Sunday, June 29, 2014



Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Parerga und Paralipomena, Vol. II, Chap. XXVI, § 350 (tr. E.F.J. Payne):
Everyone regards the limits of his field of vision as those of the world; this is the illusion, as inevitable intellectually as it is in physical vision, which regards heaven and earth as touching at the horizon. To this, among other things, is due the fact that everyone measures us with his own standard, which is often that of a mere tailor, and we have to put up with this; as also the fact that everyone falsely imputes to us his own mediocrity and insignificance, a fiction that is acknowledged once for all.
The same, tr. T. Bailey Saunders:
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. This is an error of the intellect as inevitable as that error of the eye which lets us fancy that on the horizon heaven and earth meet. This explains many things, and among them the fact that every one measures us with his own standard—generally about as long as a tailor’s tape, and we have to put up with it: as also that no one will allow us to be taller than himself—a supposition which is once for all taken for granted.
The German:
Jeder hält das Ende seines Gesichtskreises für das der Welt: dies ist im Intellektuellen so unvermeidlich, wie im physischen Sehn der Schein, daß am Horizont der Himmel die Erde berühre. Darauf aber beruht, unter Anderm, auch Dies, daß Jeder uns mit seinem Maaßstabe mißt, der meistens eine bloße Schneiderelle ist, und wir uns Solches gefallen lassen müssen: wie auch, daß Jeder seine Kleinheit uns andichtet, welche Fiktion ein für alle Mal zugestanden ist.

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