‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]

‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.

There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Kant's Transcendental Deduction of the Categories: ILLUSTRATED EDITION

I'm engaged in some Kant-related business, now and through til Christmas at least. Trying fully to grasp the transcendental deduction of the categories is, well, fun fun fun. Til our daddy takes the T-Bird away, at any rate. I recommend interested parties do a Google Image Search on 'Kant's transcendental categories'. It's a blast. My two favourite:

I think we can agree that makes matters clearer. Then there's this adorable chap, wandering the suburbs of Cairo with a weird Pringles-tube funnel where his face should be, through which he takes in all his sense data. I say 'he'. Maybe this person is a she.

And people say philosophy is dull.

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