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Thread: Are You Guys Laughing Yet?

  1. #16
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Isn't Hume saying let us turn into liquid murk and pass through our own bowels rather than solidify like lard on our own verandahs....

  2. #17
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delta40 View Post
    Isn't Hume saying let us turn into liquid murk and pass through our own bowels rather than solidify like lard on our own verandahs....
    *laughing* I dunno. I've only been skim-reading it for the moment. If you're referring to the bit I quoted then, no, that's just the Philo skeptic character being disingenuous to set a trap for the mystics.

  3. #18
    Registered User Etienne's Avatar
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    This is a potentially interesting area of inquiry, but the way you're laying it out has near fatal problems. No one denies the links between eastern mysticism and most of the things you list: The Masonic revival, Ouspensky's later work, The Golden Dawn and new age hermetism, the Beat movement, "New Age" philosophy, so they are simply useless to you as evidence of some kind of suppressed irrational eastern other within a dominant master narrative of western rationalism. You might have a stronger case with the renaissance. I don't really know and I'd be interested to find out, but until you provide some actual evidence, I'm in the dark.
    Actually, the Renaissance goes more in rediscovering ancient philosophers. It's basically what Middle-Ages philosophy is about, the transfer of knowledge. I'm sorry if I can't refer you to any English sources, but a good one in French is La philosophie médiévale by Alain de Libera. What happens in a very quick picture is that, after the fall of Rome, knowledge is kept alive in the Byzantine Empire, mostly in Athens and Alexandria. After those were closed, the scholars fled to Harran, on the border with Syria, with the Muslim invasions, the intellectual centers were transferred to Damas and Baghdad mostly then to Cordoba and then Toledo where the ancient philosophers wer rediscovered during the reconquista (only a very small portion were still "available" in Europe until that point). And the muslims, who had known their Golden Age during that time, had, of course been the main producers of philosophy, but thats proves in no way any superiority in Eastern thought. Besides, the critics 0=2 makes to "Western philosophy" would be as much, if not more applicable to "Eastern philosophy" seen in that sense, and just shows how very shallow and mainstream knowledge of philosophy as a whole 0=2 has.

    The roots are, in the end, ancient Greek, which then went through the Roman, then the Byzantine, the the Muslim minds to reach back to Europe where it continued it's journey, under the form of the ancient philosophers, but also the commentaries (because philosophy during Middle-Ages was practically all under the form of commentaries to texts) from the different cultures though which it had passed, and added to what was already present and being thought up in Europe.
    Last edited by Etienne; 01-22-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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  4. #19
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etienne View Post
    Actually, the Renaissance goes more in rediscovering ancient philosophers. It's basically what Middle-Ages philosophy is about, the transfer of knowledge. I'm sorry if I can't refer you to any English sources, but a good one in French is La philosophie médiévale by Alain de Libera. What happens in a very quick picture is that, after the fall of Rome, knowledge is kept alive in the Byzantine Empire, mostly in Athens and Alexandria. After those were closed, the scholars fled to Harran, on the border with Syria, with the Muslim invasions, the intellectual centers were transferred to Damas and Baghdad mostly then to Cordoba and then Toledo where the ancient philosophers wer rediscovered during the reconquista (only a very small portion were still "available" in Europe until that point). And the muslims, who had known their Golden Age during that time, had, of course been the main producers of philosophy, but thats proves in no way any superiority in Eastern thought. Besides, the critics 0=2 makes to "Western philosophy" would be as much, if not more applicable to "Eastern philosophy" seen in that sense, and just shows how very shallow and mainstream knowledge of philosophy as a whole 0=2 has.

    The roots are, in the end, ancient Greek, which then went through the Roman, then the Byzantine, the the Muslim minds to reach back to Europe where it continued it's journey, under the form of the ancient philosophers, but also the commentaries (because philosophy during Middle-Ages was practically all under the form of commentaries to texts) from the different cultures though which it had passed, and added to what was already present and being thought up in Europe.
    Thank you, Etienne. I was aware of the importance of middle eastern scholars in preserving the philosophy of the Greeks, beginning, as I understand it, with the translation movement. It's truly amazing, really, this story of how so much of the absolute bedrock underpinnings of western thought and culture were just hanging by a thread for such a long time with no guarantee at all of survival.

    What I was specifically interested in was the extent to which Renaissance and Enlightenment thought were informed by occult and mystical ideas, since that seemed to be 0=2's implication. I have some notions about how this might be answered myself, but, to be honest, my question's rhetorical: I'm not just interested in the answer, I'm interested in finding out whether 0=2 has an answer.

  5. #20
    Registered User Lust Hogg's Avatar
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    ya, middle age scholars such as Aquinas, Boethius, porphry, Duns Scotus, were integral in the preservation and consequent repudiation of Greek Philosophy. Humes Dialogues are quite good. He had to cleverly disguise is slightly agnostic or atheisctic opinions in these dialogues. But, His explanation of the Historical progression of humans from a state of ingorance, to a state of intellectual advancement, does assist in explaining religons historical routes. He basically asserts, that in a state of primitive ignorance, our understadning of the material world around is fractured and incomplete. Consequentially, When early humans tried to instantiate ceratin ideas of cause and effect into the physical world around them, they would inject some divine entitiy into the place of that which was incapable of explanation. So, Ideas of water cycles, famines, and hurricanes were explained in terms of various God-like entities, gradually evolving into which could be described as a ploytheistic framework. As humans ideas of these various demi gods advanced, in response to our rational and logical developments, notions of restriction and restraint imposed upon these Demi -God's resulted in paradoxical incongruncies. That is, an idea of one omnipotent entity begins to arise, thus cancelling out these intermediary gods. This account, which is largely historical anthropology, is a somewhat convincing elducation of the historical progression of Relgion. Hume was largely critical of Teleological and cosmological agruments for the existence of God. His skeptcism was painfully repressed out of fear of reprisal from his largely Chrtistian place of appointment.

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