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Dear Quote Investigator: over there is a fascinating two-part adage about science and also wisdom the is generally attributed to the prominent 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant:

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is arranged life.

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I have actually attempted to discover a convincing citation for this saying, but none of the websites or books that present these words have actually been helpful. What carry out you think?

Quote Investigator: Immanuel Kant interacted in German, and also QI believes that he probably did not write or speak a statement in German that synchronized to the English quotation above. Instead, QI believes the the an initial part that the expression to be crafted by the prominent philosopher and sociologist Herbert Spencer. In addition, QI conjectures that the famous historian will Durant built the second part while he to be attempting to define the thoughts of Kant; Durant additionally combined the 2 parts.

Kant died in 1804, and the earliest proof of the an initial phrase was released in one essay title “The arts of Education” through Spencer in might 1854. Boldface has been added to excerpts. 1

Science is organized knowledge; and also before knowledge can be organized, few of it must first be possessed. Every study, therefore, should have a purely speculative introduction; and also only after ~ an ample fund of observations has been accumulated, have to reasoning begin.

Further conversation of Spencer’s comment is presented in a different website entry located here. This short article will discover the complete two-part expression.

In 1924 the historian Will Durant released a one-volume renowned work title “The Story of Philosophy” which included a section called “Kant and also German Idealism”. During the following years revised editions to be released. The following passage appeared in the 1938 and 1943 editions. QI has not however been able to examine the 1924 edition.

Durant described Kant’s thoughtful position by pointing out a ordered sequence of communicating levels. The quotation under examination was part of Durant’s elucidation: 2 3

Sensation is unorganized stimulus, tardy is organized sensation, conception is organized perception, science is arranged knowledge, wisdom is organized life: every is a greater level of order, and also sequence, and also unity. Whence this order, this sequence, this unity? no from the points themselves; for they are known to us just by sensations the come through a thousand networks at as soon as in disorderly multitude; it is our function that put order and sequence and also unity upon this importunate lawlessness.

This passage reflected Durant’s conception of Kant’s ideas, and it was not directly translated native Kant’s German. Indeed, Durant remarked in a footnote that his conversation of the an overwhelming philosopher employed few quotations: 4

A word around what come read. Kant self is hardly easy to understand to the beginner, since his believed is insulated v a bizarre and intricate hatchet (hence the paucity of direct quotation in this chapter).

Below are extr selected citations in chronological order.

In 1955 a newspaper in Lubbock, Texas published an excerpt native a letter written by a Texas sculptor named Raoul Jossett. The text contained a reordered variation of the quotation: 5

If wisdom is arranged life and also science organized knowledge, art is arranged beauty.

In 1969 “The san Diego Union” of California printed a filler article under the title “Worth Repeating” the ascribed the quotation come Kant: 6

Science is organized knowledge; wisdom is arranged life. —Immanuel Kant.

The ascription to Kant has ongoing to circulate for decades. Because that example, in 2009 a newspaper obelisk titled “Psychologically Speaking” native the Cox News service ascribed the speak to Kant. 7

In conclusion, Herbert Spencer need to be credited with “Science is organized knowledge”. QI would certainly tentatively ascribe the combined two-part adage to will Durant who was motivated by a desire come transmit Kant’s philosophical ideas to readers.

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Image Notes: organization Chart from geralt ~ above Pixabay. Lightbulb brain from PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay. Snapshot of Immanuel Kant from Wikimedia Commons.

(Great thanks to Lois McEwan who inquiry led QI to build this question and perform this exploration. The inquiry additionally motivated the exploration of the previous entry title “Science Is organized Knowledge”.)


Posted on might 19, 2015May 20, 2015Author quoteresearchCategories Herbert Spencer, Immanuel Kant, will certainly DurantTags Herbert Spencer, Immanuel Kant, Raoul Jossett, will Durant

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