01 December 2013

Past Monisms

The organs of special sense are adapted to cause the experiences that come to us through their mediation to appear externalized. Recent experiments show that a person who wears glasses so adjusted as to invert the field of vision will soon come to see the world as before, right side up, proving that the conception of position and relation in space is due to a reaction between the experiences of the various organs of sense and that it is not a direct “intuition.” Experiences which reach consciousness through other channels do not have this peculiarity of external reference and seem to belong more directly to us. This distinction is not a primitive one and to a man born blind who suddenly receives his sight the visible world seems to rest on the eye just as the felt objects rests on the finger tip.

The late C. L. Herrick “Energism: The Fundamental Principles of Dynamic Realism” The Monist (January 1905), pp. 46-84 in The Metaphysics of a Naturalist: Philosophical and Psychological Fragments p. 53

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