Andrew, thank you so much for the considered response. Lord, I feel some cobwebs being swept away!
I think we are largely in agreement. Though I find solipsism deliciously irrefutable, I am no solipsist. I agree that HV’s rhetoric is overblown – and I hadn’t known she was a materialist in matters of perception.
I also agree that Schopenhauer took over from Kant the transcendental categories of cognition. The real novelty in S’s philosophy, as I recall it and read it, was in its moral import: he sought to free men from suffering, as much as he could, by changing how men thought about reality. That's why I quoted him with LW: a large portion of the work of both philosophers was focused on practical matters, that is, not just how we conceive the world, but how that changes the world, and what difference it makes in how we live.
I further agree with you that art, great art, must orbit around universality and uniqueness, as a planet orbits a binary star, its two suns. How exactly it does this is mystery to me; but I am one who is content to abide a bit in mystery.
I agree on the rejection of mechanical empiricism, as you call it. I'm with Rorty. Language, learned concepts, do, in fact, mold reality. And, literature can change your world...or, at least, that's my true belief.
Again, thanks for the engagement. I, for one, found the subject v. interesting, and even... a bit fun.
Last edited by Michael Ferris; 08-30-2012 at 05:02 PM.
Reason: I talk too much