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By Nicholson Baker

Emmett has a spouse and kids, a cat, and a duck, and he desires to comprehend what existence is ready. on a daily basis he will get up ahead of sunrise, makes a cup of espresso in the dead of night, lighting a fireplace with one wood fit, and thinks.

What Emmett thinks approximately is the topic of this clever and heavily saw novel, which covers big distances whereas relocating no extra than Emmett's fire and residential. Nicholson Baker's outstanding skill to explain and have a good time existence in all its wealthy ordinariness hasn't ever been so fantastically achieved.

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Infinity overwhelmed. In his conversion to infinity Henry More had had an experience he was never to forget. If he could not write as a poet, he felt as a poet, and felt something no poet before him had attempted to express. He was the first English poet who attempted to put into language man’s feeling for what was not yet called Sublime—a Sublime that . . released human imagination to a spaciousness of thought man had not known before. indd 21 6/22/2011 4:23:18 PM 22 R E A SON A N D I M AGI N AT ION Nagel, writing toward the conclusion to his argument about the view from nowhere, makes a point similar to Nicholson’s review of More’s sense of himself: Finally, there is an attitude which cuts through the opposition between transcendent universality and parochial self-absorption , and that is the attitude of nonegocentric respect for the particular.

In the course of Koyré’s essay, he sets out the arguments of three thinkers—Henri de Gand, Richard de Middleton, and, finally, Thomas Bradwardine, whose theology (and he is, “avant tout,” a theologian) is a theology of an omnipotent divinity. At the same time, Koyré writes, Bradwardine is a worthy metaphysician and a talented mathematician (especially directed to geometry). The point is compelling: for all his theological training, Bradwardine pursues his argument about God, space, and motion “avec l’imperturbabilité” of the mathematician; his goal is concordance.

35 Plainly, we come again to the idea of univocity and the question of where one might be present to see and know. Nagel’s proposal requires us to exploit the consciousness of ourselves among all possibilities we may discern—with tools provided by what Duns Scotus’ calls univocity. What indices were available, reliable, desirable as a platform for instruction in fourteenth-century England? 36 What is persuasive about Bachelard’s poetic language—imagistic, metaphysical, imaginative, and sometimes lyrical—is that he comes at the “poetics of space” from a life’s work in physics—research and teaching.

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