If the object of all human investigation were but to produce in cognition a reflection of the world as it exists, of what value would be all its labour and pains, which could result only in vain repetition, in an imitation within the soul of that which exists without it? What significance could there be in this barren rehearsal – what should oblige thinking minds to be mere mirrors of that which does not think, unless the discovery of truth were in all cases likewise the production of some good, valuable enough to justify the pains expended in attaining it? The individual, ensnared by that division of intellectual labour that inevitabily results from the widening compass of knowledge, may at times forget the connection of his narrow sphere of work with the great ends of human life; it may at times seem to him as though the furtherance of knowledge for the sake of knowledge were an intelligible and worthy aim of human effort. But all his endeavors have in the last resort but this one meaning, tha they, in connection with those of countless others, should combine to trace an image of the world from which we may learn what e have to do and what to hope.
Hermann LOTZE, Microcosmos, viii-ix