In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane gives a gripping account of knowing with our bodies (in comparing the writings of French philosopher Merleau-Ponty and Scottish writer Nan Shepherd). [Merleau-Ponty] argued that knowledge is ‘felt’: that our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition. Consciousness, the human body and the phenomenal world are therefore inextricably intertwined. […]
We no longer respect the idea that some things are “beyond our ken.” We don’t treat knowledge as a serious responsibility, to be given and received slowly and with clear purpose. We no longer think of education as a cultivation of our desires or our capacity for wonder. Instead, education is the amassing of information […]
There is always a significant difference between knowing and believing. We may know that the earth turns, but we believe, as we say, that the sun rises. Our Only World by Wendell Berry (4).
I’m trying to tell you things I might never have told you if I had brought you up myself, father and son, in the usual companionable way. When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what really matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And […]