Monday, January 29, 2007

Contemporary Indian Philosophers

Contemporary Indian Philosophy Name / Edited by Cost (Rs.)
Philosophical Reflections,G.C. Nayak 65.00
Doubt, Belief and Knowledge,S. Bhattacharyya 150.00
Towards a Critique of Cultural Reason,R. Sundara Rajan 95.00
Language, Knowledge and Ontology,Kalikrishna Banerjee 225.00
Karma, Causation and Retributive Morality: Conceptual Essays in Ethics and Metaethics,Rajendra Prasad 250.00
Philosophy and Religion: Essays in Interpretation,J.L. Mehta 175.00
The Art of the Conceptual: Explorations in a Conceptual Maze Over Three Decades,Daya Krishna 200.00
Natural Science of the Ancient Hindus,
S. Dasgupta 50.00
Sattavisayak Anviksha ( in Hindi),Yashdev Shalya 75.00
The Primacy of the Political,R. Sundara Rajan 190.00
Studies in Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Deconstruction,R. Sundara Rajan 190.00
Facets of Recent Indian Philosophy,General Editor: R. BalasubramanianVoi.1:
The Metaphysics of the SpiritVol.2: Indian Philosophy and HistoryVol.3: Problems of Indian PhilosophyVol.4: The Philosophy of Life,S.P. Dubey 150.00275.00275.00400.00
Confessions and Commitments,S.S. Barlingay 80.00
Social Actions and Non-Violence,R.K. Gupta 125.00
Reference and Truth,Pranab Kumar Sen 175.00
Name /
Edited by Cost (Rs.)
Perspectives in Philosophy, Religion and Art: Essays in Honour of Prof. Margaret Chatterjee,R. Balasubramanian and V.C. Thomas 175.00
Freedom Transcendence and Identity: Essays in Memory of Kalidas Bhattacharyya,Pradeep Kumar Sengupta 135.00
Man, Meaning and Morality; Essays in Honour of Prof. Rajendra Prasad,R. Balasubramanian and Ramashankar Mishra. 225.00
Ever Unto God : Essays on Gandhi and Religion,Sushil Kumar Saxena 140.00
The Philosophy of Nikunja Vihari Banerjee,Margaret Chatterjee 150.00
The Philosophy of J.N. Mohanty,Daya Krishna and K.L. Sharma 170.00
The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murti,Sibajiban Bhattacharyya and Ashok Vohra 350.00
The Philosophy of Daya Krishna,Bhuvan Chandel and K.L. Sharma 360.00
The Philosophy of G.R. Malkani,Sharad Deshpande 375.00
Realism Responses and Reactions: Essays in Honour of Pranab Kumar Sen 850.00
Readings and Reference
Who's Who of Teachers and Scholars in Philosophy in India,Daya Krishna 20.00
A Union Catalogue of Philosophical Periodicals,Subhas C. Biswas and Bikash K. Bhattacharya 55.00
Select Bibliography of Journal Articles on Philosophy, Religion, Science and Related Aspects of Indian Culture,Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya 40.00
Author and Subject Index of the Philosophical Quarterly (Vols.I-XXXVIII),Daya Krishna and R.S. Bhatnagar 28.00
Author and Subject Index of the Philosophical annual (Vols. I-XI),Daya Krishna and R.S. Bhatnagar 14.00
Author and Subject Index of the Journal of the Indian Academy of Philosophy (Vols. I-XVII),Daya Krishna and R.S. Bhatnagar 20.00
Author and Subject Index of the Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research(Vols.I - X),Daya Krishna and R.S. Bhatnagar 35.00
Ramana Maharishi: A Bibliography,K. Subramanyam 125.00
Author and Subject index of the journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (Vols. XI-XV)Daya Krishna and R.S.Bhatnagar
Essays in Social and Political Philosophy,Krishna Roy and Chanda Gupta 250.00(HB)90.00(PB)
A Critical Survey of Phenomenology and Existentialism,Mrinal Kanti Bhadra 100.00
Phenomenology and Indian Philosophy,D.P. Chattopadhyaya 290.00
A Glossary of Technical Terms in the Commentaries of Sankara Ramanuja and Madhva on the Brahma-Sutras,K. Jayammal Pt I: 265.00Pt II: 400.00
Language. Testimony and Meaning,Sibajiban Bhattacharyya 250.00
Fundamentals of Logic,Arindama Singh and Chinmoy Goswami 450.00
Philosophy in India : Traditions, Teaching and Research,K. Satchidananda Murty 90.00
Tolerance in Indian Culture,R. Balasubramanian 60.00
History of Indian Philosophy : A Russian View Point,Marietta Stepanyants 150.00
Art and Philosophy : Seven Aestheticians, Sushil Kumar Saxena 240.00
Insights into Inward Consciousness,G. Srinivasan 125.00
The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson,Pranab Kumar Sen and R.R. Verma 425.00
Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical InvestigationsAshok Vohra ( in Hindi) 300.00
A Short Moral Lexicon,R.K. Gupta 100.00
Ludwig Wittgenstein's Culture and Value,Ashok Vohra ( in Hindi) 400.00
Ludwig Wittgenstein's On Certainty,Ashok Vohra (in Hindi) 300.00
Circularity, Definition and Truth,Andre Chaupuis and Anil Gupta 560.00
icpr journal introduction

