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4 Poseidon

John Sallis Indiana University Press ePub





Its place is other, utterly so. Its remoteness is so unyielding that any attempt to measure its distance from anything familiar could only have the effect of setting it still more insistently apart. Yet precisely as a place of such alterity, this site is most impressive to behold in its sheer presence. Perfectly framed by sea and sky, as if raised by the earth itself up out of the intensely blue surface of the Aegean, the site belongs uniquely to these elements. Even in antiquity, indeed even before the magnificent temple was erected there, travelers of many sorts were attracted. Today, in still greater numbers, tourists come with cameras in hand to have a look at this remarkable site and to capture its image. Yet the distraction is no more than momentary. As soon as one is again alone in what remains of the sacred precinct, from the moment when solitude returns and there is left only these stones shining there amidst the elements, the utter strangeness of the site is again announced in the silence that surrounds.

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Marsilio Ficino: Magus and Cultural Visionary

Michael Shepherd Shepheard-Walwyn ePub

The philosopher knowledgeable about natural objects and stars is appropriately called a Magus. With special lures he introduces celestial things into earthly at the proper times, just as a farmer skilled in grafting puts a fresh branch into an old stump. *

WHEN I first came across the writings of Marsilio Ficino around 1972, I had no idea that this man who lived in another era would have such an impact on my life and work. When I found Ficino, little of his writing was available in English. I had some Latin from my years in a monastery, but I found his language and his ideas difficult to follow. His word order seems to have been determined by a shuffle of papers or random selection. Still, amid all the knots and omissions in the dense pages of his writing, I found an extraordinary worldview.

What immediately attracted me was Ficino’s blending of theology, philosophy, music, medicine, therapy, astrology, and magic. My image of the Renaissance was one of scientific discovery, the humanism based on appreciation of classical literature, and the flowering of the arts. What I found in Ficino was even more interesting and fundamental. He was proposing an alternative to a rationalistic approach to daily life. Along the way, he was also reconciling paganism and Christianity-an extraordinary accomplishment. Most inspiring to me, he presented the image of the magus as the ideal figure to heal our wounds, both physical and psychological.

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4 October 1959

Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

In spite of the advances of science in recent years, the methods employed in scientific work are under critical scrutiny. The moral questioning amongst scientists themselves of the use to which scientific knowledge is being put is scarcely relevant to discussion of the methods themselves, yet it has contributed to that discussion.

In philosophy the question is not new though it is unnecessary to go back earlier than Hume to find the origins of the present controversies. The problem as it appears to the philosopher has been stated by Prichard (Knowledge and Perception, p. 69). He says,

Though we are aware that any knowledge at which we arrive is the result of a process on our part, we do not reflect on the nature of the process—at any rate in any systematic way—and make it the object of a special study. But sooner or later knowledge of our mistakes and the desire to be sure that we are getting the genuine article, i.e. something which is really knowledge, lead us to reflect on the process…in the end we find ourselves having to ask whether we are capable of knowing at all and are not merely under the illusion of thinking that we can know.

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6. It Is Difficult for a City with Good Laws to Come into Existence On Book 4

Gregory Recco Indiana University Press ePub

6    It is Difficult for a City with Good Laws to Come into Existence: On Book 4

Michael P. Zuckert

I. Prologue

The subtle action of Book 4 can be appreciated only when it is seen in relation to Book 3. Only at the end of Book 3 does Cleinias divulge to the Athenian that he and nine others have been charged to form a new colony. This is perhaps the most decisive and surprising moment of the dialogue. He seeks the Athenian’s aid in his enterprise. It is an amazing coincidence that one of these three idle talkers about laws actually has the opportunity to legislate. But more amazing is the observation we cannot help but make that Cleinias has been walking with this apparently knowledgeable Athenian since dawn and it is only now, three-quarters of the way to noon, that he divulges to the Stranger his task and only now attempts to enlist the Athenian in the enterprise. That new task sets the tone for the rest of the Laws, but most immediately for Book 4.

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7 “Pure” versus “Impure” Experience: Examples of Pure Experience

William J. Gavin Indiana University Press ePub

The question of the availability of pure experience leads directly to the issue of language and to James’s ambivalence about language. The question of the availability of pure experience also constitutes the latent content of Essays in Radical Empiricism (ERE) and A Pluralistic Universe (PU). Let us take up the issue of language first. There actually exist two different views on language in the Jamesian texts. One of these is disparaging toward language, but the second is more positive in nature.

The first position is the one most readily identified with James, and it is scattered throughout his works. In The Principles of Psychology (PP), for example, he states that

language works against our perception of the truth. We name our thoughts simply, each after its thing, as if each knew its own thing and nothing else. What each really knows is clearly the thing it is named for, with dimly perhaps a thousand other things.1

Here James argues that we take language too much for granted. We all assume that each word has one meaning and that, when the word is used in “x” number of sentences, the meaning is the same. Language so taken, he asserts, is inadequate to the substantive and transitive parts of the stream of consciousness. The sheer inadequacy of language to describe the nuances of the stream is brought out by James in PP. Having asserted that relations between things are real, both in the existent order of events and in the stream of consciousness, he continues,

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