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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whatever Is Truly Valuable Is Useless

"The original meaning of science and of philosophy, of course, is that each has a purpose in itself and is not a contribution to anything at all. Purposes which are ultimate have no further purpose. They fall into the quite purpose­less activity of exploring the structure of reality." -- Eric Voegelin

It is easy to demonstrate that anything that is truly valuable has no usefulness: Things are useful in that they are used to achieve / acquire something else. Of course that something else must be more valuable than the useful thing, or there would be no net gain (and no reason to act) in employing the useful.

So, is that for which the useful employed itself useful, or not? Sometimes it is: in that case, the thing for which it is useful is yet more valuable. But this chain must clearly come to an end, at which point we have arrived at what is most valuable and utterly useless.

2 comments:

  1. But this chain must clearly come to an end, at which point we have arrived at what is most valuable and utterly useless.

    My suggestion: Willingdone Museyroom. A compliment, or an insult? You decide.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry, Bob, I genuinely don't get it.

    ReplyDelete