Sunday, September 05, 2010

Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson

A central question in Robinson's new book is the utility, or even ethics of objectivity.
She is unsatisfied with the "closed ontologies" of "scientific monisms"; that is, claiming that everything can be understood in terms of (for example), perversion (Freud), class (Marx) or genes (Darwin). A flaw in these reductionisms is "the absence of an acknowledgement of ... subjectivity."

A similar question about the difference between understanding and experiencing love came up in a conversation on the camino. For instance: does knowing about the neurology or chemistry of attraction and attachment make one a better friend or lover or father? [I remember, but cannot find the source of a characteristically bold Salavador DalĂ­ quote, "love is deoxyrybonucleic acid."]  Robinson states the case more acutely:
Does knowing 'how the machinery of the brain works' – and, in fact, we still do not know how it works – have any implication for the effective use of the mind? (p52)

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I am from Melbourne.

    Please find a set of references which are very much about the nature of Consciousness altogether - as distinct from the objectifying mind which now patterns ALL of Western culture, with NO exceptions

    http://www.adidam.org/teaching/aletheon/truth-life.aspx

    http://www.adidam.org/teaching/gnosticon

    http://www.dabase.org/broken.htm

    http://global.adidam.org/books/transcendental-realism.html

    Another critique of conventional religiosity

    http://www.beezone.com/up/criticismcuresheart.html

    Not Two Is Peace via:

    http://www.dabase.org/not2.htm

    http://www.beezone.com/news.html

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  2. Hi John from Melbourne.
    Thanks for these - there are a lot of links; which one do you think is most directly relevant to Robinson's question?
    Thanks, Cam.

    ReplyDelete