Notes on Truth, Beauty, and Goodness -- Phil A231

William Jamison - Instructor


Still working on Narrative and Truth we look at thinking but are beginning to

be concerned with aesthetic claims. Is Art a matter of taste?

Perhaps we should do Domasio's emotion tree here first...

See this page in Damasio's book:

 Arranging our world as an extension of memory.

Beauty in Math --- Einstein. The better theory is the more beautiful one. 

"Thinking" is about language as non-private -- or thinking as linguistic.

If thinking consists in physical habits or repetitions of practices following the rules of a paradigm, or narrative, then what we judge to be beautiful must be associated with the narrative -- what we view as beautiful must be beautiful according to the rules of what is called beautiful and pleasing and so forth -- in our experience -- in our narrative.

List things you think are beautiful -- evaluate those in terms of what you value -- imagine those values -- and beautiful things -- in the context of the narrative.

What examples of beauty might we not associate with values and narratives this way? Are there any? Are examples of beauty  physical? Orderly? Do they help our memory?

Do I want to say the writer's memory deceives him? p. 116

But surely we can remember non-linguistic events even more than linguistic ones--- video! But to communicate those thoughts even to ourselves we must use language....

I can remember a video -- think of one in progress -- the music too! At what point do I have to use language to be thinking about this?


An interesting link for "Thinking" is:

which should be an Harvard Theological Review article by Joel A. Dubois "Am I Just Talking to Myself?" Extending Wittgenstein's Analysis of Language to Religious Forms of Thought and Inward Speech.

Issue: July, 2001 quote: "The writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein have inspired countless philosophical reflections in the brief half-century since they first began circulating in English and German. In the past several decades theologians.."

On the problem of narrative truth:

Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain
by Antonio Damasio (Paperback - December 1, 2003)

T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets"


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