Husserl is also a target in Gadamer's impossibily of phenomenological neutrality

kela Joined: 08 27 04 Posts: 1807 Posted: 01/28/07, 6:25 pm Post subject: no, i was not aware of that fact. where does he describe these events? paul hacker, the great shankara scholar, converted to catholicism as well. a few months back, i read an article by williams on language and construction in madhyamika. it was apparently adapted from thesis. while occasionally he make some interesting points, he tends to ramble on and repeat himself, and often he's not very clear about what he's trying to say. while his little book on mahayana buddhism is a nice over-view and useful for undergrads, i'm not all that impressed by his work. when don lopez was on sabbatical in the mid nineties, he went to england to work with williams. he was not all that impressed by him either (nor by england, for that matter.)

Posted: 01/28/07, 7:28 pm Post subject: yes of course. i was simply attempting to get a handle on the phrase, "metaphysics is the myth of the given." the phrase comes from sellars, and by the same token, i imagine that much the same could be said about wilber's relation of sellars as what you say about his relation to quine; in other words, he is not necessarily referring to sellars' quasi-kantian attack on empiricism when he makes use of the phrase. the phrase has, perhaps, come into contemporary jargon of late through the work of rorty.
in "philosophy and the mirror of nature," sellars appears alongside heidegger and the later wittgenstein as one of the great "deconstructors" of the classical modern tradition. it is sometimes pointed out that husserl, in his attack on empiricism, made use of arguments similar to the argument implied by the "myth of the given." but i think that for later 20th century thought, husserl's phenomenology, too, has become a target, a version of the "myth of the given." certainly in rorty's book, as in gudmensen's "wittgenstein and buddhism," the "phenomenogical" and "eidetic" reductions function as analogs to russell's "sense data" analysis (to which gudmensen compares the abhidharma analysis of "dharmas").
husserl is also a target in gadamer's account concerning the impossibily of phenomenological "neutrality," and the necessity of "Vorurteilen" in "historically effected consciousness." at the same time, i cannot resist the temptation to think that perhaps in the back of his mind, wilber is still entertaining the idea that the "given" means some sort of metaphysically a priori assumption. this, of course, would imply a kind of eqivocation on the term "given" and a distortion of what sellars has in mind. but given what i have read in the interview with cohen, this does not appear to be the case.
by the phrase "metaphysics is the myth of the given" he appears to be referring to the idea of "metaphysics" as is implied by the term "post-metaphysics," for which the "foundational epistemology" of husserl and russell is central. even still, what the "post-metaphysical" thinkers mean by "metaphysics" is not at all clear, and not very satisfactory. pehaps it is time for a short piece on the idea of "metaphysics."Back to top
Posted: 01/28/07, 7:51 pm Post subject: interesting. all of this has a quasi-kantian ring to it. compare collingwood's "absolute presuppositions" or gadamer's "Vorurteil" both of which remain opaque since they function as transcendental "grounds," as it were, for all acts of understanding within a particular world-view (we cannot "see" that which "forms" our "seeing" or understanding since any act of "seeing" already presuposes that which "forms").
collingwood does say, however, that the presuppositions of older zeit-geists can however be seen for what they are. in the classical tradition in india the impasse is solved by the presence of "scripture," which not only provides the transcendent norms for the life of the worldly brahmin, but also reveals the trancendental structure that cannot otherwise be seen but that must be transcended for those on the course of release, the samnyasins. presumably, in the modern world, which looks upon "scripture" with suspicion as mere "dogma," "punditry," and so on, it is the siddha himself (da or ramana) who functions as the "transcendent guide" and provides the way out -- an adaptation from anti-brahmanic tantrism. Back to top
Posted: 01/28/07, 8:00 pm Post subject: anarchist of sorts. yes, one would imagine that the idea "small is beautiful" might not quite jibe with the idea of a theory of everything.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How can we claim to discover anything about the fundamental structure of the universe?

