My Century by Aleksander Wat

By Aleksander Wat

In My Century the good Polish poet Aleksander Wat presents a spellbinding account of existence in japanese Europe in the middle of the bad 20th century. according to interviews with Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, My Century describes the inventive, sexual, and political experimentation --in which Wat was once a big participant-- that the tip of global conflict I: an explosion of expertise and concepts which, he argues, in many ways helped to open the door to the destruction that the Nazis and Bolsheviks quickly visited upon the realm. yet Wat's ebook is at middle a narrative of non secular fight and conversion. He tells of his separation in the course of global struggle II from his spouse and younger son, of his confinement within the Soviet criminal procedure, of the evening while the sound of far away laughter caused a imaginative and prescient of "the satan in history." "It used to be then," Wat writes, "that i started to be a believer."

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I observe, that it would be in my interest to leave another in possession of his goods, provided he will act in the same manner with regard to me. He is sensible of a like interest in the regulation of his conduct. When this common sense of interest is mutually express’d, and known to both, it produces a suitable resolution and behaviour. And this may 41 THE PURSUITS OF PHILOSOPHY properly enough be called a convention or agreement betwixt us, tho’ without the interposition of a promise; since the actions of each of us have a reference to those of the other, and are perform’d upon the supposition that something is to be performed on the other part.

In these conclusions he is influenced both by Locke and by Berkeley. Some readers find that Hume’s thesis that our minds like to “spread themselves” on the world applies not just to causal necessity but to all relations, so that space and time, too, are merely what Kant called “ideal,” the contribution of our minds, not real aspects of the world. Kant did say that it was Hume who woke him from his “dogmatic slumber,” but this does not mean he learned his idealism from Hume. Hume was indeed skeptical about how much we could be sure of about our world, but I think he took the relations we discern between what we know by sensation to be real, not merely projected.

As Hume said, the science of man, and so a study of consciousness, has to be the foundation for every other science. In today’s physicalist science of man, consciousness is a surd, an unexplained phenomenon, and this is ironical, if Hume is right that all our beliefs depend on it. 24 “ A T A D I S TA N C E F R O M R E L A T I O N S ” For Hume, perceptions come in two sorts, forcible and “original,” or less lively, derivative records of earlier lively ones. The former he called “impressions,” the latter “ideas,” and he claimed that all our perceptions come in both forms, first as impressions, then as the cognitive content we carry away from sense experience in the form of ideas.

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