lunedì 25 agosto 2014


I said that McEwans's novel "Enduring love" was illuminating. But it was illuminating in a dialectical way. In fact. not even a statement in the novel is true, and not even a feeling is deep. False conceptions and shallow felleing is the mark of middle class - but it is rarely so well described. Morevoer, if a false thesis is well presented. it is easy to find its anthitesis.

The main idea udnerlying the novel is that feelings and reason are at odd. This doesn't correspond to my experience. True skepticals are  wam and passionate - read the character of Socrates in Plato dialogues. And proletrians, thouth ardently passionate, are very clear-minded (see my previous post ). Although feelings can obscure reason (and reason repress feelings) there is no fundamanetal contradiction between the two, Only with a bad disposition of mind we can garble them. It is like right and left hand in knitting - the coordination is dificult and sometimes we make mistakes, but we don't claim that there is a fundamental contraditiction between left and right hand.

When I was a chid I often wondered "why feelings exist?" When I touch the fire I feel pain - but why? Why this long chain fire -> pain -> retreat? Would it not be simpler and faster fire->retrat? Thanks to the misunderstandings of McEwan I understood that we learn also with feelings. We learn through mental representations. These representations can be verbal, visual, and also made of feelings. Feeling representations are probably most primitive, and are present also in many animals, but for this very same reason they are also powerful and somtimes irreplaceable.

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