The Splintered Mind reflections in philosophy of psychology, broadly construed Monday, December 04, 2006 Chalmers on "Modal Rationalism" Eric Schwitzgebel Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of California at Riverside
In my undergraduate/graduate seminar this quarter, we read David Chalmers's influential book, The Conscious Mind, and now we’re reading some of the subsequent criticism and discussion of it, and Chalmers’s replies. A common theme in many replies -- and my sense, too, is that there’s something fishy about reflecting from the armchair about what we can conceive and reaching conclusions on that basis about the fundamental structure of the universe.
Chalmers’s response to this (in Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, 1999, p. 490; see also "Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?") is interesting. He insists -- correctly, I think -- that either you’re doing empirical exploration or you’re engaged in a “rationalist” enterprise centering on ideas such as “consistency, entailment, and ideal conceivability” -- that either you're doing scientific research or you’re exploring our concepts. In particular, he attacks the idea that something might be conceptually possible but still metaphysically impossible: Metaphysics just is about our conceptual space. This is hard for what Chalmers calls “Type B materialists” to swallow: They want to embrace materialism as a “metaphysical” thesis and at the same time allow that it’s conceivable that materialism is false, that it's conceivable (for example) that “zombies” -- beings physically identical to us but with no conscious experience -- exist.
As I said, I’m inclined to agree with Chalmers about this and disagree with the majority of his critics. But I think this only raises even more sharply the fundamental concern that seems to me to be driving them. If Chalmers’s (and all of our) “metaphysics” is just exploration of our concepts, how can we claim to discover anything about the fundamental structure of the universe thereby -- anything about anything other than our concepts? Metaphysics seems then to become a branch of psychology.
Now, actually, I’m quite happy with that, but I’m not sure Chalmers should be, and it isn’t the tenor of The Conscious Mind as I read it. And if materialism is true, then I’d say it’s not -- or shouldn’t be -- construed as a metaphysical thesis at all, but rather as a scientific thesis, a claim only about the “laws of nature”, and not a claim about Kripkean “a posteriori metaphysical necessity” or the like. Labels: , posted by Eric Schwitzgebel @ 8:37 AM

Friday, January 26, 2007

Prophetic insight of post-modernism

Post Human Variations by Richard Carlson
by Rich on January 25, 2007 08:46PM (PST)
To speak of the post-human is now becoming fairly widespread in our global culture. This is not only due to science fiction but due to critical scholarship as well which has realized the enhancements to the human that technology makes possible. If Nietzsche’s proclamation of the “death of god” helped annunciate the spirit of modernity, Michael Foucault statement about “the death of man” appears to be the prophetic insight of post-modernism. more » Leave Comment Permanent Link

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scotus' view on our freedom, and of the unity of the intellect and will

