Sight has indeed proved to be a source of supreme benefit to us, in that none of our present statements about the universe could ever have been made if we had never seen any sun, stars or heaven. … I’m quite prepared to declare philosophy to be the supreme good our eyesight offers us. Why then should we exalt all the lesser good things, which a non-philosopher struck blind would lament and bewail in vain?
(Plato, Timeaus)

Privileging Vision

That is a blind man’s question (Why do we spend so much time with the beautiful)
Aristotle (via Diogenes Laertius)

Had our perceptions no connexions with our pleasures, we should soon close our eyes on this world
(George Santayana)


The long a of the English alphabet…has for me the tint of weathered wood, but a French a evokes polished ebony. This black group also includes hard g (vulcanized rubber) and r (a sooty rag being ripped). Oatmeal n , noodle-limp l , and the ivory backed hand mirror of o take care of the whites.
–Nabokov, Speak Memory 1966

“While dealing with shape, colour, material and texture is one of the more important aspects of design, there is one more: it’s not the question of how to create, but how to make someone sense something.”


“Our ancestors viewed the Earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we now know is the case only if we care for it. It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past which resulted from ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information, and it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations. Our marvels of science and technology are matched if not outweighed by many current tragedies, including human starvation in some parts of the world, and the extinction of other life-forms. The exploration of space takes place at the same time as the Earth’s own oceans, seas, and fresh water areas grow increasingly polluted.Many of the Earth’s habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late.

The Dalai Lama, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, spiritual leader of the Buddhist faith