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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)
He’s a terrible fellow, but at least he’s got substance.—Erich Auerbach on HeideggerMy esteemed colleague Purushottama Bilimoria drew my attention to Shane Mackinlay’s ‘Heidegger’s Temple: How Truth Happens when Nothing is Portrayed’. My friend wondered whether my piece on ‘The Origin of the Work of Art: Heidegger’ in Sophia 51, no.4 (2012): 465–478 was a reply to Mackinlay. It was not.I had not in fact read Shane Mackinlay’s elegant essay. Having read it now, I do not entirely agree with (...) it: Nor he, with my essay, no doubt. The Republic of Letters is wide open.The point perhaps that Bilimoria wanted to me to consider was that Mackinlay makes much of ‘nothing’, as did Bilimoria himself in his arrestingly titled, ‘Why is there Nothing rather than Something?’ (Sophia 51, no.4 (2012): 509–530). He, in conversation, has wanted me to make more of—the concept of?—nothing than I am accustomed to do. I doubt if I can rise to the challenge, beyond the Oxbridge ‘I don’t quite understand…’. If ev. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1 - 23 In several iterations of the Gnostic ontogenetic myth, we find variations on an intriguing notion: namely, that the first rupture in the otherwise eternal and continuous procession of ‘aeons’ in the divine ‘pleroma’ is caused by a _cognitive overreach and failure_. As much as it might contain a distant echo of certain myths concerning hubris in the classical tradition or in biblical literature, this general schema of _cognitive overreach—cognitive failure—fall_ has (...) no obvious parallel in Greek philosophy prior to Plotinus, in some of whose more pessimistic accounts of hypostatic procession we find a similar schema, in which the generation of each ontological stratum occurs as the result of a cognitive failure on the superjacent level. If Plotinus borrowed this schema from the Gnostics, one might ask how the latter came up with it in the first place. In response, this paper makes the following three points.  Gnostic thinkers ultimately derived this schema from a particular juxtaposition of two profoundly aporetic Platonic passages referring to the travails of the individual soul, one certainly genuine, the other quite possibly spurious.  The Platonizing Sethian Gnostics closest to Plotinus also employed this latter source text to justify their conception of the _individual_ soul, whose vicissitudes were understood to parallel those of Sophia.  This hypothesis is confirmed by evidence of tacit anti-Gnostic argumentation alluding to the _2nd Letter_ throughout Plotinus’ oeuvre. (shrink)
“How can it be that the female is both functional and a failure?”. Sophia Connell’s response comes in the form of a careful, thorough, and philosophically sensitive interpretation of Aristotle’s treatise on animal generation. By pursuing the topic of what Aristotle says about female animals and their role in reproduction, Connell casts light into many difficult corners of his theory: What does it mean to say that the male is the “hê archê [tês] kinêseos” of the generation? How should (...) we think of the motions in the semen that “construct” the embryo? Are these motions the same? According to Connell, they are not. The efficient cause of the generation is the male; he is the origin... (shrink)
In 1396 an inventory of the treasury of Hagia Sophia was commissioned. It was written by three educated laymen who all had experience of court culture, and they listed some 180 items. Their descriptions of the few icons that they listed is of interest for several reasons: they do not mention the date or period of the icons, nor their style, condition, size, donors or any inscriptions that they displayed. Their only way of describing them was by the title (...) of the subject of each icon. This suggests that, at any rate for laymen, the subject of an icon was of overwhelming importance, and this factor alone was thought to be sufficient to identify an icon in an inventory of this kind. (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 basilica of Haghia Sophia in Nicaea is the result of multiple phases of development. A number of scholars have dealt with the architecture of the monument and the history of its construction: Brounoff published a rather outdated description and analysis of the building in 1925, Schneider gave two accounts of the excavations he carried out in the church in 1935, Sabine Möllers studied the monument thoroughly in her doctorate thesis in 1994 and Peschlow produced a complete outline of (...) the relevant scientific knowledge in 2001, in the context of a wider presentation of the churches of Nicaea. Based on the information presented in the latter, the original edifice, episcopal church of the city and venue of the seventh Ecumenical Council, was possibly constructed in the fifth or sixth century. The building went through various transformations during the following centuries, the last of which – by the architect Sinan – occurred in the sixteenth century, since the church had been converted into a mosque after the conquest of Nicaea by the Turks in 1331. The most important of the Byzantine repairs of the church have been dated by the aforementioned scholars to the eleventh century, and more specifically to a time soon after the earthquakes which affected Nicaea in the period 1063–1065, causing serious damage to most buildings. The neighbouring church of the Dormition of the Virgin was also extensively reconstructed at the time, after the partial collapse of its superstructure. (shrink)
