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David Morris, “Sense of Space,” 2008.

This is an exceptional book on the philosophy of perception, introducing but also developing themes from Merleau-Ponty. It is clearly written and well argued, but it is still difficult to follow since the ideas require a radical break with all one’s preconceptions about how the world works. Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the approripate way to investigate the human condition.

Morris is a major philosopher in his own right, and proof that not all big-time thinkers are dead and gone (he is only in his 40s). The web-page of the university where he teaches says that he is “head of the department of philosophy.” I hope he doesn’t have too much paperwork to do, we all need his philosophizing.

what are public moods?

Somehow the key to the whole book will be the idea of a “public mood.” There was a certain public mood in the decades leading up to 1914. The mood explains the fascination with warfare, the boredom and the ideas of degeneration and decay. The public mood also, if less directly, explain the outbreak of the war in 1914. The problem is only that no one has any idea of what a “public mood” migh be. There are no theories of public moods and no one makes references to them in a proper explanatory account.