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From religion to philosophy; a study in the origins of western speculation

TL;DR: Cornford as mentioned in this paper showed that the remarkable burst of abstract speculation among pre-Socratic thinkers of the sixth century B.C. emerged directly from the religious thought of the preceding era in Greece.
Abstract: In this exploration of the "very first utterance of philosophers," F. M. Cornford showed that the remarkable burst of abstract speculation among pre-Socratic thinkers of the sixth century B.C. emerged directly from the religious thought of the preceding era in Greece. Combining profound classical scholarship with striking anthropological and sociological insight, Cornford rejected the post-Darwinian rationalist assumption that religion and philosophy are fundamentally different from each other. His book supplies a needed reminder of the intricate connections between critical scientific thought and social and emotional experience. As he probes the mythic antecedents of such persistent metaphysical concepts as Destiny, God, Soul, Substance, Nature, and Immortality, Cornford warns us that "unless we have some grasp of that history [of myth], we are not likely to understand the speculation, which, however scientific its spirit may be, constantly operates with these religious ideas, and is to a large extent confined in its movement within the limits already traced by them." Classicists, historians of religion, students of ancient history, and everyone concerned with the subject of myth will find this lucid and highly original work to be a source of rich insights about the organic nature and continuity of Western thought.
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01 Jan 1976
TL;DR: From philosophy to psychology: empiricism, the authority of experience rationalism, the geometry of the mind materialism, enlightened machine as mentioned in this paper, the enlightened machine, and scientific psychology: the 19th century -the authority of science from systems to specialities.
Abstract: Philosophical psychology: defining the subject psychology in the Hellenic age - from the pre-Socratics to the "Dialogues" the Hellenistic age - Aristotle, the Epicureans and the Stoics patristic psychology - the authority of faith scholastic psychology - the authority of Aristotle nature and spirit in the Renaissance. From philosophy to psychology: empiricism - the authority of experience rationalism - the geometry of the mind materialism - the enlightened machine. Scientific psychology: the 19th century - the authority of scienec from systems to specialities - the crucial half century (1870-1920) contemporary formulations.

330 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an e-records readiness in labour organizations in Botswana was examined based on a mixture of components, which included information and communication technology uptake and use; best records management practices; selected tenets of existing e-record readiness assessment tools and the extent of integration of labour organizations into the national e-readiness framework.
Abstract: This article examines e-record readiness in labour organizations in Botswana and proposes an e-record readiness framework to be used in context. E-records readiness was examined based on a mixture of components, which included information and communication technology uptake and use; best records management practices; selected tenets of existing e-records readiness assessment tools and the extent of integration of labour organizations into the national e-readiness framework. The study was largely guided by a quantitative paradigm and used a survey research strategy, which was complemented by methodological triangulation of data collection methods. All the 50 registered labour organizations in Botswana were surveyed, 45 of which responded, representing a response rate of 90 percent. Data were obtained through structured questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, document review and observations. The study established that e-records readiness in labour organizations in Botswana was evident, low and evolving...

60 citations

01 Jan 2016
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the concrete rationality of labor's revolutionary nature necessarily hinges on a ratio to emergent final causes for which consciousness of such is itself the rational kernel of the religious.
Abstract: FROM MODES OF PRODUCTION TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY: A LABOR THEORY OF REVOLUTIONARY SUBJECTIVITY & RELIGIOUS IDEAS Ben Suriano Marquette University, 2016 In this dissertation I attempt two needed tasks within historical materialism: first, to reestablish the standpoint of labor as the normative basis for critical theory beyond irrational bourgeois categories, and second, to show that labor’s own self-mediating rationalization, if it is to move beyond these contradictory categories, necessarily requires a certain religious-utopian consciousness. The dominant Weberian and Marxist paradigms for understanding labor and its relation to the religious variously perpetuated irrational bourgeois conceptions of labor as a bare efficient cause, with religion paternalistically positioned as an inherently idealist or mystifying external form. I argue, however, that the concrete rationality of labor’s revolutionary nature necessarily hinges on a ratio to emergent final causes for which consciousness of such is itself the rational kernel of the religious. Thus I retain the historical materialist primacy of the modes of production as an organizing concept but with a more comprehensive account of its selftranscending movement. Herein the religious arises internally as a non-reductive function of labor’s self-understanding as more than a disposable instrument. I claim any materialist critique of alienated labor implies this religious-utopian consciousness, and therefore any critique of religion must presuppose the normative form of the religious as revolutionary rather than reactionary, reflecting ideal trajectories generated from the productive forces in their basic revolutionizing transformation of nature. More specifically, I argue that theoretically the one religious-utopian ideal transcendentally necessary for grasping the normative standpoint of the laboring body as its own emergent final cause, without external mediation, is the resurrection of the body. I then substantiate this historically. The comprehensive rationality of the modes of production demands that the Marxist distinction between historical periods of formal and real subsumptions yield new assessments of pre-capitalist religious ideology as positively integral to labor’s self-mediating history. I then genealogically trace a Hebraic discourse on bodily resurrection whose revolutionarily demythologized form emerged directly from and for social consciousness of its communal mode of production. I further demonstrate historically that prior to capitalism the laboring body became intelligible to itself as constitutively active without idealist inversions under this certain Judeo-Christian articulation of the resurrection of the body.

