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The Sense of Reality: Studies in Ideas and Their History Paperback – December 26, 1998
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"The Sense of Reality" is a collection of nine brilliant essays on "ideas and their history." Each essay is a powerhouse of intellectual electricity!
In a style that is stimulating, compelling--and, in the end, irresistible--Berlin writes about ideas with all the nervous energy of an enthusiast.
Yet he is clear to the end. He is a great explainer. He distinguishes one thing from another. He takes on the knots, unties them, and lets go of the rope.
The effect on the reader is one of exhilarating liberation. One can breathe a little freer. At the same time, one must breathe a little harder. Up here, at high altitude, in the Sierras of the cerebellum, the air is crisp as paper. And our guide, our cicerone, our Isaiah, keeps us skipping--at a dizzying pace!--from mountaintop to mountaintop.
As the pages turn, they envelop the reader in a whirlpool of words that round up the ideas--only to plunge them into a deep sea of profound thought. Once again, we gasp for air.
Indeed, it seems that, wherever Berlin takes us--the mountains, seas, skies, stars of the mind--we are left dazzled, breathless, tottering on the edge of horizons that become elastic, expansive, infinite . . .
In the title essay, Berlin writes of the "disturbing experience," the "electric shock," of "genuinely profound insight"--which he likens to the touching of nerves deeply embedded in our most private thoughts and basic beliefs.
This is not Science. This is the Humanities. Not the mechanics of Newton. But the Pensees of Pascal. Not knowledge. But knowing that "there is too much we do not know, but dimly surmise."
Very well.Read more ›