Silence, an Eye of Knowledge

Mehdi Aghamohammadi

Abstract


One of the conspicuous features of the twentieth-century West was silence. This idea could be supported by examining reflections of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fritz Mauthner, John Cage, Samuel Beckett, Ihab Hassan, Franz Kafka, Wassily Kandinsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Virginia Woolf, Wolfgang Iser, Jacques Derrida, and Pierre Macherey. To me, silence is not a mere theory, but rather a phenomenon from which we can get practical benefits. I believe silence is an eye, eye of knowledge. We can broaden our knowledge of the world through silence. To convey the idea that silence is an eye, I have concocted the word slence, where has replaced the letter i and stands for the eye. This means knowledge can enable us to see, thereby acquiring knowledge of, what used to be invisible, and accordingly unknowable. In other words, through silence, we can achieve a certain type of literacy. I substantiate this claim by exploring the Horus myth, Ojo de Dios, John Cage’s 4' 33", the nature of Expressionist paintings, Hinduism, thoughts of Hermes Trismegistus and Ibn al-Arabi, and practices of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam.


Keywords


Eye, John Cage, Knowledge, Silence, Twentieth Century

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bae, K. J. (2006). Interpreting silence in drama. Journal of English and American Studies, 5, 5-26.

Baldick, C. (2008). The Oxford dictionary of literary terms. New York: Oxford University Press.

Basso, K. H. (1970). “To give up on words”: Silence in Western Apache culture. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 26(3), 213-230.

Blake, W. (2005). There is no natural religion—I. In W. B. Yeats (Ed.), Collected poems (pp. 236-37). New York: Routledge.

Bloor, D. (1991). Knowledge and social imagery (2nd ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Boyd, E. A. (1925). Studies from ten literatures. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons.

Burbules, N. C. (2005). Introduction. In M. Boler (Ed.), Democratic dialogue in education: Troubling speech, disturbing silence (pp. xiii-xxxi). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Chittick, W. C. (1989). Ibn al-Arabi’s metaphysics of imagination: The Sufi path of knowledge. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Chrétien, J. L. (2003). Hand to hand: Listening to the work of art (S. E. Lewis, Trans.). Fordham University Press.

Circosta, J. A. (2005). Silence as disclosure: Virginia Woolf’s style of being-in-the-world. In A. T. Tymieniecka (Ed.), Analecta Husserliana lxxxvii: Human creation between reality and illusion (pp. 139-53). Dordrecht: Springer.

Colt, G. H. (2006). November of the soul: The enigma of suicide. New York: Scribner.

Conee, E. (2002). Why solve the Gettier problem? In K. B. Wray (Ed.), Knowledge and inquiry: Readings in epistemology (pp. 178-82). Toronto: Broadview Press.

Cuddon, J. A. (1999). Dictionary of literary terms and literary theory. (C. E. Preston, Rev.). New York: Penguin Books.

Dąmbska, I. (2016). Silence as an expression and as a value. In A. Brożek & J. Jadacki (Eds.), Knowledge, language and silence: Selected papers (pp. 311-18). (K. Cullen, Trans.). Leiden: Brill Rodopi.

Dauncey, S. (2003). The uses of silence: A twentieth-century preoccupation in the light of fictional examples, 1900-1950. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Warwick). Retrieved from http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/id/eprint/4054

Davies, S. (2005). Themes in the philosophy of music. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ephratt, M. (2008). The functions of silence. Journal of Pragmatics, 40, 1909-38.

Fahy, K. (2008). Power and the social construction of birth territory. In K. Fahy, M. Foureur, & C. Hastie (Eds.), Birth territory and midwifery guardianship: Theory for practice, education and research (pp. 3-10). Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Foucault, M. (1980). The history of sexuality, vol. 1: An introduction (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.

Hall, J. (1995). Illustrated dictionary of symbols in Eastern and Western art. London: John Murray Publishers.

Hegarty, P. (2000). Georges Bataille: Core cultural theorist. London: SAGE Publications.

Herlihy, J. (2012). Islam for our time: Inside the traditional world of Islamic spirituality. Xlibris Corporation.

Hirst, P. H. (2010). Knowledge and the curriculum: A collection of philosophical papers. New York: Routledge.

Hodge, A. N. (2008). The history of art. Berkshire: Arcturus Publishing.

Howatson, M., & Chilvers, I. (Eds.). (1993). The concise Oxford companion to classical literature. New York: Oxford University Press.

Huemer, M. (2001). Skepticism and the veil of perception. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Iser, W. (1978). The act of reading: A theory of aesthetic response. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Jain, N. C., & Matukumalli, A. (2013). The functions of silence in India: Implications for intercultural communication research. In M. K. Asante, Y. Miike, & J. Yin (Eds.), The global intercultural communication reader (2nd ed., pp. 248-54). New York: Routledge.

Jaworski, A. (Ed.). (1997). Silence: Interdisciplinary perspectives. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Jorgensen, E. R. (2008). The art of teaching music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Kerr, A., & Wright, E. (Eds.). (2015). A dictionary of world history (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kim, K. L. (1996). Caged in our own signs: A book about semiotics. Westport: Ablex Publishing.

