'Harmonious' Hens


[Vincenzo Campi - Chicken Vendors]


Two recent events: First -- I watched Jamie Oliver's 'Fowl Dinners' the other night -- exposing the process of the egg and chicken industry in Britain (and then preparing a gala chicken dinner for his guests). Some truly frightful information. Second -- I have been reading a lent copy of Philosophy in History (1984) with the intention of finding some perspective on how I can better orient myself in the wash of current philosophical debate, while relying on my footing in previous history-based degrees.

Flipping through some of the later essays in the text, I found Wolf Lepenies's piece, " 'Interesting Questions' in the history of philosophy and elsewhere." He quotes Nietzsche from The Use and Abuse of History:

The progress of science has been amazingly rapid in the last decade; but consider the savants, those exhausted hens. They are certainly not 'harmonious' natures; they can merely cackle more than before, because they lay eggs oftener; but the eggs are always smaller though the books are bigger.

Lovely convergence.