg, the professor is again troubled by the demon. All attempts to drive it away fail.

With despair and horror, the scholar realizes that not only is his own immortal soul lost, but that the reason his interlocutor is able to answer his questions is that the damned soul is Kant.


Locke: I am taking my ball and going home.

Kant: I am taking not merely the ball, but the condition of the possibility of the ball.

Wittgenstein: (punts) No one is allowed to talk about the ball.


Kant's Wife

Kant did not have a wife. Ahab had a wife. Like a fish needs a unicycle.


Kant: The Stephen Hawking of Being Totally Wrong