The Stop

By David Appelbaum

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9780791423820, 154 pages, May 1995
Hardcover : 9780791423813, 154 pages, May 1995

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Table of contents


Part One: What the Eye Sees

Blindness and Light
The Ceaseless Agony of the Blind
The Vanishing Eye

Part Two: What the Blind See

Blindness and the Sign
The Organism of Text
Sight and Movement

Part Three: What Seeing Sees

The Light of the Stop
The Sight of the Blind
The Story of Oedipus




This book is about the turn toward consciousness by which we pass from ignorance to knowledge. The stop is the spark of initiation that arouses our habitual inattentiveness, motivating us toward a higherunderstanding.


The central axis of The Stop is the secret turn of awareness by which we pass from ignorance to knowledge. The stop, then, is the spark of initiation, intense enough to arouse consciousness from its slumber and to motivate the difficult journey to a higher understanding. To stop is to begin a movement toward consciousness.

David Appelbaum is Professor of Philosophy at The College at New Paltz.


"This is one of the most brilliant, interesting, and utterly original books I have read. Its almost mystical conception of embodied perception is solidly founded in reason and evidence. It replaces Derrida's despairing notion of absence with a full and potent foundation of presence, but does so without ignoring any of the difficulties Derrida presents. It says brilliant things about the nature of signification—there is concrete relation between signifier and signified, composed of effort and resistance—and about the ethics of perception. By implication it reanimates the fields of literary criticism, psychological philosophy, epistemology, phenomenology, semiotics, and even—dare one say it?—theology." — Frederick Turner, University of Texas at Dallas

"This is a brilliant and important book, both for what it says about Descartes and his time, and, more important, as a model for a new way of conceiving the role of philosophy." -- Jacob Needleman, San Francisco State University