Saturday, July 12, 2014

533: A final conclusion

Maybe you didn’t realize, but since May 2013 we have spend all our time on non-Western philosophy. We began with Chinese  philosophy, Yi Ching, Confucianism, Daoism. Buddhism.

The next step was Indian philosophy followed by Islamic philosophy. We then moved to Japan and finally we tried to get in touch with American Indian thinking before Columbus interfered.

The reason for our philosophical journey was among other things, that our philosophy is said to be ethnocentric, ignoring all kinds of non-western wisdom and insights.

The question is, if this is a justified point of view. In the first place, when we look at non-Western philosophy we often get into the position, that we have to ask: is this religion or philosophy?

We often use the term “philosophy" in one familiar nontechnical sense, that is, standing for a complete worldview that could be regarded as providing a fully coherent explanation of everything. 

It may be objected, however, that the existence of such a worldview is not in itself evidence for the existence of philosophy in a more technical sense of that term. 

Philosophy in this latter sense only occurs when we begin to reflect critically upon the traditional explanatory worldview: 

when, for instance, we begin to ask questions about precisely what is explained, how the proffered explanation works, and whether it is superior to rival explanatory candidates. 

The development of Western philosophy is associated with the growth of such a tradition of critical reflection. Arguably, the Indian and Chinese traditions too developed comparable critical traditions of thought to some extend.

If this critical mass is not there, we are primarily dealing with  unquestioned believes, which is the characteristic feature of religion.

In religion believes are not questioned, but explained. Islamic thinking is an extreme example of this: since 632 the Quran is not questioned, in the sense that there might be a better worldview than proposed in that book. It is only explained by imams.

One could question this point of view of course by claiming that here again I approach the problem from a Western dichotomy: philosophy - religion.

But that brings us to my next problem: we have Western and non-Western philosophy. Does it make sense to make that difference?

My answer is: yes, definitely. As I said before, philosophy becomes only real when we begin to question the obvious, when we overtake our believes and go for the new horizon.

And that characteristic is missing in the non-Western philosophies, which we have studied. There is, however, a common ground: ethics. All world views are concerned about good and evil, about the meaning of life.

But they almost all lack that specific feature, which you find in Western philosophy: the fundamentally questioning of all believes and discarding them for other believes, which explain reality in a more complete way.

I mean, what is missing in so many non-Western philosophies is this insatiable pursuit of knowledge, this never ending endeavor to fathom reality until the last elusive higgs particle.

It is this attitude, that has created science and has shaped the face of this earth. I don’t judge here, whether is is right or wrong, good or bad, it is just an observable fact.

All non-Western cultures and their philosophies are forced to coop with it. Most extreme example is the Islamic world, where due to this development, the leading elite of imams is loosing their grip on society.

Then they organize, as an extreme example, a terrorist group with the name “Boko haran”, which seems to mean something like “Western education is sin”.

I leave the book open on your desk, with the list of questions about what to think of Western and non-Western philosophy.

This has been a fruitful and rather exciting year, due to my close encounter with eternity. But it is time to pamper ourselves with a well deserved summer break.

I thank you all for your enthusiasm and participation. In stead of spending hours on studying my literature, I spent hours on making a present for you, which may help you not to forget the Philosophy Class.

