*Read this one* Michele (corrected tags :-})
Posted by Erin on June 17, 1998 at 11:32:22:
In response to Calling all German philosophers! (Erin? Are you there?) ;-), written by MB on June 16, 1998 at 14:39:53
Gwendolen : "Mr. Worthing, what explanation can you offer to me for pretending to have a brother? Was it in order that you might have an opportunity of coming up to town to see me as often as possible?"
Jack : "Can you doubt it, Miss Fairfax?"
Gwendolen : "I have the gravest doubts upon the subject. But I intend to crush them. This is not the moment for German scepticism..."
I fear that I might disappoint you Michele… it’s been ages since I read IOBE -so I don’t have the full context, but I’ll do my best –anything for you my dear! :-)
Briefly, the use of the term "German scepticism" here is an allusion to Kantian epistemology. Kant and his "followers" made the distinction between the perception of reality (what he called phenomena) and "the thing in itself" (noumena). It’s a 'sceptical' theory of knowledge in the sense that the Kantian duality undermines the efficacy of human faculties of perception (the senses, and to some extent, understanding), where we are unable to perceive things as they ‘really’ are. Hence, any judgements based upon these faculties are, to say the least, suspect.
Thus, Gwendolen intends to believe in the veracity of her perception even though she suspects that the appearance of the state of affairs before her is not accurate, i.e. real (real in Kantian terms ;-p)
Hope this helps ;-)
- Danke, fraulein! MB 13:48:47 6/17/98 (2)
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