Wednesday, 29 June 2016


I read of a man experiencing great anxiety. A tiny change, overnight, in the intricate and miraculous make-up of one eye has resulted in the occlusion of much of the sight in that eye. Awaking to this state of affairs he is suddenly and understandably plunged into panic and depression.

He had always known how the eye worked in theory but, in spite of this, in a different sense, had been unaware of how his world depended on it. It was only the sudden withdrawal of the faculty that truly made him aware of it. Unconsciously, and in a sphere where mere knowledge was insufficient, he had taken a lot for granted.

The equivalent of sight in philosophy is being. Behind all of our deliberations, our thoughts, the articulation of those thoughts and our seeking after knowledge is this invisible and unacknowledged fact, which we fail to include, on the assets side, in the accounts we turn in regarding the state of things. This strange and mysterious fact is overlooked when it should be the chief object of our study, for without it the most infinitesimal quantity of philosophy is impossible. So our study should be – “What extraordinary state of affairs enables the practice of philosophy to take place?”

No comments :

Post a Comment