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Bertrand Russell - Acform



Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.
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Dr.Alberto-Perez-Gomez



Architecture does offer something specific. It has something to do with us finding a place that is ordered, that speaks back to us, that allows us to dream, that orients us, as I often say, like a metaphysics that is made into material, that allows the inhabitant/participant to find his or her own place in the world in relation to an institutional framework, wherever we may be in time and space. It is important to remember, as Merleau-Ponty suggested and as has now been corroborated by subversive neuron-scientists like Alva Noë, that “we are not our brains”, and our consciousness is literally enacted through our bodily actions in a given world. The natural and built environment matters immensely. There is something very basic that architecture does offer and has offered throughout history because the questions that architecture addresses are resonant with the Big Questionsof mankind. There are resonances withreligion, with science, and particularly withphilosophy.Architecture does address thosequestions, and it provides answers thatare particular to specific times and placesand that allow humanity to live well, let’ssay,and pass on to others the savoir vivre,a kind of wisdom that we may profit fromas the heirs of these traditions and thatwe oftendisregard completely,particu-larly in modern times. This, of course, begs questions. As modern individuals we are all very arrogant; we feel that we can live in our own universe and that we are almost unaffected by physical environments. We think we can live in and through our computer screens. But in the end, the physical spaces that we make really do matter. They contribute to our well being or our pathologies. That is where history matters. If we don’t learn from those our precedents, we have now-here to look because we have nothing else that we share today. We have all of our little beliefs and half beliefs. We don’t share a cosmology, we don’t share a religion and so we inhabit a fragmented and cosmopolitan world. The only way to find appropriate ways of action is by looking at historycarefullyconsidering the ways that architecture hasfacilitated humanity’spotential to dwell, moreor less significantly,in past epochs.

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