Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Blind Woman, On Philosophy

"Philosophy is the history of a deaf-blind person writ large. From the talks of Socrates up through Plato,[26] Berkeley and Kant, philosophy records the efforts of human intelligence to be free of the clogging material world and fly forth into a universe of pure idea. A deaf-blind person ought to find special meaning in Plato’s Ideal World. These things which you see and hear and touch are not the reality of realities, but imperfect manifestations of the Idea, the Principle, the Spiritual; the Idea is the truth, the rest is delusion.If this be so, my brethren who enjoy the fullest use of the senses are not aware of any reality which may not equally well be in reach of my mind. Philosophy gives to the mind the prerogative of seeing truth, and bears us into a realm where I, who am blind, am not different from you who see. When I learned from Berkeley that your eyes receive an inverted image of things which your brain unconsciously corrects, I began[27] to suspect that the eye is not a very reliable instrument after all, and I felt as one who had been restored to equality with others, glad,not because the senses avail them so little, but because in God’s eternal world, mind and spirit avail so much. It seemed to me that philosophy had been written for my special consolation,whereby I get even with some modern philosophers who apparently think that I was intended as an experimental case for their special instruction! But in a little measure my small voice of individual experience does join in the declaration of philosophy that the good is the only world,and that world is a world of spirit. It is also a universe where order is All, where an unbroken logic holds the parts together, where disorder defines itself as non-existence, where evil, as St.Augustine held, is delusion, and therefore is not.[28]"
Optimism by Helen Keller.

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