56 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, Giddens suggests that new notions of risk and trust are distinctly modern developments that supplant earlier notions of fate, fortune, and fortuna; nowadays, the unexpected comes not from turns of fate or divine intervention but from risk.
Abstract: In The Consequences of Modernity, sociologist Anthony Giddens suggests that new notions of risk and trust are distinctly modern developments that supplant earlier notions of fate, fortune, and fortuna; nowadays, the unexpected comes not from turns of fate or divine intervention but from risk. 1 From the ‘‘Fei Ming’’ chapters of the Mohist Canon to modern attacks on theological fatalism and scientific determinism, fatalism (as distinct from a belief in fate) has a long history of disrepute. As a modern critic puts it: If time confers respectability on philosophical problems, there are few issues in the history of philosophy with more right to be carefully and charitably considered than fatalism. Yet in the twentieth century, at least, this approach has certainly not been adopted. Contemporary discussions of fatalism have been scattered and perfunctory, almost always concluding with a summary dismissal of the fatalist’s argument. Typically, the fatalist is seen as making some rather sophomoric blunder—mistaking a tautology for a substantive thesis about necessity, misunderstanding the scope of a ‘model operator’, misrepresenting facts about the future as facts about the past, and the like.2 If Anthony Giddens and Mark Bernstein are right, the prevailing tendency to counterpose ‘‘modern’’ notions of chance, randomness, risk, and so forth with a ‘‘premodern’’ notion of fate, fortuna, and fatalism attributes universality to the semantics and categories of the modern formulation, which it privileges over an obscure amalgam, somehow connected with alterity and the distant past. A ‘‘from religion to philosophy’’ paradigm has tended to dominate earlier Classical approaches to the subject, 3 and the charge of ‘‘fatalism’’ has not infrequently been leveled against Chinese thought, often as a result of a confusion between fatalism and fate. 4 By fate or destiny I mean the notion that there is a set or immutable pattern to the world. It may be understood as humanly knowable or ultimately inscrutable, personified as (or under the power of) a God or independent of any divine will. At the level of individual agency, a conscious agent is apt to consider the ‘‘fate’’ she is ‘‘given’’ in life, and ask what can be changed and what is unalterable. In this sense, the concept of fate can provide a way to categorize or discriminate what can and cannot be changed. The related epistemological question is foreknowledge: both about what is given (fate) and about what is alterable. Belief in fate (for the nonfatalist) may be closely connected to divination, since divination is based on the premise that fate can be controlled or at least influenced by conscious entities available to human contact. 5

39 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...3 – Greene 1944; Cornford 1957; Dietrich 1965; Doyle 1984....

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01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: Anthropology of the Contemporary (AOC) as discussed by the authors is an anthropological approach to study the structure of debt within America, specifically a method of inquiry called ANOC in order to build a frame work that will assist in understanding the American community, and the cultural conceptions of debt.
Abstract: Debt structures all relationships in America as well as all of our economic material exchanges. Historically debt has always been seen thus with our religious texts being written both in the terminology of the metaphysical and the economical combining them together in an attempt to understand the social and economic systems that individuals live in. At the core of the social and economic systems is community. In America the myth of the gift is a dominant catalyst that uses debt to make community through time. In order to study the structure of debt within America I will be using an anthropological approach, specifically a method of inquiry called “Anthropology of the Contemporary” in order to build a frame work that will assist in understanding the American community, and the cultural conceptions of debt.

17 citations