Sunday, May 08, 2011


Reverend Aldous Huxley, First Church of the Ekstacy Contingent takes on the"Philosophy of Meaninglessness"---
"From the world we actually live in, the world that is given by our senses, our intuitions of beauty and goodness, our emotions and impulses, our moods and sentiments, the man of science abstracts a simplified private universe of things possessing only... elements which can be weighed, measured, numbered, or which lend themselves in any other way to mathematical treatment. By using this technique of simplification and abstraction, the scientist has succeeded to an astonishing degree in understanding and dominating the physical environment. The success was intoxicating and, with an illogicality which, in the circmstances, was doubtless pardonable, many scientists and philosophers came to imagine that this useful abstraction from reality was reality itself. Reality as actually experienced contains intuitions of value and significance, contain love, beauty, mystical ecstasy, intimations of godhead. Science did not and still does not possess intellectual instruments with which to deal with thses aspects of reality. Consquently it ignored them and concentrated its attention upon such aspects of the world as it could deal with by mean of arithmetic, geometry and the various branches of higher mathematics. Our conviction that the world is meaningless lend itself very effectively to furthering the ends of erotic or political passion; in part to a genuine intellectual error -- the error of identifying the world of science, a world from which all meaning and value has been deliberately excluded, with ultimate reality."

"[The philosopher, Hume's, erroneous attitude was typical] Hume wrote, 'If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstracts reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact or evidence? No. Commit it then to the flame; for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.' Hume mentions only divinity and school metaphysics; but his argument would apply just as cogently to poetry, music, painting, sculpture and all ethical and religious teaching. Hamlet contains no abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number and no experimental reason concerning evidence; nor does the Hamerklavier Sonata, nor Donatello's David, nor the Tao Te Ching [book of Chinese philosophy and wisdom], nor the Following of Christ. Commit them therefore to the flames: for they can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

"We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after... The contents of literature, art, music -- even in some measure of divinity and school metaphysics -- are not sophistry and illusion, but simply those elements of experience which scientists chose to leave out of account, for the good reason that they had no intellectual methods for dealing with them. In the arts, in philosophy, in religion, men are trying -- to describe and explain the non-measureable, purely qualitative aspects of reality...""
from Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods Employed for Their Realization.

Now, that taint no Tug McGraw klan-gal on meth-medley, pardner


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