When Kierkegaard expressed his revolt against Hegel in the <i>Unscientific Postscript</i>...

When Kierkegaard expressed his revolt against Hegel in the Unscientific Postscript, he was making a philosophical stand against philosophy; but let us not get confused about the meaning of what he was doing. Some two thousand four hundred years before, Aristophanes had thrown mud at Socrates in exactly the same spirit, with the dislike of the poet for the logician. Western civilization has been too hasty in condemning Aristophanes. The real issue is not whether two and two make four of whether two make five, but whether life advances by men who love words or by men who love living. The Socratic conception of history (propagated in our time by Professor Whitehead) is that civilization advances in proportion as its thinkers are interested in abstractions, in knowledge for its own sake. Aristophanes deplored the heresy and exposed Socrates to ridicule at every opportunity. For him, as for Nietzsche, knowledge is merely an instrument of living; there is no such thing as abstract knowledge; there is only useful knowledge and unprofitable blatherskite. And it is likely that if Aristophanes had ever been pressed for a definition of useful knowledge, he would have answered: Whatever enables a man to live more. So much can be gathered from the spirit of the plays.


Fuente: The Outsider.Colin Wilson.Phoenix.London.2001.


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