Monday, October 21, 2013


My Dear Sulzer

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, in Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History, tr. David L. Colclasure (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 175:
Frederick II once asked the excellent Sulzer, whose accomplishments he held in high esteem and whom he entrusted with the management of the educational institutions in Silesia, how his work was going. Sulzer answered: "It has been going much better ever since we have begun to build on Rousseau's principle that the human being is good by nature." "Ah, mon cher Sulzer (said the king), vous ne connaissez pas assez cette maudite race à quelle nous appartenons." [Ah, my dear Sulzer (said the king) you do not know well enough the accursed race to which we belong.]
The original:
Friedrich II fragte einmal den vortrefflichen Sulzer, den er nach Verdiensten schätzte und dem er die Direction der Schulanstalten in Schlesien aufgetragen hatte, wie es damit ginge. Sulzer antwortete: "Seitdem daß man auf dem Grundsatz (des Rousseau), daß der Mensch von Natur gut sei, fortgebauet hat, fängt es an besser zu gehen." "Ah (sagte der König) mon cher Sulzer, vous ne connaissez pas assez cette maudite race à laquelle nous appartenons."

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