Nothing To Do But Live

The list of our disagreements with David Gelernter would run to many pages, yet we whole-heartedly agree with his central thesis in The Tides of Mind, that human understanding of the mind must be a subjective process, and thus engage our emotions as well as our ideas.

Of course, this is not a particularly fresh insight within numerous non-Western traditions, nor even in European philosophy; recall Heidegger’s emphasis in his later years on the importance of “meditative” thinking. Nonetheless, given the floods of mind-numbing enthusiasm for the Imminent Singularity and other “inverted utopian” delusions, Gelernter’s ebbing and flowing tides provide welcome relief.

Below, a lucid excerpt from a much longer and frequently baffling conversation with Gelernter published in The Atlantic. Images are from explorations of subjective being, as conducted by artist Natalia Arbelaez.

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