Sunday Quotation July 7, 2013 / chr1 “Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.” -Arthur Schopenhauer Chris NavinClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)MoreClick to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading...
2 thoughts on “Sunday Quotation”
But isn’t that because that’s all theyu can see–like Plato’s shadows on the wall?
Thanks for commenting.
I take Schopenhauer to mean the world is an idea, and both object and subject are inextricably linked, so as we move through the world, the things we observe and the experience of observing as a subject them are fundamentally tied together in a way that can’t be unbound. What unites them is the will.
In other words, just like your eye is limited in what it can perceive to the visible spectrum, and your brain limited by what it has evolved to do in receiving the sensory data and forming this sensory data into some sort of coherent representation of the world, you are walking around seeing things and experiencing the world but it’s still the world as an idea. You forget this all the time and assume your boundaries are universal boundaries.
The shadows on the wall in Plato’s cave were perceived as actual objects to the subject’s perception, i.e. the men in the cave, when in fact they weren’t real objects at all, merely the shadows of objects that other people above them in the cave were carrying as they passed in front of a fire. The men didn’t realize this.
But the people walking in front of the fire didn’t realize their knowledge too was limited by not leaving the cave and walking out into the sunlight of the true forms.
Schopenhauer is a complicated idealist and was influenced by Plato, Kant, and Buddhism, and Plato is pretty much the father of idealism, saying that there really exists a world of true forms, a kind of absolute mind and set of ideas that are out there, but as this world of forms applies to everyday life, and people, and political organization, most of us are groping in the dark.