A Social Universe

The intelligence of the universe is social. Accordingly it has made the inferior things for the sake of the superior, and it has fitted the superior to one another. Thou seest how it has subordinated, co-ordinated and assigned to everything its proper portion, and has brought together into concord with one another the things which are the best.

–Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book V

Mind Required

Some truths there are so near and obvious to the mind that a man need only opens his eyes to see them. Such I take this important one to be, to wit, that all the choir of heaven and the furniture of earth, in a word all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any subsistence without a mind, that their being is to be perceived

— George Berkeley, The Principles of Human Knowledge


It must not be supposed that I am in any sense putting forward the imagination as the organ of truth. We are not talking of truth, but of meaning: meaning which is the antecedent condition both of truth and falsehood, whose antithesis is not error but nonsense. I am a rationalist. For me, reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination, producing new metaphors or revivifying old, is not the cause of truth, but its condition. It is, I confess, undeniable that such a view indirectly implies a kind of truth or rightness in the imagination itself.

–C S Lewis, Selected Literary Essays, Bluspels and Flalanspheres: A Semantic Nightmare

Experiencing Nothing

I can encounter Nothing at any juncture: for example, when I look for someone in a café where I expect to meet him, and he is not there. The world is suddenly coloured by his absence; and this negative fact has a peculiar reality all of its own. But, however strange this experience, it is surely not an archetype of evil. Entering Les Deux Magots to find that Sartre is not there is one of life’s blessings.

— Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy