Contemplation


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Related to Contemplation: contemplation of death

Contemplation

 

a sensory stage of knowledge.

In the idealist tradition of philosophy, there are two basic conceptions of contemplation, both directly related to the notion of intuition. One interpretation originated with Plato, who regarded contemplation as the extrasensory knowledge of ideas and the basis of “true” knowledge. The other interpretation was developed by Kant, who juxtaposed contemplation to both thought and sensations and treated it as the concept of a single object, the concept which is to undergo categorization in cognition. E. Husserl’s phenomenology considers both types of contemplation: empirical contemplation, or consciousness of a particular object, and eidetic contemplation, the object of which is essence (eidos).

Pre-Marxist materialism interpreted cognition as contemplation, a passive process of perceiving the external world, which acts on the sense organs. K. Marx wrote: “The chief defect of all previous materialism—that of Feuerbach included—is that things, reality, sensuousness are conceived only in the form of the object, or of contemplation, but not as human sensuous activity or practice, not subjectively” (in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, p. 1).

Marxism has shown that cognition is not passive contemplation but an activity inextricably linked with transforming the world.

Contemplation

Compleat Angler, The
Izaak Walton’s classic treatise on the Contemplative Man’s Recreation. [Br. Lit.: The Compleat Angler]
Thinker, The
sculpture by Rodin, depicting contemplative man. [Fr. Art: Osborne, 988]
References in classic literature ?
It 'ud ha' been a pretty thing though for 'em t' marry," said Martin, turning his head on one side, as if in pleased contemplation of his new idea.
But look at me, count, look at me," said the prince endeavoring to direct upon himself the attention of the count, who was completely absorbed in contemplation of the portrait.
I gave up, at length, all care of things within the hotel, and became absorbed in contemplation of the scene without.
Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak.
We are untouched by ambition, and what pride we have is due only to our contemplation of the work of our hands.
He advanced a few paces, and caught sight of the two screech owls, that is to say, Dom Claude and Master Jacques Charmolue, absorbed in contemplation before a carving on the façade.
With his hands joined upon his breast, his face turned towards the window, bathed by the fresh air of night, which brought upon its wings the aroma of the flowers and the woods, Athos entered, never again to come out of it, into the contemplation of that paradise which the living never see.
This is not saying much--for hitherto I had been a little neglectful in that particular; but now, also, it was no uncommon thing to spend as much as two minutes in the contemplation of my own image in the glass; though I never could derive any consolation from such a study.
Lieutenant Albert Werper, terrified by contemplation of the fate which might await him at Adis Abeba, cast about for some scheme of escape, but after the black Mugambi had eluded their vigilance the Abyssinians redoubled their precautions to prevent Werper following the lead of the Negro.
In our own times the decay of these once flourishing cities is so completely beyond remedy, that the next great change in contemplation is the draining of the now dangerous and useless tract of water, and the profitable cultivation of the reclaimed land by generations that are still to come.
Jones had been there as Mrs Honour had told her; he had indeed spent two hours there that morning in melancholy contemplation on his Sophia, and had gone out from the garden at one door the moment she entered it at another.
Maylie took up her abode with her son and daughter-in-law, to enjoy, during the tranquil remainder of her days, the greatest felicity that age and worth can know--the contemplation of the happiness of those on whom the warmest affections and tenderest cares of a well-spent life, have been unceasingly bestowed.