History of Western Philosophy

History of Western Philosophy

Thilly holds the view that the only complete systems of thought are Western. I wish to briefly examine possible bases of the claim. The claim is decomposable into two parts and the first is that the Western tradition contains complete systems of thought. What does that mean? It cannot mean that everything is known. It […]

  • Tebyan
Rate this post
about this book
  • overview

    Thilly holds the view that the only complete systems of thought are Western. I wish to briefly examine possible bases of the claim. The claim is decomposable into two parts and the first is that the Western tradition contains complete systems of thought. What does that mean? It cannot mean that everything is known. It must mean, then, that there is something about the Western tradition that contains in principle completeness the establishment of a world view of sufficient breadth and of methods that eliminate false views or aspects of the world view. However, Western thought of the 20th century has cast serious doubt on the completeness or possibility of completing any system. From the psychological point of view, what would convince one that a system of thought is complete? There is a tendency, perhaps tacit, that probably exists within all cultures and individuals the natural belief in or identification with the paradigms of the culture. Such paradigms present a picture of the world; and the systems of thought of the culture are an elaboration of that picture. The psychological story cannot be whole in itself. It is embedded in a system of relations among attitudes [psychology] and the institutions of society. Together, these must adequately mesh with reality. The role of psychology would then be an over-compensation so that the tentative but otherwise valid common knowledge of society is seen as imbued with a degree of the absolute. To a degree this is functional; and, usually, held with some degree of ambiguity. Thus, with a degree of success of the elaborated picture there is a natural tendency to assume completeness. However, there is truly no way to demonstrate this completeness because such a demonstration would depend on another, larger, picture. Even within the western intellectual traditions [pictures] there is serious doubt the intrinsic limitations of empiricism [e.g. Hume, Russell] and rationalism [e.g. Kant, GU`?del] regarding completeness. There is, however, a picture that casts doubt that possession of a complete paradigm / picture of the world is an ideal. It is the view of the community of life as an open community in an open universe. Our presence in the universe is an affirmation that an anchor in completeness is unnecessary; the openness affirms that "incompleteness" is not a deficiency but may be properly taken as positive, as an opportunity The second part to Thilly's claim must be that there are no other complete systems of thought. That is true. However, there may well be other systems that have depths unfathomed by the West see the introduction to Dictionary of Asian Philosophers, St. Elmo Nauman, Jr., 1978 just as Western science is in some ways far in advance of other systems The open picture is a view that disaffirms the completeness of Western thought and presents to the West a place in the universe that is a positive opportunity it is a view of opportunity and promise rather than gloom. It is not a cultural relativism. It assigns different strengths to different cultures, it validates the different cultures and it allows for cultural ascendance. Such ascendance, however, is not obtained by proclamation In Journey in Being, I provide a positive picture where thought is not something that aspires to be complete within itself. Rather, thought and being move in relation to each other. Journey in Being provides an open picture. It also suggests the possibility of completeness of being in the sense of "Being = universe" rather than in the sense of completeness of any given being or thought. That, however, is presented as a necessity rather than as an intrinsically ideal or joyful or joyless event or condition. Joy and other states are found in the contemplation and living out of every day life and that includes the remote and ultimate as much as the present There are many other sources including many that may be implicit or forgotten I have referred to the 15th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica for many major and minor points For recent philosophy, I have referred to Research Guide to Philosophy, by T. N. Tice and T. P. Slavens, 1983, and One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers, by Stuart Brown, Diane Collinson and Robert Wilkinson, 1998 The temperamentalist thesis [From A History of Philosophy, Thilly] is the thesis that personal and cultural factors are important in philosophical thought in addition to intellectual, logical and philosophical ones The two types of temperament according to William James: Rationalist ["tender-minded"]: intellectualistic, idealistic, optimistic, religious, free-willist, monistic and dogmatic [Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hegel] Empiricist ["tough-minded]: sensationalistic, materialistic, pessimistic, irreligious [deterministic, perhaps], pluralistic and skeptical [Democritus, Hobbes, Bacon, Hume] Of course: all philosophy is rational in its use of criticism; no philosopher is a pure