Justin Caouette suggested to me that I start posting some of the amusing, and sometimes shocking philosophical quotations that I come across, and often share with him. This will be an on going series, though it is a matter of what I happen to be reading at any given time. The reason I have been finding so many recently is, I think, due to the fact that I have been doing quite a bit of history of philosophy (and mathematics) recently. Without further ado, here is an excerpt of a letter that Georg Cantor wrote to Russell in September 1911 (published in Cantor: Briefe, Meschkowski and Nilson, eds. 1991):
…I am quite an adversary of old Kant, who, in my eyes has done much harm and mischief to philosophy, even to mankind; as you easily see by the most perverted development of metaphysics in Germany in all that followed him, as in Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Herbart, Schopenhauer, Hartmann, Nietzsche, etc. etc. on to this very day. I never could understand that and why such reasonable and enobled peoples as the Italians, the English and the French are, could follow yonder sophistical philistine, who was so bad a mathematician. (Cantor’s emphasis).
I would finally like to note that I do not necessarily endorse the views expressed here by Cantor, or of the authors of any future quotes.