By Peter Matthiessen
African Silences is a strong and sobering account of the cataclysmic depredation of the African panorama and its flora and fauna. during this severely acclaimed paintings Peter Matthiessen explores new terrain on a continent he has written approximately in past books, A Tree the place guy used to be Born -- nominated for the nationwide ebook Award -- and Sand Rivers.
Through his eyes we see elephants, white rhinos, gorillas, and different endangered creatures of the wild. We percentage the drama of the trips themselves, together with a detrimental crossing of the continent in a mild airplane. And alongside the way in which, we examine of the human lives oppressed by means of bankrupt political regimes and economies, and threatened by means of the gradual ecological disaster to which they've got purely started to rouse.
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We have asserted already that philosophy is both a separate and a collective attempt at understanding. Let us see what each of these means. 42 TULANE STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY Philosophy engages in criticism and in system-building. It is the critic of presuppositions. Presuppositions although first in systems are still parts of systems. When they are included within systems, we call them axioms. The history of the opinions regarding the status of axioms would make an interesting book. The Greeks held them to be self-evidently true, and supposed that every axiom carried on the face of it, in addition to whatever else it asserted, the assertion of its own truth, and was thus two assertions rather than one.
If he believed that all wars are wrong and none justifiable, and also that a man owed his duty and perhaps even his life to his country, then the conflict would be so powerful within him that it could lead to neurosis. But to return, the advantage of knowing what your beliefs are is that you can then find out whether they are true, and, if they are not true, exchange them for others that are. The second step is to match them against the relevant knowledge, which is for good reasons commonly accepted.
When we are able for a moment to get some distance between us and the immediate crisis, whatever it may be, we are able to see that our behavior and perhaps also the behavior of our contemporaries both individually and socially has been to some extent a piecemeal affair. We can note then that our actions and theirs are to a large measure self-defeating. But somehow there must be an understanding of the whole of existence into which the separate parts fit and can find themselves, if only we were able to grasp existence as a whole.
African Silences by Peter Matthiessen