A year ago I wrote (in this context): “The philosopher puts all his eggs in every basket.”  I had a different idea of philosophy then.  Now I would say: people will try to pass off their eggs on whoever seems wise.  The philosopher is busy taking these eggs out of his basket.  Because he is constantly putting eggs back into their baskets, it will seem to people like the philosopher lays eggs.  In fact he hasn’t had the time for knowledge of eggs–the philosopher is expert only in baskets.  Not knowing better, maybe he’ll even share in the popular prejudice; the result (I remember this passage more distinctly than the rest of Anne Frank):

But her girl friend’s cat had kittens and they came out of the cat, then she thought that the cat lays eggs like a chicken, and then goes and sits on the brood, and that mothers who are having a baby go upstairs a few days earlier, lay an egg and sit on it, when the baby comes the mothers are still a bit weak from all the squatting. Eva wanted to have a baby too and so she took a woolen shawl, laid it on the ground so that the egg could drop into it and then squatted down and began to push. She tried clucking but no egg came out. In the end after all that long squatting something did come out of her but not an egg, a little sausage. (Diary of a Young Girl)


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