The Practice of World

Knowledge Ecology

“Tomorrow we shall have to invent, once more, the reality of this world” — Octavio Paz. My friend Sam Mickey ends a recent post with this great quote.

The concept of world is tricky. On the one hand, world appears to be the most necessary of concepts. What is there if not a world? Just as obvious it may seem is that the world must precede the person who lives in the world. To suggest the opposite, that the person precedes the world, sounds incoherent. On the other hand, if we accept that the only world we can know is the one that emerges upon the basis of our perception, our cognitive ability, our emotional disposition, our aesthetic sensitivity, and our embodied capacity, then saying that the person precedes the world makes some sense. But this isn’t quite right, either. People do not emerge ex nihilo. They emerge in…

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