Volume 8, December 1998
Language in the Mind’s House
It happened to me one day to say that Cartesianism, in what good it has, was only the anteroom of true philosophy. A person in the company, who frequented the court, was well read, and even had ideas about science, pressed the figure into an allegory-maybe a little too far. For, he asked me whether I didn’t think that one could say, along the same line, that the ancients led us up the staircase, that the modem school had arrived at the guards’ room, and that, if the innovators of our century had managed to reach the anteroom, he wished me the honor of introducing us into Nature’s sanctum. This parallel made us all laugh, and I told him, “You see, Sir, your comparison has rejoiced the company. But you forgot that between the anteroom and the sanctum there is the audience chamber, and that it will be enough if we obtain audience, without purporting to penetrate in the inner sanctum” (VE, p. 1867).