Sunday, November 22, 2009

Actual Size

Chomsky quotes Shklovsky early in LANGUAGE & MIND:

"People living at the seashore grow so accustomed to the murmur of the waves that they never hear it. By the same token, we scarcely ever hear the words which we utter . . . We look at each other, but we do not see each other any more. Our perception of the world has withered away; what has remained is mere recognition."

Perception of the world has withered . . . to be sure . . . back there in 1919 . . .

Where does that put us here in 2019? Ok, it's 2009--what a difference a digit makes!

The question remains: have we become so entirely dependent upon representations of the world that we no longer even recognize what an actual perception might be like? I think it was William Tennesse Stevens who pronounced: No things but in ideas.

Or was that Gertrude Wittgenstein?
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