4 comments


  • Marge Saiser

    This in itself is a beautiful piece of writing! It gives me much to think about.

    May 22, 2017
  • Shelly Geiser

    Lovely, Lucy! Thank you.

    May 24, 2017
  • Dee R.

    This has reminded me of how often you have inspired me to write about something I thought I had forgotten. Thank you!

    May 26, 2017
  • David McCreary

    Hi Lucy,
    I’ve often thought the first impressionist must have been nearsighted and forgot his glasses when he went out to paint. Impressionism was a happy accident.
    Joking aside, I do wonder why the mechanistic worldview of many scientists sees the qualitative as simply reducible to the quantitative. Real stuff (mass or matter) is what is measurable and therefore real. Qualities of beauty are merely subjective “epiphenomena” and not real. At least, when doing hard-headed objective research. In this world poetry is not worth much.
    I think the qualitative aspects of experience are just as, if not more, real than the reduction of experience to measurement. Nothing is said against scientists following that method so long as it is recognized as a method. Promoting it as a total worldview diminishes
    art, meditation and ritual, music, love of nature and it’s beauty, even the value of animals, plants and the earth itself.
    There is a humorous indictment of this regnant worldview in Alfred Doblin’s (umlaut over the o) short story, “Materialism: A Fable,” in which animals, plants, even molecules and atoms learn from humans they are only empty stuff acting machine-like without purpose. Their behavior changes radically and they become depressed until they rebel against the atomistic theory and the humans, who should know better. (In Bright Magic.)
    Recent philosophers like Alfred North Whitehead, have critiqued this worldview of “vacuous reality” and “misplaced concreteness” rigorously and in depth. But for the readers of this blog, I recommend Whitehead’s student, Suzanne Langer, whose work on symbolism, language, art, music, poetry and other forms of communication went beyond Wittgenstein’s aphorism: That whereof one can speak, one can speak clearly.
    That whereof one cannot speak clearly, one must be silent.
    I recommend Philosophy in a New Key, Feeling and Form, and, if you are still up for it, her three volume Mind:An Essay in feeling.

    David McCreary

    May 27, 2017

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