I remember a quote in the beginning of a book about Freud about how so many of the ambitious new theories of the Moderns were not as new as they seemed but rather it was like an explorer sailing off in search of the New World but somewhere in the journey they get turned around somehow and end up arriving at a different shore of the same continent from which they began without recognizing it.
To get geometrical, this would be something like a spiral, which might be presented as ascending or descending according to taste. The cynic might suggest a circle, but technology clearly changes things.
---------- Post added 04-15-2010 at 11:58 PM ----------
"opiate of the intellectuals" is clever but I can think of better places to apply it.
Perhaps..but as a twist on the Marx quote I always thought it was clever. I should note that I think Marx is quite fascinating. His line about philosophers changing
the world drips with...machismo? Christ, fact or fiction, is quoted saying "my kingdom is not of this world." A strange brew. The artist who wanted reality as his canvas? Still quite Hegelian, in its way. And yet if I understand him, he claimed that capitalism would naturally evolve into his utopia. Was this contradiction ever resolved? Or do I misunderstand? Also, if philosophy is just the superstructure of money (crude rendering, sorry), why write books? Why not become a rich capitalist, to speed the process along?