From: "bill cranston" To: CC: Subject: Heidegger and Scotus Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 08:13:54 +0000
Dear Tusar, Having only just discovered that Heidegger wrote his 1915 thesis on Duns Scotus, I have done the obvious thing and googled on 'Heidegger Scotus.' Hence arriving at your piece at
You mention how 'difficult' Scotus is. In my (so far limited) mentions of him to others, he is mostly dismissed as 'too subtle.' Thanks for your book recommendations. In return, I would mention the work of Professor Alexander Broadie. He has a major interest in Scottish Philosophy, as you will see from his home page
He has studied Scotus in depth. I have a copy of his little book 'Why Scottish Philosophy Matters,' where he assigns a major role to Scotus - and explains that role. For example there are descriptions of Scotus' view on our freedom, and of the unity of the intellect and will, - descriptions which I have been able to follow (although it is hard work!). The book is out of print - but there are a few second-hand copies available via Abe-books, starting at around US $12.00.
Looking below, you will see that I am a member of the British Teilhard Association ( There are links between Teilhard and Scotus - these need to be brought out, I think - but that's another topic! -- bill cranston (Membership Sec, British Teilhard Association) 3 Anthony Road, LARGS, Ayrshire, KA30 8EQ, Scotland, UK Tel: 44 (0) 1475 686374

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Philosophy comprehends life as a question

Confucianism Is Philosophy Not Religion By Taru Taylor
Contributing Writer The Seoul Times Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Confucianism is much misunderstood. The United Nations, for example, classifies it as a religion. Big mistake. Confucianism is a philosophy, not a religion. What's the difference? Religion believes in god as the final answer. Philosophy comprehends life as a question. Confucianism is a disciplined ethical inquiry — a moral philosophy.
To really understand a moral philosophy one must understand its heroes. Its idealists, not men of action. Here in South Korea that means Confucius and Mencius.
They are tour guides of the magical mystery tour that is Asian civilization. Consider "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" as an analogy. Wonderland is Asian civilization. Alice is every human being who would enter the rabbit-hole into Asian civilization. The White Rabbits are Confucius and Mencius. Notice I said that Confucius and Mencius "are" the White Rabbits, not "were."
Moral philosophy is timeless. Right and wrong never really change. Thus, it is folly to dismiss Confucius and Mencius as mere ancient philosophers of antiquarian interest. It is presumptuous to consider their words only with reference to times past, as if they have nothing pertinent to say to us now.
Many of their political and economic speculations are dated. Obsolete. But that's beside the point. For the theme that persists throughout "The Analects of Confucius" and "The Works of Mencius" is that ethics trumps politics; ethics trumps economics. They insist that the Confucian, as such, must do right even when it is more prudent and more profitable for him to do wrong.
Civilization is like Alice's Wonderland because it is not straight and narrow. It is circuitous and meandering. Mysterious. There is no map; only a compass. Every civilized person is his own pathfinder. There are no leaders or followers. But there are tour guides.
"The Great Learning" and "The Doctrine of the Mean" are the first two of the four Confucian classics. Taken together they provide the moral compass for every person who would find his way through the magical mystery tour of Asian civilization. Again, the other two Confucian classics, "The Analects of Confucius" and "The Works of Mencius." provide tour guides for every Alice who would adventure in the Wonderland of Asian civilization.
Civilization considers every person to be his own authority. Authoritarianism, which is about select leaders finding the right way for everybody else, is diametrically opposed to Confucian civilization. Thus Confucius and Mencius are tour guides, not leaders. Their charges are active disciples, not passive followers.
Confucius speaks to his role as guide, not leader, in Book 18 Chapter 8 of "The Analects." Po-i, Shu-chi, Yu-chung, I-yi, Chu-chang, Hui of Liu-hsia, and Shao-lien, great leaders of his own past, he characterizes with sincere respect. He then characterizes himself: "I am different from all these. I have no course for which I am predetermined, and no course against which I am predetermined."
In Book 7 Part 1 Chapter 26 of "The Works," Mencius distinguishes his role, as a philosophical guide, from the ideological leader. He reports that Yang led men according to the selfish principle: "Each man for himself." That Mo led men according to the altruistic principle: "Love all equally." And that Tsze-mo led men as a mediator between the two. Mencius describes Yang's and Mo's as "one-point principles." conceding that Tsze-mo's was better as a "two-point principle." But just as two wrongs don't make a right, two points don't make a philosophy.
Whereas Yang, Mo and Tsze-mo led according to one-point and two-point ideologies, Mencius guided according to the philosophy of "right principle." As he put it, "The reason why I hate that holding to one point is the injury it does to the way of right principle. It takes up one point and disregards a hundred others."
When Confucius speaks of being neither for nor against any predetermined course, and when Mencius speaks of right principle, what they both speak of, in a word, is circumspection.
Circumspection involves looking at a circumstance as a sphere of infinite sides, not as a coin of two. It characterizes the baduk player who places the stone according to the logic of the board, not a formula. It is the operative word of Confucianism because every Confucian must solve the problems of right and wrong on his own.
Confucianism is a philosophy of personal moral responsibility. It is an existential code of ethics. It is therefore, in essence, neither political, nor economic, nor social. It is no less individualistic than Western Utilitarianism.
Unlike Utilitarianism, which sees the individual as a pleasure-seeker, Confucianism sees him as a moral agent. The Confucian does not pursue happiness. He does the right thing.
The Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham conceived a "hedonistic calculus" for every Utilitarian to calculate maximal pleasure and minimal pain. This is the Western counterpart of the Confucian's moral compass. Enlightened self-interest on the one hand; circumspection on the other.
To every South Korean I ask — Which are you? Pleasure-seeker? Or problem-solver? The Utilitarian maximizing his pleasure just as the businessman maximizes his profit? Or the Confucian solving the problems of civilization just as the baduk player solves the problems of the 361-point board? Imitation Westerner? Or Easterner in command of modern science and technology?
If you have any views visit the discussion board. Related Articles The Children Are Our Present Racism at the University Black History Month: Who Needs It? Mr. Taru Taylor, who teaches English at Sangmyung University in Seoul writes opinion pieces for The Seoul Times. Mr. Taylor majored in philosophy at Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College. His minor was English Literature there. He has been writing columns and other opinion pieces for many newspapers and publications including college ones.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well-being and the concept of choiceworthiness

