One of the NLP basic presuppositions is: “All distinctions human beings are able to make concerning our environment and our behavior can be usefully represented through the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory senses.” Or to put it in different terms: within NLP we can express all that is human in terms of the five senses. A different name for a sense is a modality as this a mode that data from the outside world enters your subjective experience. The most important modalities are visual, auditory and kinestetic. The less important modalities are olfactory and gustatory.

Why we are not Idealists.— Formerly philosophers were afraid of the senses: have we, perhaps, been far too forgetful of this fear? We are at present all of us sensualists, we representatives of the present and of the future in philosophy, according to theory, however, but in praxis, in practice. . . . Those former philosophers, on the contrary, thought that the senses lured them out of their world, the cold realm of “ideas,” to a dangerous southern island, where they were afraid that their philosopher-virtues would melt away like snow in the sun. ” Wax in the ears,” was then almost a condition of philosophizing; a genuine philosopher no longer listened to life, in so far as life is music, he denied the music of life — it is an old philosophical superstition that all music is Sirens’ music. — Now we should be inclined at the present day to judge precisely in the opposite manner (which in itself might be just as false), and to regard ideas, with their cold, anaemic appearance, and not even in spite of this appearance, as worse seducers than the senses. They have always lived on the “blood” of the philosopher, they always consumed his senses, and indeed, if you will believe me, his “heart” as well. Those old philosophers were heartless: philosophizing was always a species of vampirism. At the sight of such figures even as Spinoza, do you not feel a profoundly enigmatical and disquieting sort of impression? Do you not see the drama which is here performed, the constantly increasing pallor — , the spiritualisation always more ideally displayed? Do you not imagine some long-concealed blood-sucker in the background, which makes its beginning with the senses, and in the end retains or leaves behind nothing but bones and their rattling ? — I mean categories, formulae, and words (for you will pardon me in saying that what remains Spinoza, amor intellectualis dei, is rattling and nothing more! What is amor, what is deus, when they have lost every drop of blood ? . . .) In summa : all philosophical idealism has hitherto been something like a disease, where it has not been, as in the case of Plato, the prudence of superabundant and dangerous healthfulness, the fear of overpowerful senses, the shrewdness of a shrewd Socratic. Maybe we modern are not healthy enough to need Plato’s idealism? And we don’t fear the senses because –

Gay Science paragraph 372

Related entries