Monday, December 13, 2010

what is true, what is false...

From Charles H. Ham, Hand and Mind, 1886:
It is not without reason that Anaxagoras characterized man as the wisest of animals because of his having hands. And what is it to be wise? To be wise is "to have the power of discerning and judging correctly, or of discriminating between what is true and what is false; between what is fit and proper and what is improper." The hand is used as the synonym of wisdom because it is only in the concrete that the false is sure of detection, and it is through the hand alone that ideas are realized in things. Again, we have the hand as the discoverer of truth.
And more...
This disposition to undervalue the hand is an inheritance from the speculative philosophy of the Middle Ages, which was based on con;tempt of the body and all is members. The effect of this false doctrine has been vicious in the extreme. Contempt for the body has generated a feeling of contempt for manual labor, and repugnance to manual labor has multiplied dishonest practices in the course of the struggle to acquire wealth by any other means than manual labor, and so corrupted society. That man should feel contempt for the most efficient member of his own body is, indeed, incomprehensible, since contempt for the hand leads logically to contempt for its works, and its works comprise all the visible results of civilization.
Make, fix, create.

No comments:

Post a Comment