T. Scanlon (What we owe to each other, ch. 3) Scanlon assumes that the concept of well-being and the concept of choiceworthiness are not the same concept. Scanlon has many reasons to distinguish the two concepts. Some of these reasons are peculiar to his views about the relation about value and reasons. For example, choiceworthiness can be understood as the life "one has most reasons -all things considered - to choose". Scanlon argues in a different place (ch. 2) that some of our reasons are not teleological (i.e. not reasons to produce some thing or some more thing of value). Posted by Michele at 8:02 PM
How can we argue that the concept of well-being most philosophers talk about does not exist?First of all: does such a project make sense? Consider Quine's argument in "two dogmas". He tried to show that the alleged distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments is untenable. How does he do it? he shows that every attempt to explicate what the supposed distinction means turns out to be meaningless or viciously circular.
Maybe something similar can be said about the concept of well-being, if it is understood in such a way that its meaning is based upon a previous conceptual distinction, and that this distinction turns out to be empty in the same sense as the analytic-synthetic distinction is, according to Quine. For example many philosophers identify the notion of well-being with the notion of "what is good for a particular subject". They think that when we say that something is “good for p” we appeal to a different concept from the concept(s) we appeal to when we say, for example "you made a good choice by choosing to live like that", “this would be a good and fulfilling life – a life that human being is supposed to lead”, “that is the life that is most desirable or worth aiming at”.
If it can be shown, for example, that we cannot make sense of this distinction, or that, if we make sense of it, neither terms turns out to coincide with the mongrel of intuitions that philosophers are trying to characterize by using the word “well-being”, we have something like a possible line of attack.
I made explicit reference to “the mongrel of intuitions that philosophers are trying to characterize by using the word “well-being”. But how can there be such intuitions, if the concept of well-being does not belong to our conceptual repertory? What we have is really a mongrel of ideas that do not cohere into a concept. But we can still characterize “what philosophers are trying to characterize by using the word ‘well-being’” by describing the peculiar goals such philosophers have in mind, the goals that motivate them to introduce the term. And one of these goals is the goal of making certain distinction, the goal of making sense of some thoughts which seems to be indubitable. We can define this goal, this distinction, and these thoughts without a commitment to their truth and meaningfulness.
Therefore, first of all one needs to identify some salient feature about the concept that philosophers are trying to characterize. I am clearly considering well-being as a technical word, a word that does not have necessarily anything to do with what the man or the woman in the street (or in the wellness centre) calls well-being. This assumption of mine is justified by scepticism about the idea that we could ground a theory of well-being upon the linguistic intuitions that surround the usage of that very term. (A suspicion shared by Griffin. See this post, quote 4.)
The first step in this project consist in the identification of the salient features that a philosophical theory must have in order to present itself, relatively uncontroversially, as a theory of well-being, and not as a theory of something else. Posted by Michele at 6:30 PM Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ethics is Greek or Jewish?

