Perspektiven der Philosophie 21:79-104 (1995)
AbstractIs there a possible profit from the loss of the sense of reality? The loss of the sense of reality is a mental disorder that needs treatment, otherwise the person concerned will suffer harm in the short term. We cannot imagine that therefrom a profit could result. Don Quixote gives an example of a loss of reality in a slightly different sense. He is no longer committed to the banal, everyday reality, in this area he fails completely. But he has another field, as it were, a higher reality, where he wins. A similar case is told to us by Plato in the story of Thales, who falls into the well while observing the stars, and is therefore laughed at by a Thracian maid. But for Plato, Thales is a positive example. The philosopher is less concerned with the reality that lies just before his feet than with what is generally true and real. Plato himself devalues what can be experienced around us in favour of the ideas. These are not perceptible, but nevertheless they are what actually exists.
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