Kantian Gloom-Watch: Gloom by any other name…

Today’s Kantian gloominess comes in two translations. First, here is the quote that adorns a certain famous liberal blog:

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.

While Kant’s reputation as a bad writer is overplayed, it should ring warning bells when it seems that he has formulated something quite so pithy. So, here is a rather more accurate translation I have adapted from Isiah Berlin:

Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be framed.

Kant, Religion Within The Bounds Of Reason Alone, Ak: 8:23.

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