In spite of Graylings best efforts, I feel very much a novice. I read and re-read page after page and realise I do not understand it. Although it has been helpful, I find myself struggling to map out where everything fits together. I am a visual person and I like to create mind maps, but with philosophy I don’t know where to start! I have come to realise that there are various themes within philosophy which particular thinkers or writers find interesting but none of them seek to provide a wider more comprehensive view. So I have acquired a book by Peter Gibson entitled Philosophy: Everything you need to know to master the subject – in one book. I am very hopeful that it might hold the key to unlocking my understanding and reading. It has lots of visuals and mind maps and the chapters are not about individual philosophers but about the themes I mentioned earlier such as Reasoning, Existence, Mind and Thought.
I think what I am learning is that there is a process of learning that involves a much deeper level of thinking and a greater degree of commitment and patience. I need to read and re-read. I need to spend more time thinking and reflecting on how my reading relates to my photographic practice. I started this process on my MA Photography, but if I am to take my academic work to the next level I need to develop a new way of learning! It is becoming clear to me that learning is not about instant understanding but more a process of osmosis, where thoughts and ideas are slowly integrated into my own understanding of the world. As I look through the viewfinder I find myself asking more and more ‘what am I seeing?’ However, my seeing is not just perceiving the objects in front of my lens but gradually it is a process of becoming aware and in that the camera is becoming more than an instrument for taking pictures. I feel that I am beginning to understand the meaning of Heidegger’s ‘tool-being’, his words in ‘Being and Time’ maybe deeply unfathomable, but I am getting the sense of what he means. The camera is first and foremost an instrument for helping us become aware of the ineffable depth of being of that which I see through the lens.