Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The goodness of being …

… Literary Humanism Outshines Scientism | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In an important book first published in 1924, the American philosopher E. A. Burtt wrote that “the only way to avoid being a metaphysician is to say nothing.” Language is itself metaphysical — not only physical marks on paper or sound-waves through air. Not to see and understand this momentous, dualistic fact of civilization is to be utterly blind and deaf to the history of culture and literacy from Moses, Plato, and the Gospels to Martin Luther King and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Cognition, conceptualization, and language themselves are irreducible aspects of “the worth of things” that Dante’s poem both indicates and embodies (to use a phrase of A. N. Whitehead). I