Thank you.. ^_^ I’ll be back with a new project in September

The Discussion
[13:16] Daruma Hermine Boa: thank u herman!!!
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:16] herman Bergson: RODNEY ! :-))
[13:16] Bejiita Imako: been great indeed Herman
[13:16] Daruma Hermine Boa: september??##
[13:16] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman..:)
[13:16] Zanicia: We thank you Herman
[13:17] Lizzy Pleides: Thanks a lot Herman!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:  \o/
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:    ||   Hoooo!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:   / \
[13:17] Paolo Rousselot: indeed we do
[13:17] herman Bergson: YEs September first or whatever the first Tuesday is in September:-)
[13:17] Paolo Rousselot: you've left everyone with much to ponder - thank you!
[13:17] Alaya Chépaspourquoi: oh its your holliday time, well, take good care of yurself, rest, and have fun, thanks for everything!!!!
[13:17] Daruma Hermine Boa: so long? its may now^^^
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:18] herman Bergsonherman Bergson smiles
[13:18] .: Beertje :.: some people have loooooong vacations
[13:18] Lizzy Pleides: 4. September is the first Thursday
[13:18] Bejiita Imako:
[13:18] herman Bergson: THAT is the privilege of being the boss here Daruma :-)
[13:18] Chantal:
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: heheh
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa: ah ha^^
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:18] .: Beertje :.: we have a long vacation too....
[13:18] herman Bergson: And I don’t want to begin a new project and stop after a few lectures
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa: sure. understand
[13:19] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje....I do this mainly because I care a lot about you of course :-)
[13:19] .: Beertje :.: omg...
[13:19] Chantal: hehehehhe
[13:19] .: Beertje :.: hahahahah
[13:19] Bejiita Imako:
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone whispers: :)))
[13:19] Lizzy Pleides: you could hold this lecture another time , ... we would come!
[13:19] Paolo Rousselot: ah shucks Beertje - he *likes* you!
[13:19] herman Bergson: This already was the second time Lizzy.....
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: I know herman
[13:20] herman Bergson: and it contains the seed for my new project
[13:20] .: Beertje :.: i'm afrais so Paolo
[13:20] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot chuckles...
[13:20] Bejiita Imako:
[13:20] herman Bergson: you can be read as plural too Paolo :-)
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: always good to leave a few seeds about
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: yes sir - just poking fun
[13:21] herman Bergson: Next project will be about the philosophy of science....
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa: cool
[13:21] Zanicia: Good
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: yay
[13:21] Lizzy Pleides: Hi Rod
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: over *my* head already!
[13:21] herman Bergson: But nevertheless you are right about Beertje and me Paolo ^_^
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: aaa sounds great
[13:21] Rodney Handrick: Hi Lizzy
[13:21] .: Beertje :.: shhhh
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ill catch a higgs boson for you when u get back
[13:22] Bejiita Imako:
[13:22] herman Bergson: Well....when you got the message of this lecture.....
[13:22] herman Bergson: what fascinates me is the question : WHY did European philosophy so fanatically pursue KNOWLEDGE
[13:23] herman Bergson: Plz do Bejiita
[13:23] Bejiita Imako:
[13:23] herman Bergson: I don’t know how you look at it.....
[13:23] herman Bergson: but almost ALL science is the product of Western thinking
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: interesting indeed the difference between our philosophy and non western
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: some difference indeed
[13:24] herman Bergson: Whether it is right or shapes this earth
[13:24] .: Beertje :.: maybe to free us from the medieval thinking
[13:24] herman Bergson: Teh Chinese send a rocket to the moon using American science
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes, was nothing they developed by their own at all
[13:25] herman Bergson: And that amazes me...makes me wonder......
[13:25] herman Bergson: Why that drive in those Greeks begin with
[13:25] Chantal:
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: already the old greeks
[13:25] herman Bergson: They had religion too...even amny gods....
[13:25] herman Bergson: But yet Aristotle already overtook them :-)
[13:26] Chantal: Body and mind... ancient Greek speciality
[13:26] herman Bergson: you may notice....there is already a new fire burning:-)
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: obviously the western economy dominates the whole world
[13:26] Bejiita Imako:
[13:26] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:26] Chantal: Looks forward
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: yes,will be nice
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: true lizzy
[13:27] herman Bergson: Well Lizzy....this economy issue is indeed another chapter.....but yet is "us' who do it
[13:28] herman Bergson: and we are not in a position to be proud of that, I would say
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: yes herman
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: hmm its a bit out of control for sure
[13:28] herman Bergson: you could say that, Bejiita ^_^
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: a few that wants everything sort of
[13:29] herman Bergson: But I spent already two projects on that subject :-)
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: leaving nothing to the rest of us
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: ah, was also a big project
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:30] herman Bergson: SO, I guess you all need a good vacation first :-)
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: Ayn Rand ... our best friend, lol
[13:30] Gemma Allen: OMG!!!
[13:30] Gemma Allen: omg
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: NOT!
[13:30] herman Bergson: Lizzy ! :-))
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:30] Chantal: Thank you Herman
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: hahaha
[13:30] Gemma Allen: the last name we need to hear before summer
[13:30] BoaDaruma Hermine Boa claps
[13:30] Chantal: Enjoy everyone
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hahaha true
[13:30] .: Beertje :.: true
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa: have a greta summer herman
[13:30] Gemma Allen: hopes everyone will enjoy the vacation
[13:31] Daruma Hermine Boa: great
[13:31] herman Bergson: see...I taught Lizzy to curse :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: loool
[13:31] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot laughs
[13:31] Zanicia: hehe
[13:31] Gemma Allen: hopes to see all at the sl11b
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes that will be fun
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:31] Gemma Allen: I am sure Herman will send out a notice about this lectures there
[13:31] herman Bergson: Ahh yes....24 and 26 juni I give presentations
[13:31] Gemma Allen: before time
[13:31] Gemma Allen: wht time
[13:31] Gemma Allen: please
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes I will, Gemma
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: you are a good teacher in that herman
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: Herman, enjoy your well deserved break and thanks again!
[13:32] Zanicia: Ditto
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: yes have a nice rest now Herman
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako: Herman
[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: what kindof presentations Herman?
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: yes - enjoy herman and everyone
[13:32] herman Bergson: Thank you all again....without your participation the class would not exist
[13:32] Gemma Allen: and we should all wear the philosophy shirts
[13:32] Gemma Allen: hopes the time will be good for us all
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: thank you herman, have a wonderful vacation!
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] Philosophy Class t-shirts closed: T-shirts closed at Wainscot has just been used by Gemma Cleanslate!
[[13:32] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:32] herman Bergson: same time as my usual lecture Gemma....1PM SL-time
[13:33] Gemma Allen: oh great
[13:33] Gemma Allen: good time!!
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: Thank you all again...:-)
[13:33] Gemma Allen: ty\
[13:33] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:33] Gemma Allen: was a good year
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa: bye bye until september the latest
[13:33] herman Bergson: thank you Gemma
[13:34] Gemma Allen: see you in between i hope
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: cu then
[13:34] Zanicia: Vye bye everyone until then
[13:34] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:34] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: happyvaccation all
[13:34] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:34] .: Beertje :.: have a nice vacation on Schier to begin with:)
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: enjoy everyone
[13:34] Mikki Louise: bye Herman, take care.
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Bye everyone
[13:35] herman Bergson: Bye everyone :-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: hugs all
[13:35] Bejiita Imako:
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: and higgs
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:35] herman Bergson: But I'll be around these months....
[13:36] .: Beertje :.: bye for now:)))
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:36] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: bye Beertje
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: beertje
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: night everybody!

[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ok gtg cu all

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