experience mother of illusion

experience mother of illusion

Postby janneman » September 3rd, 2005, 6:01 pm


In mere christianity Lewis quotes someone saying that "experience is the mother of illusion". I did a quick Google to find out who he is quoting, but no success. Any ideas?



Postby Sven » September 3rd, 2005, 7:00 pm

Welcome, Jan!

I think you've got a bit of a mis-citation there. I believe you're thinking of The Screwtape Letters, where Lewis has Uncle Screwtape say, in letter 28 (emphasis mine),
C. S. Lewis wrote:A great human philosopher nearly let our secret out when he said that where Virtue is concerned "Experience is the mother of illusion"; but thanks to a change in Fashion, and also, of course, to the Historical Point of View, we have largely rendered his book innocuous.

The quote is a paraphrase of Kant:
Immanuel Kant wrote:For whereas, so far as nature is concerned, experience supplies the rules and is the source of truth, in respect of the moral laws it is, alas, the mother of illusion!
Critique of Pure Reason
Doctrine of Elements, Part 2, Division 2, Book 1, Section 1, 'Ideas in General'

Hope this helps.

Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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