Kramer, L. (2006). “Longindyingcall”: Of music, modernity, and the Sirens. In L. Austern & I. Naroditskaya (Eds.), Music of the Sirens (pp. 194-215). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Laurence, P. O. (1991). The reading of silence: Virginia Woolf in the English tradition. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Leeming, D. (2005). The Oxford companion to world mythology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Livergood, N. D. (1967). Activity in Marx’s philosophy. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Locke, J. (1836). An essay concerning human understanding (Bk. iv, 27th ed.). London: T. Tegg & Son.

Long, P. O. (2001). Openness, secrecy, authorship: Technical arts and the culture of knowledge from antiquity to the Renaissance. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Macherey, P. (2006). A theory of literary production (G. Wall, Trans.). New York: Routledge.

Mackinnell, T. (2011). The Dawning: Shedding new light on the astrological ages. Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation.

Molavi. (1987). Masnavi-e ma’navi (Bk. 4). (R. A. Nicholson, Ed.). Tehran: Amirkabir Publications. [Persian]

Montiglio, S. (2000). Silence in the land of Logos. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Munz, P. (2004). My adventure with Popper and Wittgenstein. In P. Catton & G. Macdonald (Eds.), Karl Popper: Critical appraisals (pp. 114-27). New York: Routledge.

Nakane, I. (2012). Silence. In C. B. Paulston, S. F. Kiesling, & E. S. Rangel (Eds.), The handbook of intercultural discourse and communication (pp. 158-79). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Parry, B. (1996). Speech and silence in the fictions of J. M. Coetzee. In G. Huggan & S. Watson (Eds.), Critical perspectives on J. M. Coetzee (pp. 37-65). Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.

Poole, R. (1985). Generating believable entities: Post-Marxism as a theological enterprise. In E. S. Shaffer (Ed.), Comparative criticism. (Vol. 7, pp. 49-71). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Poyatos, F. (2002). Nonverbal communication across disciplines. Volume ii: Paralanguage, kinesics, silence, personal and environmental interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Rakova, M. (2006). Philosophy of mind A-Z. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Reik, T. (1968). The psychological meaning of silence. Psychoanalytic Review, 55, 172-86.

Richter, D. (2004). Historical dictionary of Wittgenstein’s philosophy. Maryland: Scarecrow Press.

Rorty, R. (2009). Philosophy and the mirror of nature (30th-anniversary ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ross, W. D. (Ed.). (1975). Aristotle’s metaphysics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sartre, J. P. (1962). Camus’ The Outsider. In J. P. Sartre, Literary and philosophical essays (pp. 26-44). (A. Michelson, Trans.). New York: Collier Books.

Scheufele, D. A. (2008). Spiral of silence theory. In W. Donsbach & M. W. Traugott (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of public opinion research (pp.175-83). London: SAGE Publications.

Sellers-García, S. (2014). Distance and documents at the Spanish empire’s periphery. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Shakespeare, W. (2005). 2 Henry VI. In S. Wells & G. Taylor (Eds.), The Oxford Shakespeare: The complete works. (2nd ed., pp. 55-89). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sharifi, M. (2008). Farhang-e adabiyyat-e Farsi [Dictionary of Persian literature] (2nd ed.). (M. R. Jafari, Ed.). Tehran: Farhang-e Nashr-e No’ & Mo’in Publications. [Persian]

Shaw-Miller, S. (2002). Visible deeds of music: Art and music from Wagner to Cage. New Heaven: Yale University Press.

Shi, Y. (2013). Review of Wolfgang Iser and his reception theory. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(6), 982-86.

Skeat, W. W. (Ed.). (1993). Concise dictionary of English etymology. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions.

Smith, L. W. (2014). Our inner ocean: A world of healing modalities. Bloomington: Balboa Press.

Stagl, J. (2006). A history of curiosity: The theory of travel 1550-1800. New York: Routledge.

Stein, G. (1993). What happened: A five act play. In G. Stein, Geography and plays (pp. 205-14). Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.

Stone, R. (2008). Best practices for teaching social studies: What award-winning classroom teachers do. California: Corwin Press.

Sturken, M., & Cartwright, L. (2001). Practices of looking: An introduction to visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

Trimmer, S. D. (2008). White poetry to the Muse: Poetic works of Steve Trimmer. Bloomington: iUniverse.

Tsoukas, H. (2005). Complex knowledge: Studies in organizational epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ward, L. (2010). John Locke and modern life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Weagel, D. (2002). Silence in John Cage and Samuel Beckett: 4' 33'' and Waiting for Godot. In M. Buning, M. Engelberts, & S. Houppermans (Eds.), Samuel Beckett today: Pastiches, parodies & other imitations (pp. 249-62). Amsterdam: Rodopi B. V.

Wehmeier, S. (Ed.). (2005). Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary (7th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wittgenstein, L. (1961). Tractatus logico-philosophicus (D. F. Pears & B. F. McGuinness, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

---. (1969). On certainty (G. E. M. Anscombe & G. H. V. Wright, Eds.; D. Paul & G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Wolfreys, J., Robbins, R., & Womack, K. (2006). Key concepts in literary theory (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Woods, T. (1999). Beginning postmodernism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Woolf, V. (1990). The voyage out. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch.

Zagzebski, L. (2009). On epistemology. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

Zijlstra, O. (2006). Language, image and silence: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on ethics and aesthetics. Bern: Peter Lang.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.5n.2p.20

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.