Three Steps from the Body

"The thought which actually breaks into empirical life, can only happen at a distance from life. While thought relates to facts and moves by critiquing them, it moves no less through firmly held difference. It thereby expresses exactly what is, because it is never entirely just what it expresses. Essential to it is an element of exaggeration, of shooting beyond things, of dissociation from the weight of what is factual, by virtue of which it completes the determination of being, at once strictly and freely, instead of merely reproducing it. Every thought resembles therein play, with which Hegel no less than Nietzsche compared with the work of the Spirit [Geistes]. What is unbarbaric in philosophy rests on the tacit consciousness of that element of irresponsibility, of blessedness, which stems from the fleetingness of thought, which continually escapes, what it judges. Such excessiveness is suspect to the positivistic Spirit and handed over to folly. The difference from facts turns into mere incorrectness, the moment of play into a luxury, in a world where the intellectual functions must account for every minute of their time with a stopwatch."

Three Steps from the Body
Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia - 82
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