Making Kosmos Visible
At first glance, it looked as if Sloane might help us bring Plato down to earth. Both are deeply concerned with a way of seeing and thinking about things. Each is attempting, through his writing (or drawing), to “convert” us to this way of seeing. As the last three chapters have demonstrated, this is not so much a matter of their preaching to us, and our subsequently deciding to practice what they preach. The conversion takes place in the practice of reading itself. To understand what Plato and Sloane are saying is already to experience their texts in a certain way. It is to experience a change in our way of seeing. What this change involves is very simple, in one way, but complex, in another. As Glaucon suggests, it is both hard to accept and hard not to accept. It may seem obvious that if we are to see and understand what is really happening in these texts, we must look closely. But this takes work on the part of the reader (who must negotiate the difficult terrain), on the part of the guide (whose job it is to point things out), and, lest we forget, on the part of the artist whose work is meant to serve as an occasion for this very experience.
KeywordsGreek Word Original Sense Sacred Place Religious Festival Beautiful Thing
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