Sunday, December 11, 2011

John Quincy Adams on Kant and Exoteric Writing

..the ingenious professor of Königsberg, who preaches atheism and revolution in such hard words that the honest Germans imagine they do not understand him. They are in a predicament something like Cromwell's gentry, who thought he was seeking the Lord, when he was only seeking a corkscrew. The professor of the royal university seeks to spread atheism and revolution and at the same time to keep his place. I believe this is the true glossary to his hard words.
--John Quincy Adams (at the time US Minister to Prussia), Letter to Rufus King, 25 May 1799
For the corkscrew see Hume's History of England.

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