The ‘turgid archaisms’ of Paul the Silentiary's style have ensured that his two hexameter Ekphrases, describing the Emperor Justinian's sixth-century church of S. Sophia in Constantinople and its ambo, have lately attracted little interest, except among art historians who seek to extract nuggets of architectural information. On the other hand, the eighty or so pagan epigrams by Paul which are preserved in the Palatine and Planudean Anthologies have received attention in recent years both because of their literary interest and (...) for the social and historical information which they contain. In my opinion, the much more substantial Ekphrases likewise deserve to be examined as literary and historical documents. The title Ekphrasis disguises the historical interest of the works: unlike the majority of the epigrams, these poems are no mere literary exercises, but official, public works, undoubtedly commissioned by Justinian, and delivered on specific and identifiable occasions. Only the central portion of the major poem describing S. Sophia comprises technical architectural ekphrasis; this is preceded and followed by panegyrical material appropriate to the occasion of recitation which together takes up almost half the total length of the poem . Here the Emperor Justinian, patron of the church, and Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, are praised, and the events leading up to the occasion of the poem sketched. This topical part of the work provides evidence for the ceremonial which accompanied the poem's recitation and demonstrates the type of imperial propaganda pertinent to the end of the reign of Justinian. Moreover, an explanation for a limited number of stylistic flaws in a work which, by contemporary standards at least, is of high literary quality, may lie in the recognition that Paul was obliged to complete his poem in time for a specific occasion. It is with these three occasional aspects of the work that I shall here be concerned. (shrink)
In this paper, my aim is to offer some comments on the study of Mu‘tazilite kalām, framed around the study of a particular episode in the Mu‘tazilite dispute about man – a question with a deceptively Aristotelian cadence that is not too difficult to dispel. Within this episode, my focus is on one of the major arguments used by the late Baṣrans to hold up their side of the dispute, and on the relationship between the mental and the physical which (...) emerges from it. The most interesting – and most surprising – aspect of this relationship is that the mental and the physical do not seem to be treated as distinct terms, thus creating the space for questions about how the two relate. The first person perspective seems to be identified with the physical body. My interest then is in the response of the reader to this surprising presentation – or rather, in a certain kind of reader response, and thus a certain kind of interpretive mode, whose value and viability it is part of my aim to help clarify. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
Heidegger’s first period in Freiburg, where he taught as an assistant of Edmund Husserl, is characterized by a long, intense confrontation with the philosophy of Aristotle, manifested not only in the titles of his university lectures, but also in his explicit intention to write a book on Aristotle. This undertaking will recede in 1924 in Marburg, in view of the decision to write a treatise on time. This treatise will finally be composed in 1926 and will be published in 1927 (...) under the title Being and Time. The shadow of Aristotle, however, still influences his philosophical work after 1924, and particularly in BT. The relevance of Heidegger’s Aristotle-interpretations can be determined in a twofold way: first, by tracing ‘tacit’ elements of Aristotelian thought, as they may emerge through Heidegger’s interpretations, and, secondly, by expounding the way in which the thought of Heidegger himself develops and takes shape in a dialogue with Aristotelian philosophy. Scholars agree that Heidegger’s confrontation with Aristotle does not amount to a passive adoption of Aristotelian positions, distinctions and evaluations, but is a kind of productive adaptation and reinterpretation of the Aristotelian heritage: appropriation, reappropriation, originelle Aneignung, “reinterprets and transforms”– these are the terms in which this relation has been described. But what precisely is the content and nature of this appropriation? A certain confusion is produced by an assumption implicitly shared by the vast majority of scholars, the conviction that Heidegger’s philosophy constitutes a unique corpus and that his thought evolves linearly and uniformly. Τhe paper attempts to challenge this assumption. (shrink)
La date de l'installation des croix dans les colonnes et les murs de l'Eglise Sainte-Sophie est difficile à connaître. D'après leurs formes, il s'agirait d'un phénomène post-iconoclaste, qui se situerait entre le 10e et le 12e siècles. Ces croix étaient très certainement des reliques témoignant d'un phénomène de piété populaire dans l'Eglise centrale de l'Empire byzantin. Un appendice donne une description de ces croix, un plan de l'Eglise Sainte-Sophie ainsi que la reproduction de onze photographies.
The relationship between the "Landmarks people" and the Eurasians is part of the general problem of the continuity and self-definition of the most important currents of Russian philosophy in emigration. Neither of these currents has been scientifically studied, although it is difficult to imagine how the fundamentals of Eurasianism can be presented in a manner that is at all satisfactory without a careful clarification of the correctness or incorrectness of certain well-known statements by its representatives P.N. Savitskii and G.V. Florovskii (...) concerning the intimate bond between this current and the ideas of the prerevolutionary Landmarks philosophy. In the early 1920s, the demand for new heirs of Landmarks in emigration was still quite considerable, and the Eurasians and the "Change of Landmarks" people were not the only ones to lay claim to this succession. However, only the appearance abroad in 1922 of N.A. Berdyaev, S.N. Bulgakov, and S.L. Frank themselves, and the return of P.B. Struve to publishing activity, made clear to what extent they remained faithful to their former preachings and whom they saw as their pupils. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is not an excursion into the history of philosophy. It is not a story of the adventures of Immanuel Kant on Russian soil, and even less does it pretend to expound systematically the perception of Kantian philosophy by Russian metaphysics. The author's interest is strictly philosophical. Russian religious thought, insofar as it has an appetite for philosophizing, consciously enters into the life of classical European philosophy, into that living communication of minds by which truth (...) is sustained, moved, and nourished among people and nations.2 A clarification of its personal relations with the central figures of this philosophical drama will help us to understand the strictly philosophical significance of Russian metaphysics more accurately than even sometimes the most dedicated description of it in itself succeeds in doing. (shrink)