Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Pervasiveness of Illusion

Originally posted on June 12, 2011

On a paper on my website I present what I said (sort of) to those attending the June / Summer program of the Senior University Georgetown, where I often teach. I find that we’ve shifted in our awareness of the pervasiveness of illusion so that instead of illusion being a sometime thing, these dynamics tend to be happening more often than not!  (I present some common illusions on a related webpage.) The implications seem to me to be that of what it means to live in a postmodernist era.

Instead of thinking we know answers, we should become involved in a process of continuous revision, creativity, exploration, dialogue. Answers become provisional models awaiting testing and feedback from those who may entertain different points of view. It is a way of thinking that includes the high levels of complexity that are characteristic of knowledge in our time—and it’s moderately different from what it meant to “know” stuff fifty years ago. Check it out; I’d be happy to answer questions and explain these ideas. Alternatively, you may have some perspectives that I find useful in expanding, revising, or re-thinking this approach.

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