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The crooked timber of humanity

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 17 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3813

The Crooked Timber of Humanity

The crooked timber of humanity is Immanuel Kant’s sour, cynical metaphor for man’s imperfection. As a student of humanity, Kant succumbed to the occupational hazard of misanthropy, and failed to appreciate the positive aspects of humanity, such as compassion, creativity, and the conquest of the unknown. Despite crooked timbers, loose screws, leaky plumbing, faulty wiring, and dim bulbs, humanity remains the Creator’s crowning achievement, and we should always be proud of that.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 October 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA