Panentheism.  Revisionism.  Anarchocapitalism.



Essays by Me

Essays by Others

A letter, written from “New London, Conn.,” published in The Saturday Review, August 26, 1967, 26 [“Letters to the Book Review Editor”].  In an earlier issue the anarchist poet and art critic Sir Herbert Read had reviewed the first volume of Langer’s Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling, and in her letter she charges that he “seriously misrepresents” her intent.  Thinking the letter’s printed heading, “Intent: One Scientific System,” almost certainly supplied by the editor, would appear cryptic to my visitors, I’ve have added a few words. 

Anthony Flood

November 20, 2008


The Intent of Mind: One Scientific System

Susanne K. Langer


In SR [Saturday Review] July 15, Sir Herbert Read reviewed the first volume of my Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling.  Unfortunately, he treated the second of its six parts (three are in the published volume) as the only important part, and consequently the whole work as concerned with aesthetics, although the chapters which interest him have only an orienting function; but as a passing bow to the real intent of the book, he makes at the outset a statement which so seriously misrepresents my intent that I cannot but protest against it.  He says, “. . . her final purpose . . . is metaphysical: she has the ambition to present a new metaphysical system.”  Nothing could be further from my ambition, which is only to construct a conceptual framework for biological thinking that will connect its several departments, from biochemistry to neuropsychology, in one scientific system.  Such work is philosophical, but does not commit one to any philosophical system, new or old; and it is certainly not metaphysical.  Any metaphysical statement must apply to the world as a whole, not only to mind or even life.  I have no such statement to offer.

Langer main page