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My conversion into a knower has been a long and winding road. From childhood reverie to the years of formal schooling, education has never ceased to lure me into its magical power. How do we really get to know/see/learn whatever happens on our educational journey? In this paper, I will re-trace my quest for knowledge that reaches beyond the boundaries of traditional epistemology. My wonderings will take me to explore, via Jung, the possibilities of imaginative education through Gnosis and (...) class='Hi'>Sophia. The paper intends to weave together several Jungian discourses with their versions by other thinkers who have contributed to the fields of depth psychology, esotericism, and educational philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper I challenge the reader to witness the environmental and feminist aegis as an epicine confrontation with nature whose main goal is to reconcile a lost partnership with the archetype I have labeled Sophia. Sophia, whose providential origins lie somewhere amid the great pre-Hellenic gnostic cults, can only bring salvation if she is liberated by humanity through the resacralization of nature. It is this change in consciousness that points toward a radical environnlental ethic and a total (...) reconceptualization of the becoming process. (shrink)
The concept of wisdom is largely ignored by contemporary philosophers. But given recent movements in the fields of ethics and epistemology, the time is ripe for a return to this concept. This article lays some groundwork for further philosophical work in ethics and epistemology on wisdom. Its focus is the distinction between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom or between phronesis and sophia . Several accounts of this distinction are considered and rejected. A more plausible, but also considerably more complex, (...) account is offered. The discussion sheds light on the relation between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom, and on the positive character of each. (shrink)
The debate between ‘inclusive’ and ‘dominant’ interpretations of Aristotle's concept of happiness (eudaimonia) has become one of the thorniest problems of Aristotle interpretation. In this paper, I attempt to solve this problem by presenting a multi-step argument for an ‘all-inclusive’ thesis, i.e., the Aristotelian philosopher or contemplator, in the strict sense, is someone who already possesses all the intellectual virtues (except technē), all the moral virtues (by way of the possession of phronēsis), and considerable other goods. If this thesis is (...) correct, the inclusive and dominant interpretations will converge, for the philosopher turns out to be the happiest human being both in the inclusive and dominant senses. (shrink)
My first experience of philosophy at the University of Sydney was as a commencing undergraduate in the tumultuous year of 1973. At the start of that year, there was one department of philosophy, but by the beginning of the next there were two. These two departments seemed to be opposed in every possible way except one: they both professed to be committed to a form of materialist philosophy. One could think that having a common enemy at least might have been (...) the cause for some degree of unanimity, but no: the traditional enemy of materialism—idealism—was regarded to have been long dead and buried. For the Marxists in the then “Department of General Philosophy”, it had been Marx who, in the second half of the nineteenth century, had “inverted” Hegelian idealism into a form of materialism, while for the analytic philosophers in the “Department of Traditional and Modern Philosophy”, it had been Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore who had triumphed over British idealism at the turn of the twentieth. There may have been many things that were atypical about philosophy as it was done at Sydney in the early 1970s, but its resistance to idealism was not among them. (shrink)
Ontology has been traditionally guided by sophia, a form of knowledge directed toward that which is eternal, permanent, necessary. This tradition finds an important early expression in the philosophical ontology of Aristotle. Yet in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle's intense concern to do justice to the world of finite contingency leads him to develop a mode of knowledge, phronsis, that implicitly challenges the hegemony of sophia and the economy of values on which it depends. Following in the tradition of (...) the early Heidegger's recognition of the ontological significance of Aristotle's Ethics and of Gadamer's appropriation of phronsis for hermeneutics, this article argues that an ontology guided by phronsis is preferable to one governed by sophia. Specifically, it suggests that by taking sophia as its paradigm, traditional philosophical ontology has historically been determined by a kind of knowledge that is incapable of critically considering the concrete historico-ethico-political conditions of its own deployment. This critique of sophia is accomplished by uncovering the economy of values that led Aristotle to privilege sophia over phronsis. It is intended to open up the possibility of developing an ontology of finite contingency based on phronsis. Such an ontology, because it is guided by and must remain responsible to the concrete individual with which it is engaged, would be ethical at its very core. (shrink)
The paper argues that Sergej Bulgakov's sophiology was an attempt, via antinomism or the philosophy of antinomies, to overcome the rationalism, monism, and determinism (in a word, "pantheism") of Vladimir Solov'ëv's philosophy of the Absolute understood as an abstract Trinitarianism. After detailing Solov'ëv's thought on the Trinity and Bulgakov's criticisms of it, the study then describes Bulgakov's antinomism and its application to the doctrine of God. However, it is contended that Bulgakov's antinomism ultimately falls into the same problems with pantheism (...) found in Solov'ëv and so the last part of the paper tentatively proposes resources in his work, stated in the form of a suggested "fourth (Bulgakovian) antinomy" between ousia (divine Being as such) and Sophia (the revelation in God and the world of the divine Being), that might help to avoid a collapse of God and the world by making the divine Being proper utterly transcendent and unknowable. (shrink)
By reconstructing it and tracing its vicissitudes, David Conway rehabilitates a time-honored conception of philosophy, originating in Plato and Aristotle, which makes theoretical wisdom its aim. Wisdom is equated with possessing a demonstrably correct understanding of why the world exists and has the broad character it does. Adherents of this conception maintained the world to be the demonstrable creation of a divine intelligence in whose contemplation supreme human happiness resides. Their claims are defended against various latter-day skepticisms.
If anthropogenesis was a transition from nature to society and the Neolithic revolution culminated in the breakthrough of human beings into history, then the appearance of cities on our planet, the "urban revolution," marked the rise of civilization, mankind's induction into the spiritual universe. The rise of cities marks the onset of what K. Jaspers called the Axial Period" (eighth-second centuries B.C.). This is the period in which the spiritual preconditions of humanity took shape: the Bible, the Iliad and Odyssey, (...) ancient philosophy and Greek culture, the Upanishads, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Confucianism. In world culture the city proved itself as a powerful mediator between the earth and the heavens. (shrink)