16 May 2012

The High Value of Books

Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (1804-1872), from his collection of aphorisms Abälard und Heloise (Ansbach: Carl Brügel, 1834), p. 4. My own translation:
Of course there are innumerable things that we understand, either solely or at least more easily and infinitely better, by means of sensory experience rather than by reading. But it is absurd to deny the essence and the high value of books on these grounds. In both reading and writing, a person is free from of a range of unimportant impressions and affections which influence his senses and cloud the clarity of his judgment; his soul becomes more dispassionate, quieter, and as a result he is better able to discern and judge a thing as it is.