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Unformatted text preview: Alex Dale BIC 2334 Cannon 21 September 2007 ‘Enlightenment’ of this World Stop! Take a look around at your natural surroundings. Can you explain why everything is where it is at that certain moment in time? Who made each item your eye catches sight of? Explaining one’s current place in the physical environment is not always easy; so many philosophers have attempted to address this issue. Matsuo Basho was the author of many famous haikus in the late 1600’s, which includes the collection entitled, “Narrow Road to the Interior.” Basho contemplated multiple aspects of existence and why things are the way they are. Basho relates physical objects in the world to his through his religion, Shinto. The Shinto religion and its followers hold a great love and reverence for Nature, where they find meaning and purpose as well as philosophical truth. On the contrary, a philosopher who considered his surroundings in this time period was Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle. In the, “Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds,” Fontenelle uses a series of evening’s conversations with a pupil to describe the world that surrounds us, as well as a hypothesis on other planets or worlds. Fontenelle’s writings focus on the use of the senses and mind to perceive the world rather than a religion. These two writers and philosophers from the same time period in different parts of the world(Basho in Japan and Fontenelle in France) shed light on the topic that puzzles and scares most people: what it is that makes up our physical environment. Matsuo Basho was born in the Iga Province of Japan, near Ueno. His famous haikus take readers on a journey which have both a superficial and a deeper meaning. One such work is Basho’s, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” which found Basho walking with his friend Sora and others on the roads of Japan’s Northerner Interior, “recording...
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- Spring '08
- Matsuo Basho, Fontenelle, Basho