By James P. Carse

This used to be actual mystical imaginative and prescient. This i may by no means have expected. yet I knew that we have been either at the related galactic trip into the nice void that comprises us all. i used to be status ahead of a boundlessness which could swallow the celebs in a heartbeat.--from Breakfast on the Victory

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This is, after all, a popular notion of what knowledge does for us: it eliminates ignorance. This is an exuberantly confident attitude toward knowledge. Standing on the firm ground of established fact, we can build avenues of inquiry outward, mapping the surrounding territory as we go. By these means, we will in time circumnavigate the universe. We assume we have already come far. Vast regions of ignorance have been explored, mapped, and so simply explained that even children now know what geniuses like Aristotle and Descartes could not have imagined.

But there they were, already halfway down, bucking along the serpentine footpath, throwing off clouds of gravel. More than anything else I remember Alice, one arm around Bill, the other expertly swinging her briefcase to keep balance, as though the two of them did this every day. Seconds later they reached St. Ronan Street and were gone. The last terrible image is of Alice’s long black hair blowing straight back. ” And then that lunch. Impelled by despair as much as courage, I joined a table of upper-class students sitting around Alice.

By these means, we will in time circumnavigate the universe. We assume we have already come far. Vast regions of ignorance have been explored, mapped, and so simply explained that even children now know what geniuses like Aristotle and Descartes could not have imagined. In this popular conception, all the secrets of a cat’s mind will eventually be so thoroughly exposed they will be no more wondrous than a city map. Whether or not such a view of knowledge is defensible, there is no denying that in practice it harbors an incipient mysticism.

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