I was recently reading quickly through Robert Nozick's Philosophical Explanations, a copy I borrowed from an office I use somewhere I gave one course in the last semester, while giving an exam on Derrida. Much to my surprise noticed a reference to a contrast between Greek and Judaic ethics. That created an unexpected link between Nozick and Derrida, since the idea of Greek versus Jewish philosophy, or culture, or ethics, is something that Derrida considers carefully in a long essay on Lévinas, 'Violence and Metaphysics', collected in Writing and Difference .
The context in which Nozick introduces the distinction between Greek and Jew, is the difference between ethical 'push' and ethical 'pull'. The push is Greek, and refers to the concern in Ancient Greek thought with cultivation and flourishing of the self, in an ethics which is based on the balance and health of the self. The pull is Jewish, according to Nozick, and comes from the Old Testament, or what Nozick calls the Hebrew Bible. It is the pull of ethical law, the obligation to follow commands of the kind handed down to Moses as the Ten Commandments.
Where did an Analytic philosopher like Nozick come up with this? How does a philosopher who usually avoids cultural context, and comes from a way of thinking which regards cultural and historical context as highly secondary to philosophical argument, come up with this historical-cultural generalisation? Nozick gives thanks to his Harvard colleague Hilary Putnam in the acknowledgements section. We don't expect cultural-historical generalisations from Putnam either, but Putnam did make one major departure from concentrating on Analytic philosophy.
Two of Putnam's texts refer to Emmanuel Lévinas, whose work took European philosophy since Kant as its departure. Lévinas' work is full of allusions to Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger and belongs to the French Phenomenological work of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. Where did Putnam refer to Lévinas and what was that about?Putnam refers to Lévinas in 'Lévinas and Judaism' which can be found in The Cambridge Companion to Lévinas edited by two notable commentators on European Philosophy: Robert Bernasconi and Simon Critchley.
Putnam's essay is rooted in Putnam's strong Judaism, I am not sure if he is a believer, but then I could say the same about Lévinas who was a Talmud teacher for children as well as an academic philosopher. The point is that Putnam takes Lévinas seriously as an expositor of what Judaic religion is. Lévinas ' s philosophy, most famously in Totality and Infinity, rests on a distinction between Greek Ontology and Judaic Ethics, the latter rooted in the Torah, the "Hebrew Bible" and the tradition of study of it. Greek Ontology takes the 'Same', that is the Ego or the Self, as primary; Jewish Ethics takes the Other as primary. Putnam briefly but significantly refers to Lévinas' views on Ontology and Ethics in Ethics without Ontology.
It looks very much like Nozick got the ex-cathedra judgement that the ethics of Obligation from Lévinas via Putnam. He very probably did not consider Derrida's critical remarks. Like Nozick, Putnam and Lévinas, Derrida was Jewish himself. I won't recapitulate Derrida's argument here, I will just note some problems in equating Greek Ethics (often known as Virtue Ethics) with Self-Cultivation and Jewish Ethics with obligation. One obvious point is that the Biblical Jews were following the commands of the God of their nation rather than abstract obligation as such. Their ethical commands are clearly located in the rules and taboos of antique eastern Mediterranean society.
In any case, how can we locate obligation in a purely Jewish origin? Nietzsche who contrasted Roman master morality, meaning Greek Virtue Ethics, with Judaic Slave Morality, meaning the ethics of obedience to God, also located the origin of ideas of other worldliness and abstract morality in Plato, even as Plato developed a version of Virtue Ethics. Nietzsche clearly though that Old Testament morality was tied to Jewish national identity, and regarded the morality of obligation as Christian rather than Jewish. Christianity meant the teachings of the historical Christ as interpreted by St Paul, the converted Jew, from the point of view of Neo-Platonist philosophy.Heidegger certainly thought of the early Greek ethics, as an Ethos which preceded ethical rules, abstraction and obligation in the way of life as it was lived. Ethical obligation arises in Heidegger from a turning away from Being, something that is phenomenal for Heidegger, towards law outside Being trying to dominate it, that law came from Plato.
Some philosophers have regarded Old Testament Jewish ethics as an extreme example of an ethics of obligation. Hegel presents Judaism as excessive in its sense of obligation, in comparison to Christianity, a view he supports with reference to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Kierkegaard looks at the story in a more favourable way, though his interpretation is a critique of obligation which argues that the story shows the necessity to will the unethical in obligation to God, and that ethics can only be properly rooted in a self-relation which becomes a relation with the absolute externality of God.
Kierkegaard argues for an alternative to the ethics of obligation by looking to the self which has to live with the paradox of ethics founded on following an absolute, subjectivity and God at the same time.ş Kierkegaard classifies Kant's ethics of pure obligation with the Greek following of Ethos of the community, as both examples of following external rules and universality, instead of the paradoxical unity of particularity and universality in absolute subjectivity.
Of course in recent decades a wide variety of thinkers have sought an alternative to obligation ethics in Greek Virtue and flourishing: G.E.M. Anscombe, Michel Foucault, Martha Nussbaum amongst many. Nussbaum though distinguishes between an emphasis in Aristotle on luck and fragility as opposed to the abstraction of a rule obeying moral self in Plato.Nozick's attempt to distinguish between Greek and Jewish cannot be upheld, though he uses it with great force for establishing a central ethical tension. Posted by Barry Stocker at 16:27 13 January 2007 Labels: , , , ,

