Sunday, August 30, 2015

Oliver Sacks (1933–2015)

There is a paradox here — a delicious one — which I cannot resolve: if there is indeed a fundamental distinction between experience and description, between direct and mediated knowledge of the world, how is it that language can be so powerful? Language, that most human invention, can enable what, in principle, should not be possible. It can allow all of us, even the congenitally blind, to see with another person’s eyes.

“The Mind’s Eye,” in The Mind’s Eye (New York: Knopf, 2010).
The New York Times has an obituary. Sacks’s three recent pieces for the Times : “My Own Life,” “My Periodic Table,” and “Sabbath.”

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