18.124 the blind man's cane?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 13:13:19 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 124.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2004 13:01:49 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: the blind man's cane

I would appreciate the help of the learned in locating Wittgenstein's use
of a particular metaphor, the blind man's cane, and in identifying any
early sources for it, e.g. in Stoic perception theory (in Sextus
Empiricus?). As you may know, this metaphor is a favourite in discussions
of perception, e.g. among the phenomenologists, such as Merleau-Ponty, in
Phenomenology of Perception (1962), Jean Paul Sartre (reference?), Simone
Weil (reference?) and those influenced by them, such as Michael Polanyi, in
Personal Knowledge (1962). It is also found in Gregory Bateson, Steps to an
Ecology of Mind (1972, 2000). In more recent, secondary literature it is
found e.g. in Don Ihde, Instrumental Realism (1991), and Walter Vincenti,
What Engineers Know (1990). Those interested in the topic may also wish to
know about Arno L. Goudsmit's dissertation, Towards a negative
understanding of psychotherapy (1998), online at

All suggestions appreciated!


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Received on Fri Aug 06 2004 - 08:23:30 EDT

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