Immanuel Kant And The Case Of The Missing Wooden Head

The Mystery

Kant was so influential, that just about no philosopher could resist invoking him in some way or another afterward in their work whether criticizing or praising him.

The Deciding Factor

To make a long story short, I still couldn’t find the fable using the normal way of reading, but the idea popped into my head to do a word search for “fox” instead of “head” because the quotation had something to do with a fox, too. I reread only the handful of fables containing foxes more closely and did find what Kant referred to, finally. I no longer felt like my noggin was made of wood!

What Went Wrong?

We have to remind ourselves that when we read Kant, we’re not reading what he actually wrote himself. Naturally, he wrote in German. We are only reading an English translation of Kant.

Fable VII. THE FOX AND THE TRAGIC MASK.

A Fox, by chance, casting his eyes on a Tragic Mask: “Ah,” said she, “great as is its beauty, still it has no brains.”

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