Patrick, prepare yourself...
Posted by MB on January 19, 1998 at 19:57:44:
In response to Should we analyze the rose?, written by Patrick on January 19, 1998 at 15:57:22
...but, as much as I enjoy disagreeing with you, I must say that I firmly support the portion below :
] Important? I don't know. I think it can be dangerous, it can make you think you're achieving wisdom, when you're not. Why do we have to "discover exactly what makes us react to [the rose] as a beautiful experience"? Is it not sufficient simply to experience the rose?
] In principle, such objectification of the world might be useful. For example, if you want to grow roses, it might be useful to have objective measurements of various rose qualities. The problem arises when, instead of you having the science, the science has you. Our ability to measure things has become so important a part of our interaction with the world that, after 500 years or so of measurement, we live in a different world, a world in which things are real to the extent that we can describe them quantitatively. We are measurement-aholics, and we apply our addiction to people as well as roses and how fast cars are going and what time sunrise is tomorrow.
Excellent analysis of our frequent over-analysis. Despite my love of argument for its own sake, I quote Ian Watt in his (somewhat ironic - how appropriate!) introduction to Jane Austen - A Collection of Critical Essays :
"Literary, unlike divine, masterpieces do not need prophets or scientists to reveal their essences; so there is much to be said against literary criticism, and even more against anthologies of it. The reader's direct relation to the novel or peom is what really matters, and anything that intrudes upon this relation, or, worse, becomes a substitute for it, has much to answer for".
Sometimes we really do need to stop and smell the roses...
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