On having no name

Alice in the forest where things have no names
A little link to a painting I did a few years ago, Alice in the forest where things have no names.

There is an ancient belief that the name of a thing contains its essence, and hence to name something is to have power over it.

Maybe this was once true of the mythical language that existed before the fall of Babylon. Maybe there is still power in the words of a poet or orator. But ordinary words are not the things they point to, and names are not the things named.


Narrow Gate Press

Narrow Gate Press

This is my new venture: the publication of a book of poems - the lifetime best poems of my late friend David Henschel.

To read some of the poems and follow the progress of the book please go to the Narrow Gate Press blog.

From time to time I shall also post there about the ups and downs of becoming a publisher using print-on-demand technology.


And now for something completely different

Enough of this philosophical ratiocination, I hear you cry! Where are the mermaids and fairies of former times? You will be happy to learn that I have created a new page for the mermaids, with suitable health and safety information in case you should meet one.


thoughts, feelings, poetry and myth

A poet who disregards myth altogether will need to find something bigger than his own thoughts and feelings to transform his verse - from the Tilt your head blog.

The 'Tilt Your Head' blogger I think is pointing to the idea that if we decide not to appeal to myth then to be effective artists we need to be larger than our usual selves. Perhaps we should need to have enough being to create a myth. This is no small aim.

From J. S. Bach on continuo playing: It should make a euphonious harmony for the glory of God and the permitted delectation of the mind; and like all music its finis and final cause should never be anything else but the glory of God and the recreation of the mind. When this is not heeded, there really is no music, but a hellish howl and clatter.

Karl Popper: I suggest that Bach wished to exclude from the final cause of music the making of a noise for the greater glory of the musician.


Determinism and free will 4

I have been reading 'The Concept of Mind' by Gilbert Ryle.

Although I think the problem of the false dichotomy between determinism and free will is adequately dealt with in my previous posts, this gives the option of another way of looking at it.

If a person decides they are going to do something, or desires something, then the actions they take to do that thing or to achieve that aim will be determined by the interaction of the environment and their efforts. So the whole thing is, in that sense, determined.

That doesn't alter the fact that the person is doing what they want. The apparent contradiction between determinism and free will appears to be due to a misunderstanding or misapplication of the term 'free will.'