Superiority of Seeing

Doing some light reading in Philo (Wikiedia link) for my thesis, I came across this passage:

And its name shows its power; for the nation is further called, in the language of the Hebrews, Israel, which name being interpreted means, “seeing God.” But of sight, that which is exercised by means of the eyes is the most excellent of all the outward senses, since by that alone all the most beautiful of existing things are comprehended, the sun and the moon, and the whole heaven, and the whole world; but the sight of the soul which is exercised, through the medium of its dominant part excels all the other powers of the soul, as much as the powers of the soul excel all other powers; and this is prudence, which is the sight of the mind. (De Abrahamo 56-57)

Sight is important, but is it really as superior as Philo believes? Keep in mind, he is also speaking of “seeing” in an abstract sense.

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One thought on “Superiority of Seeing

  1. I love it! What is your thesis topic? I need to figure out what mine is sometime this summer. I am currently working on a paper for the International Medieval Congress in May. I was shocked when I got the email saying my paper had been selected and I would be presenting at the Conference. Congrats on making it far enough to be working on your thesis! That’s huge! 🙂 If you need an extra set of eyes for editing (granted primarily grammatical editing as early Christianity is definitely not my field) feel free to send it along to me.

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