To all, The question of the influence of previous thinkers on the thinking of EV must always be taken lightly. Recall what EV said of Plato, that theMessage 1 of 12 , Jun 1, 2003View SourceTo all,
The question of the influence of previous thinkers on the thinking of EV
must always be taken lightly. Recall what EV said of Plato, that the
experience of ground was so overwhelming as to require Plato to use it
as a principle of critique of all that went before and, indeed, of all
experience. EV noted how extreme the experience must have been to enable
a sane person to stand outside of his culture and to present a principle
for evaluating it. This was not Nietzsche's reevaluation of all values
that asserts the self to be supreme and makes the insane; rather, it was
a principle that sometimes bolstered and sometimes dismissed cultural
imperatives because it carries with it an awareness of true value.
EV could empathize with such a view, and indeed argue for its validity
in Plato, only if he too had such an experience of insight into
existence and its structure.
EV must always be read as a judge of other thinkers. He is like a Plato
who evaluates out of knowledge. His understanding of reality is his
principle of critique, his hermeneutical principle and his guiding
criterion for his presention of other thinkers. This is because EV had
found the rosetta stone of philosophical inquiry.
So, his commentary on Kierkegaard is like that of a teaching father
assessing a son's efforts. He says of Kierkegaard that he had arrived at
an understanding of the depth of the death / life dichotomy. His should
not be taken to imply that Kierkegaard, any more than other thinkers,
influenced EV beyond EV's use of borrowed vocabulary. By his critique,
EV is telling us what SK had found. This does not imply that EV first
found it there. It only tells us that EV recognised it, like a
professional recognizes good technique in the work of another.
... Dear Prof. Pagnan, I take such influence not lightly at all! The weight is placed by the following distinction: on the one hand, one s knowledge of, say,Message 1 of 12 , Jun 1, 2003View SourceMartin Pagnan wrote:
>To all,Dear Prof. Pagnan,
>The question of the influence of previous thinkers on the thinking of EV
>must always be taken lightly.
I take such influence not lightly at all! The weight is placed by the
following distinction: on the one hand, one's knowledge of, say, the
movement of the stars, and, on the other hand, one's knowledge of P's
understanding of the movement of the stars.
As a brief explanation: it is not out of the realm of possibility that
some youngster is overwhelmed by cosmic spectacles literally overhead,
and from the purity of the desire to know commits himself to
understanding it all! At the other end of this possible physicist's
life we should expect from him signs of contemplating the same, but at
much greater depth - for from what other source will he secure the
evidence to make reasoned judgements about the cosmos? So it is that I
too would say that this first and last attention to /what is/ is the
rosetta stone of truth.
But how does the physicist get from the "Wow!" of youth to the confident
"Yes" and "No" of maturity? None other than by entering into the
communal quest for truth - entering into the learning of what has been
acquired by others, be it true or false; and then proceeding communally
to contribute to what will follow, be it true or false. From being
influenced to being an influence. This is Voegelin. He had no other view
And above the door of EV's business is the sign, "No Guru's Allowed!".
The knowlege that any one authentically seeks is to be /our/ knowlege;
therefore, a knowlege that /we/ can attain by first being taught;
therefore, a knowledge that each can place before the critical bar of
one's own conscious reflections; therefore, a knowledge that flowers in
an articulation of how true knowlege is actually attained by anyone,
etc. EV travelled this path not once but many times. I will understand
him better the better I understand the influences upon his attentions,
questions, procedures. A recently published examination of the influence
of Shelling on EV's thought is another step in that direction.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Mr. Faust, ... I cannot disagree. But then, what is learning. For example, my father taught me how to use a hand saw. The teaching was about things that are.Message 1 of 12 , Jun 1, 2003View SourceMr. Faust,
Maxim Faust wrote:
> None other than by entering into theI cannot disagree. But then, what is learning. For example, my father
> communal quest for truth - entering into the learning of what has been
> acquired by others, be it true or false; and then proceeding communally
> to contribute to what will follow, be it true or false. From being
> influenced to being an influence. This is Voegelin. He had no other view
> of himself.
taught me how to use a hand saw. The teaching was about things that are.
That is, the teaching was about how the reality called wood reacts to
the reality called saw teeth. The same must be said about real
philosophy, as opposed to the kind taught today. It is about realities.
Years later, I discovered wet maple. My father had not taught me that
cutting wet maple is like trying to saw liver. I learned from the
reality of the reaction of the maple to the same saw teeth. This would
enable me to say that what my father taught me was incomplete. But, it
was reality and no person that taught me that maple is different. It was
my interaction with things that provided me with new knowledge.
So, EV learned from Schelling and many many others, but EV found that
Schelling's teaching did not work. He did not become a follower of
Schelling. He carefully noted what Schelling said and then went on to
explain what reality had taught him. He found more by rethinking Plato.
But even there, EV did not become a Platonist; but, he carefully noted
that Plato would not work today. Plato had insights but EV's experience
meant that he would often "explain" Plato for modern ears as much as he
would explain moderns to Plato. EV's dialogue is an endless series of
noting that "this concept is not known today" mixed with "this concept
was not known to Plato".
EV rethought Schelling and Plato. They were intellectual fodder, as was
all of history for EV. To what end? To find out about reality. Schelling
never thought of seeing Plato like EV saw him. Where did EV get his
ideas? From no one, it appears, just as I learned from no one about maple.
The influence of a teacher on another is not formative. It is
indicative. Lessons are not what make us; they are guides that we apply
with judgement. And, when you get to someone of the stature of EV,
influences become even less important. You will not understand a thinker
by itemizing influences; rather, try to mentally recreate the
experiences that EV went through when he formulated his propositions.
What must EV have been thinking when he wrote .X. This is how EV thought
and wrote of others. And, it is what he advised all of us to do, in his
I recall Voegelin mentioning at least once (in Order and History I, Israel and Revelation, I believe) Kiergegaard s Sprung (leap) as a springboard (punMessage 1 of 12 , Jun 2, 2003View SourceI recall Voegelin mentioning at least once (in Order and History I,
Israel and Revelation, I believe) Kiergegaard's "Sprung" (leap) as a
springboard (pun intended) for his own concept of a "leap in being"
For those new to the evforum who might have difficulty in associating the initials D S that closed the last post with a listmember s name, that name would beMessage 1 of 12 , Jun 2, 2003View SourceFor those new to the evforum who might have difficulty in
associating the initials "D S" that closed the last post with a
listmember's name, that name would be that of own Derrick Simlik.
On Mon, 02 Jun 2003 23:30:46 -0000, stromthy4 wrote:
>I recall Voegelin mentioning at least once (in Order and
>History I, Israel and Revelation, I believe) Kiergegaard's
>"Sprung" (leap) as a springboard (pun intended) for his own
>concept of a "leap in being"