Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

A.J. Jones on Rudolph Eucken : A philosophy of life

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

It may be stated generally that when there is no logical fallacy, a correct conclusion may be arrived at, provided, too—and herein lies the difficulty—provided that the premises are also true.
Perhaps it comes as a shock to the reader who has always insisted upon a clear intellectual understanding and a rigid reasoning upon all things, to find within what narrow limits, after all, the intellect itself has to work—it can do little more than make more or less certain generalisations concerning the world of experience, and then to argue from these, or from definitions that it itself has framed. Of course some of the ancient philosophers did try through a course of rigid reasoning to solve the great problems, and for a long time it was customary to expect that all philosophers should proceed in the same way.
Life itself is far greater than intellect, and to live is a far more important thing than to know. The great things are life and action; knowledge is ultimately useful in so far as it contributes to the development of life and the perfection of action.
Pragmatists contend that the test of truth is its value for life—if the fact obtained is the most useful and helpful for life, then it is the true one.
The position Eucken adopts is that of Activism. In common with pragmatism it makes truth a matter of life and action rather than of mere intellect, and considers fruitfulness for action a characteristic of truth. He differs from the pragmatic position in that he contends that truth is something deeper than mere human decision, that truth is truth, not merely because it is useful, that reality is independent of our experience of it, and that truth is gained intuitively through a life of action.
It is the spiritual that frees the individual from the slavery of the sense world—from his selfishness and superficial interests—that teaches him to care less for the things of the flesh, and far more for the beautiful, the good, and the true, and that enables him to pursue high aims regardless of the fact that they may entail suffering and loss in other directions. This, then, is the “High” in the world; the natural life is the “Low.”

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Truth is the world spirit

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

For Hegel, Napoleon was not just this mere mortal man of flash and blood, and this was not just another horse ride, nor was this just another military march: this was the march of history, of the world spirit. Individual people are not isolated units but parts of a larger whole, a ‘Zeitgeist’, the spirit of the age.

Truth is not found on just one side of an opposition [Kant], but in a unity of opposites. Truth is not an abstraction. It is the very process of concretising itself, exemplify itself. Truth is a march, in motion, coming about or coming to be in space and time.

With Hegel finally truth is a thing of this world, truth is the process of becoming true and can happen anywhere.

Napoleon is not an island, he embodies the spirit of the age and is prompted by it, through us. Without us the spirit is nothing real. Without the spirit we are uninspired and have nothing to realise. so we belong together ‘concretely’.

Caputo J.D. (2013) Truth, Philosophy in Transit, p. 141, 148

Post-Truth (A Roll of the Dice)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Kierkegaard that was inspired by Lessing’s thesis, would defer the compliment that he is a Christian in favour of saying that he is ‘trying to become’ one. Derrida would add that in trying to become a Christian, or anything else, Kierkegaard doesn’t truly know what he is trying to become.

We don’t know what we desire and that is the condition under which a more radical desire is possible, so that for Derrida we are all, Augustine and Kierkegaard and everyone else alike, afloat or adrift in the same boat, a boat whose final destination neither Hegel nor anyone else knows.

Postmoderns strongly doubt, after the genocides of the twentieth century that history is the unfolding of God’s life on earth [Hegel].
Philosophers like Heidegger and Derrida think that history is something of a roll of the dice, that nothing is guaranteed, that truth might remain for ever concealed, and things might turn out badly.

Hegel set off a torrent of anti-philosophy, in which philosophers philosophize against Hegel and the tremendous reach that philosophy had grasped for in Hegel. His successors react against him in different ways – by being more materialistic than idealistic (Marx), more interested in the existential individual than in world history (Kierkegaard), and more atheistic than panentheistic (Nietzsche). They all proposed different candidates for what is truly concrete, but they didn’t dispute that concrete is what truth is and must be.

Caputo J.D. (2013) Truth, Philosophy in Transit, p. 152,155