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Empty Heads of Men

Merleau-Ponty1

Merleau-Ponty2

“The perception of other people and the intersubjective world is problematical only for adults. The child lives in a world which he unhesitatingly believes accessible to all around him. He has no awareness of himself or of others as private subjectivities, nor does he suspect that all of us, himself included, are limited to one certain point of view of the world. That is why he subjects neither his thoughts, in which he believes as they present themselves, without attempting to link them to each other, nor our words, to any sort of criticism. He has no knowledge of points of view. For him men are empty heads turned towards one single, self-evident world where everything takes place, even dreams, which are, he thinks, in his room, and even thinking, since it is not distinct from words.”

Read by KM Smith
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. Translated by Colin Smith. New York, NY, USA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962.

 

 

CT+CR Collective

The Critical Theory and Creative Research Collective is devoted to socio-political critique, including the rethinking and recalibration of unstable, fast-changing relations between machine-generated data and human experience, theory and practice, the possible and the real, time and judgment, process and end-driven behavior. Its members include Anne-Marie Oliver, Barry Sanders, Marie-Pierre Hasne, Joan Handwerg, Nicole Smith, Marshall Astor, Carmen Denison, Peter Falanga, Andre Fortes, Dustin Freemont, Val Hardy, Lauren Heagerty, Hannah Horovitz, Evangelina Owens, Mel Ponis, Kevin Smith, Mohammed Usrof, Brooke Wendt, and Chloé Womack.

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02.19.13

From Dustin Freemont:

Poetry is indeed something divine. It is at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; it is that which comprehends all science, and that to which all science must be referred. It is at the same time the root and blossom of all other systems of thought […]. What were Virtue, Love, Patriotism, Friendship—what were the scenery of this beautiful universe which we inhabit; what were our consolations on this side of the grave—and what were our aspirations beyond it, if poetry did not ascend to bring light and fire from those eternal regions where the owl-winged faculty of calculation dare not ever soar? Poetry is not like reasoning, a power to be exerted according to the determination of the will. A man cannot say, “I will compose poetry.” The greatest poet even cannot say it; for the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness; this power arises from within, like the color of a flower which fades and changes as it is developed, and the conscious portions of our natures are unprophetic either of its approach or its departure. […] I appeal to the greatest poets of the present day, whether it is not an error to assert that the finest passages of poetry are produced by labor and study. […] Poetry thus makes immortal all that is best and most beautiful in the world; it arrests the vanishing apparitions which haunt the interlunations of life, and veiling them, or in language or in form, sends them forth among mankind, bearing sweet news of kindred joy to those with whom their sisters abide—abide, because there is no portal of expression from the caverns of the spirit which they inhabit into the universe of things. Poetry redeems from decay the visitations of the divinity in man.
From Percy Shelley’s “A Defense of Poetry”

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