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It is often hard for the historian to judge, when men explain why they are doing what they want to do, whether they are offering real reasons or merely culturally acceptable reasons. The consistency with which scientists during the long formative centuries of Western science said that the task and the reward of the scientist was "to think God's thoughts after him" leads one to believe that this was their real motivation. If so, then modern Western science was cast in a matrix of Christian theology. The dynamism of religious devotion, shaped by the Judeo-Christian dogma of creation, gave it impetus.
I personally doubt that disastrous ecologic backlash can be avoided simply by applying to our problems more science and more technology. Our science and technology have grown out of Christian attitudes toward man's relation to nature which are almost universally held not only by Christians and neo-Christians but also by those who fondly regard themselves as post-Christians. Despite Copernicus all the cosmos rotates around our little globe. Despite Darwin, we are not, in our hearts, part of the natural process. We are superior to nature, contemptuous of it, willing to use it for our slightest whim.
... an interesting article I ran across (some of which was printed in Science magazine in 1967) - http://www.uvm.edu/~jmoore/envhst/lynnwhite.html ...
... if western science can be viewed as being so derivative of the Judeo-Christian tradition, what of western philosophy? ... how many modern philosophical concepts are grounded in the Judeo-Christian belief system? ... and does this grounding call anything into question?
I think a closer examination of the history of philosophy would suggest that the view of it being a footnote to religion, as it were, is not an accurate one, either in its beginnings or in its "contemporary" existence.
Seems the other way around sometimes. Heidegger was wanting to unwind everything back to the forgotten beginnings and discover the hidden grounds of which the forgetting was itself forgotten.
... agreed ... but those lines of thinking seem to be in large part responses to the mainstream which the mainstream collectively devalues to the point of near obscurity ... maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that even folks on this forum wax apologetic when mentioning anything coming from Heidegger ...
. . . diirect influence of local or Persian religion
. . . their conception is far from the traditional religious one: not Yahwah sending plagues and floods, but the unmoved mover.
We have little enough evidence about the pre-socratics ...
Was it not Aquinas that made the attempt to reconcile Aristotle and Greek thought in general with Catholic doctrine, and did he not almost put the writings of "The Philosopher" on the same footing as the Biblical Canon? And meanwhile, back in Constantinople, monks were carefully preserving much of what we know of the other classical philosophers so that when that great city fell, they were re-introduced into the West at the beginning of the Renaissance.It needed only the Reformation to allow philosophy once again to declare its independence and it used with great effect the Scholastic tools-at-hand to "philosophize with a hammer."
. . . They were simply explaining their motivation, and the value of their exploits, in language that would make sense to skeptics in their own time. And in a language that reflects a particular cultural background. . .
If the most obvious case is uncertain, how much more so would be non-ethical cases?
The basic assumption of human existence is the Self and the Self's world; both are needed.
Where there is confusion, consequently, is understanding the extent and manner the two parts interact and change one another, and to what extent they are autonomous.
In Aristotelian practical reasoning, it is the individual qua citizen who reasons; in Thomistic practical reasoning, it is the individual qua enquirer into his or her good and the good of his or her community; in Humean practical reasoning, it is the individual qua propertied or unpropertied participant in a society of a particular kind of mutuality and reciprocity; but in the practical reasoning of liberal modernity it is the individual qua individual who reasons.
... with a set of skills, a set of preferences, and little else, someone whose education has been as much a process of deprivation as of enrichment.