temperament; some philosophers Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley straddle the classification; and, this simple scheme of classification does not exhaust the possibilities for precision, dimensionality or completeness The first edition This history of Western philosophy began as an endeavor to provide myself with a coherent picture of philosophy. The following brief paragraphs define the aims What is significant about the historical approach to philosophy? A good history of philosophy, whatever its shortcomings, will, among other things, give the reader a perspective on philosophy: philosophy as in-process, the relations of philosophy to life and to the other academic disciplines, show how the attempt to understand the world must introduce radical elements of novelty. As a consequence of the radical novelty, systems of metaphysics are relative to one-another. Views that eschew radical metaphysics are, therefore, based in a closed view of knowledge and the world. In the open view, metaphysics is at once serious and play A good history of philosophy is a contribution to philosophy. It is a contribution to the understanding of the nature of philosophy the study, description and demarcation of philosophy is philosophy. And, a good history provides an environment that enhances the quality of action. History of philosophy provides an environment for the conduct of philosophy The restriction to Western philosophy The restriction to Western philosophy is practical. First, is my desire to understand a tradition. To include other thought would have been a diluting influence Having obtained an adequate understanding of Western philosophy and thought, the next step is a placement and broadening of that thought. Both these objectives can be accomplished by, as one way, the parallel study of Western and non-western systems. And, as stated above, "there may well be other systems that have depths unfathomed by the West." Perhaps what has been accomplished in the West by way of empiricism is complemented in other systems by placement in the universal. That statement is of course both polarized and a simplification My writing includes, elsewhere, considerations of other systems. When occasion arises and time permits, I will strengthen those other writings and attempt a mesh of the following systems: Western, Eastern and native The second edition The changes in the sections on Greek, Medieval and Modern philosophy have not undergone significant revision but there are numerous minor changes The following sections are completely new as of January 2002: Periods And Trends Or Main Influences Of Western Philosophy Error! Bookmark not defined. is an encapsulated overview of Western philosophy The Recent Period: The Philosophies Of The Late 19th And The 20th And 21st Centuries Error! Bookmark not defined. characterizes the recent period and its formative influences and effects The Recent Period: Schools And Trends Of Philosophy Error! Bookmark not defined. is an outline discussion of close to fifty schools and trends and seven Specialized Disciplines or Activities Within Philosophy. Whereas the Greek and the Modern periods were presented through the thought of the major philosophers, I thought it would be effect to present the recent period through the schools. One motive for so doing was in order to be able to characterize the formative influences and the resulting trends. The section 20th Century Philosophers is a list of recent philosophers. The source for these sections was One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers, by Stuart Brown, Diane Collinson and Robert Wilkinson, 1998 The Recent Period: Influential Philosophers Error! Bookmark not defined.. The purpose of this section is to discuss the thought of a small number of thinkers who significantly influenced recent Western philosophy A Concept Of Philosophy 104 synthesizes and broadens previous conceptions of philosophy The Future is a discussion of trends and possibilities and is not intended to be predictive; The Future has the following sub-sections Philosophical nihilism considers the trend in which it is considered to be problematic to make positive statements in philosophy. Some of the influences or forces that resulted in this trend and the related conceptions of philosophy and the role of philosophy are discussed in Influences on recent philosophy and subsequent sections including The Effect on Philosophy The obligations and needs of academic philosophy considers some of the functions that academic philosophy undertakes. It is not suggested that these functions are necessary although there is some degree of obligation that are felt by academic philosophers in virtue of the social and economic environment of the university The possibilities of philosophy in the Western and other academic traditions considers the possibilities of philosophy from the point of view of its heritage as an intellectual pursuit. The theme is elaborated in the following sub-sections: Ways of Philosophical Understanding, Ways that are unique to philosophy, Further considerations Journey in Being considers an endeavor that results from a synthesis of the possibilities of philosophy and the potential of being. This endeavor is taken up in the author's website of the same name: Journey in Being A section on Transcendental Logic added June 16, 2003... Source:alhassanain.com

  • details
    • Tebyan
  • reviews