McLuhan, Whitehead & Freud

McLuhan was a great pioneer of what in academia these days is called, simply, theory. He seemed to care little for the departmental distinctions between literary criticism, sociology, history, philosophy, the humanities, and the sciences. He just rode roughshot along and across the borders of the traditional disciplines. He was overtly dismissive of them, so much so that in “The Mechanical Bride” he mocked Mortimer Adler’s “Great Ideas” endeavor, comparing the cards in the card catalog to tombstones. Today McLuhan’s interdisciplinary approach is a normal mode of academic writing, though there’s little evidence that today’s academic writers possess the wit and facility for metaphor that distinguish McLuhan. posted by Heresiarch @ 9:33 AM 0 comments links to this post Sunday, November 19, 2006
McLuhan's "The Medium is the Message" always struck me as intuitively obvious, and I've always been puzzled by its controversy. The character of an information channel must condition the experience of receiving its content. How could it be otherwise? Only after reading Whitehead'sSymbolism did I see the connection between McLuhan and Freud/Jung. Later other correspondences became apparent:
  • McLuhan: Medium - Message
  • Whitehead: Causal Efficacy - Presentational Immediacy
  • Psychology: Sensation - Perception
  • Bohm: Implicate/Implicit - Explicate/Explicit
  • Marx: Change in Means of Production - Change in Relationships Among Social Classes
In his book, "Archetypal Process: Divine and Self in Whitehead, Jung, and Hillman", David Ray Griffin pulled together a good collection of essays on the compatibility of Whiteheadian process philosophy/theology and Jungian archetypal psychology. posted by Heresiarch @ 12:59 PM Sunday, March 19, 2006
Heresiarch said... In your consideration of models of evolution that include a spiritual/transcedental dimension, you might take a look at the stellar metamorphosis model presented at I continue to find it extremely stimulating. 9:53 PM

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Only Teilhard and Sri Aurobindo postulated a divinisation stage beyond the spiritual mind

