G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Not Thinking in Pictures The Role of Logic in Human Affairs: Bertrand Russell

Today May 18 2015 is Bertrand Russell's 143rd Birth Anniversary.



John Gray:


 “In his letter commenting on Russell’s book on China, Conrad wrote: ‘I have never been able to find in any man’s book or any man’s talk anything convincing enough to stand up for a moment against my deep-seated sense of fatality governing this man-inhabited world.’ Russell’s passionate admiration for Conrad may have had a number of sources. One of them was surely his suspicion that Conrad’s sceptical fatalism was a truer account of human life than his own troubled belief in reason and science. As reformer, he believed reason could save the world. As a skeptical follower of Hume he knew reason could never be more than the slave of the passions. Sceptical Essays was written as a defence of rational doubt. Today we can read it as a confession of faith, the testament of a crusading rationalist who doubted the power of reason.”

 Ray Monk writes:

"...“Thinking in pictures,” Sigmund Freud once wrote, “stands nearer to unconscious processes than does thinking in words, and is unquestionably older than the latter both ontogenetically and phylogenetically.” There is, in other words, something primordial, something foundational, about thinking visually.


Such a view is anathema to many philosophers, a good many of whom believe that all thought is propositional, that to think is to use words. For some of the most distinguished philosophers in history, thinking and verbalising were practically the same thing. Bertrand Russell sometimes to his great frustration, was hopeless at visualising and was more or less indifferent to the visual arts. His mental life seemed almost entirely made up of words rather than images. When his friend Rupert Crawshay-Williams once gave him an intelligence test that involved matching increasingly complicated geometrical shapes, Russell did extremely well up to a certain point and then exceptionally badly after that. “What happened?” Crawshay-Williams asked. “I hadn’t got any names for the shapes,” Russell replied...."

It's ironic that a well-received, best-selling comic novel has been produced on such a man!




 


courtesy: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, 2009


Authors: Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou

Art: Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna
 

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