This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

experience mother of illusion

experience mother of illusion

Postby janneman » 03 Sep 2005, 18:01


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 » 03 Sep 2005, 19:00

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.
User avatar
Posts: 2873
Joined: Aug 1996
Location: Greenbelt, MD, near Washington DC

Return to Questions & Answers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 1 guest