Friday, November 6, 2009

As Symbols Proliferate, Physical Reality Diminishes

"Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man's symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself. He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium."

Ernst Cassirer
quoted in Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

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