13 April 2009

Kant and Corollary

There's a subway poster up these days, quoting Kant: "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, nothing entirely straight can be built." The Times riffed on that the other day, declaring that it was descriptive of present-day dysfunctional Albany.

But I wonder, is the corollary true?

Out of the straight timber of humanity, nothing crooked can be built.
So Utopian, no?

10 comments:

kathy a. said...

even out of the crooked timber, great things can be built.

neither trees nor humans are perfect, after all.

Woman in a Window said...

Ya, I wonder if we want straight at all. I don't think I do.

ozma said...

God, call me a cynic but I just can't buy humanity as straight timber. Call me a cynic but just don't call me a Kantian.

julochka said...

hmmm...i think what's most interesting is a subway poster featuring kant. these are strange times indeed.

jo(e) said...

I would question the assumption that "straight" is a desirable condition, valued above crooked.

Angeline said...

Straight isn't 'always' the best, isn't it?

niobe said...

Do you ever read Crooked Timber? It has some interesting stuff once in a while.

Kyddryn said...

For the most part, I don't see the timber, the raw material, as crooked - I see it bend, twist, curve gracefully in the winds of chance even as it strives ever upward.

Of course, that could be the chocolate talking...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

jen said...

something about moments like the one you describe, seeing that there reminds me of order in the chaos.

phd in yogurtry said...

I wish all timber were straight. My husband the carpenter says, sorry, but no.