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Showing posts from September 19, 2010

the myth of the creator

According to Francois Jullian, the system of classical Chinese thought, in contrast to the Greeks and the Hebrews, did not concern itself with the creation of the world – did not answer the question, why does the world exist, with a story of divine making. “…it is rather the question of the “separation’ of the heaven and the earth: a putting in place that is a putting in order.” ‘The question posed in China would thus be a different kind. As the notion of Tao (dao) expresses it, it is that of the “Way”, which is to say, of the viability of things. In posing the question of how – how does reality ‘march’ [work] – Chinese thought hardly encounters the question of an original why. What I mean is, it didn’t need to regroup or put into form mythical elements that it found here and there, since at the bottom the question which carried it was not this one. Chinese thought sought to give an account of the march of the world, and it did so starting with the idea that the world always functi

Our escapee, the cogito

Trip like I do... Vico’s New Science seeks the route to universal history – path of needles, path of pins - through reconstituting the trajectory of thought from the era when men ‘thought humanly’ for the first time to the moment when there comes a time to man and nation that thought dims, declines. Vico’s famous corsi and recorsi, that fatal consort of the society of the limited good, cyclical time, ruled over by nemesis. To be replaced, of course, by happy time, the time of Jack’s beanstalk, always growing, growing up to the sky, and troubled only intermittently by business cycles – the general equilibrium being the last faint gasp of an older temporal framework. Vico does not suppose – heady thought of his contemporary, George Berkeley - that thought was disembodied, a free range agent. On the contrary, in keeping with his dictum that the true is the made, he clings to the fact that “that this world of nations has certainly been made by men, and its guise must therefore be found