Humans find themselves when they measure against obstacles. But to engage the earth, we need tools. We need a spade or a plough. – A. de St-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is en endless source of profond ideas. This one can be found at the beginning of Terre des hommes. It is about how tools are not only means to an end, but profoundly affect us, and even reveal us to what we do, and help us in our human becoming. Also see the work of David Wills on this, for example.

Here is the original French version, much better than my personal translation of cours!

L’homme se découvre quand il se mesure avec l’obstacle. Mais, pour l’atteindre, il lui faut un outil. Il lui faut un rabot, ou une charrue.

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