They aspire, always, to lucidity.
Bishop Berkely saw, with lucidity,
our misplaced trust in “reality”.
“Ideas”, in the mind, are all that exist;
all else is delusion, he would insist.
Doctor Johnson, of the great “Dictionary”,
impatient with the wiles of Philosophy,
saw no need for protracted dispute;
for Berkeley’s theory was easy to refute.
The Truth, clearly there, for all to see.
Johnson’s boot, the stone: “Thus, I refute thee!”
what we see, what we think.
Our little lives, ended in a blink.
I’ve mentioned before, in this blog, about coming across a couple of books by Colin Wilson in my local public library, when I was a teenager. Wilson had a way of making the “History of Ideas” incredibly exciting, and he wrote about philosophers and artists as if they were action heroes. His books sparked off a fascination with Philosophy for me, which has persisted to the present day. Whilst I find it fascinating, I have never studied it academically, and am often frustrated by certain philosophers of the school of “Linguistic Analysis”. I also tend to disagree with the emphasis on Logic and intellectual rigour as being the only methods worth thinking about. Philosophy, for me, should be a much broader, inclusive subject, encompassing imagination, emotions, and the history of human thought and literature.
The well-known tale – told in Boswell’s epic Life of Samuel Johnson – of Johnson’s “refutation” of Berkeley’s philosophy of “Idealism” by kicking a stone has always amused me, and my poem “Philosophers” is an attempt to tell the story in verse.