Integral Practice, Integral Esotericism - Part Six Alan Kazlev
6-ix . The Cosmic Sphere - Physical Evolution and Evolutionary Cosmology
As mentioned in sect 2-vii, an evolutionary perspective is central to both New Age and Integral understanding. This evolutionary perspective provides a complete Holistic and Integrative system of Science and Arts has to integrate all fields of knowledge, and do so in a way that makes sense, rather than an artificial juxtaposition. Within Integrative studies and the general worldviews of the integral movement, the concept of An evolutionary, teleological cosmology according to which being evolves through successive progressive states of matter, life, and mind, and will still evolve beyond mind to future and higher states seem to be common denominator.
It is found in the writings of Teilhard, Sri Aurobindo, Gebser, Erich Jantsch, Wilber, and many other integral and evolutionary thinkers. This is a theme that goes all the way back to 18th century ideas on the temporialisation of the Great Chain of Being, 18th and 19th century German Idealism represented by Schilling and Hegel; 19th century German Nature Philosophy and English evolutionary thinking, late 19th through to contemporary science fiction, current astrophysics, scientific cosmology, biology, and so on; in 19th and early 20th century Theosophy and Occultism (Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Alice Bailey, etc) and from thence it makes its way to the New Age; and of course in evolutionary philosophers and visionaries such as Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead (Process Theology), Jean Gebser, Oliver Reiser (Cosmic Humanism), Edward Haskell (Unified Science)[46], Arthur M Young, Erich Jantsch, Clare Graves and the Spiral Dynamics movement, Andrew Cohen, Wilber, and many many others. In many ways this represents the zeitgeist of our age, occurring in both materialistic science, holistic thought, modern esotericism, and the New Age movement. Perhaps for this reason it can also be considered one of the few fundamental and unified doctrines of the integral movement as a whole.[47].
A few examples are shown here, for the sake of comparison. One could create any number of lists of correspondences, the reason being that these are empirically agreed upon levels. Note that only Teilhard and Sri Aurobindo postulated a divinisation stage beyond the spiritual mind or spiritual adept...
This opens the way for a unifying evolutionary paradigm, as suggested by Haskell in his thesis regarding Unified Science, according to which different branches of knowledge can be understood as pertaining to the different stages or levels of cosmic and planetary evolution. Thus mathematics (in part), physics and astrophysics pertain to the very earliest levels, which constitute the foundation of space-time, the basic nature of the physical universe, elementary particles and the basic laws of physics, then chemistry, geology, astronomy, meteorology, etc to the second level in the table, then biology and paleontology to the third (organic life), then the various social sciences and applied sciences to the socio-cultural level, the various spiritual teachings and traditions to the spiritual level, and finally only a few teachings actually speak about the divinisation of matter, and these pertain to the column on the right.
Following the convention of Vernadsky and Teilhard , one might metaphorically posit terms like spatiosphere or physiosphere and chemosphere or (more accurately) thermodynamo-sphere to precede geosphere, biosphere, and sociosphere or noosphere here, even if "sphere" becomes meaningless (and rather inaccurate) when referring to the known universe as a whole.. The final stage of divinisation, Omega Point or supramentalisation, I refer to as the theosphere (God sphere). Following Werner Schwemmler, the appearance or singularity or symmetry break (Jantsch), which constitutes a new quantum leap of evolution in which each new stage appears can be designated by the suffix -genesis after the appropriate term, as in chemogenesis, biogenesis, sociogenesis, etc...
It follows then that a truly integral and integrative transformation should involve all these multitudinal aspects and branches, rather than bias or revolve around one alone. The attitude of compassion, empathy (including telepathic empathy with animals and the rest of nature, including "devic" forces), and stewardship represented by Deep Ecology, Animal Liberation, and Esoteric Integral Ethics has to be applied universally. It is not just the human species, but all life and all creation that contributes to, represents the Divine unfolding of, and proceeds equally towards the eschatological singularity of supramentalistaion. Thus, a totally new approach to teleology is required, as well as an ontology that recognises the subtle physical reality and its interaction with the gross or dense physical.