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Ancient and Modern Tension by C Bates

Ancient and Modern Tension by C Bates

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notes by me on the tension between Ancient and Modern Philosophy
notes by me on the tension between Ancient and Modern Philosophy

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Published by: Clifford Angell Bates on Nov 24, 2013
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11/24/2013

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Is there an Ancient and Modern tension?

So much of the scholarship and the scholars do not seem to see such a disagreement. Rather they see the Ancients world within the horizon of contemporary science as Socrates/pre-Socrates thinks as the intellectual precursor of modern rationality. They see the history is thought as a single continuality. Yet, the earlier stages erred in arenas, only if due to lack of either perspectives or insights (or tools which opened up new perspectives and insights). Yet if one looks at and reads the thinkers/philosophers who founded modern science (Descartes, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Galileo, Bacon). We find them at odds with and attacking the dominant Aristotlean/Scholaristic science or Socratic/Platonic understanding of the cosmos or the whole of human existence. The early modern thinkers, if you read them, are engaged in a project to break away from the older modes of science and knowledge and give to man new modes and orders, modes and orders that allow men to master the universe and improve the human estate. Taken on the terms of what the founders of modern science themselves say, they see themselves evolved in a break away from a dominant, and what they believe mistaken, misguided and unworkable view of science that frustrates rather than assists man in their attempt to improve their condition. So why do the scholars and much of the scholarship on the early modern thinkers fails to see this break as well? Why are they blind to it? They are blind because modern science, and with it modern rationality itself, although resting on the discovery and revolution of the early modern thinkers, they are more engaged in furthering that project rather than understanding it. The successor of the modern project continue with the project of controlling nature and shaping the material world of man’s existence (via technology) to improve the human condition. They are no so much concerned with understanding what their project is and what is based upon. Rather it is concerned with furthering that project. In fact in the sciences one rarely finds scholars knowledgeable of authors of the thoughts and the true origins and meaning of the ideas/concepts that those authors held that much of their sciences rest. What they know of such men or such things is what they learned in the textbooks that shaped their knowledge, and what are in those textbooks are little more than a form of intellectual pabulum that can be easily digested in their undergraduate studies—especially in their philosophy of sciences classes. Heidegger’s gift is the destruction of the tradition that so masks and hides the sources and origins and meaning of the very sciences and their key concepts themselves. Heidegger’s destruction leads to a rediscovery of the sources of that tradition on their own terms. Current scientists and scholars are very much like dwarfs on the shoulder of giants, unaware of the giants as the predecessors whom without they would not see or

so famously reclaimed by Leo Strauss and his students and their school. To be able to do this to a text requires one to become naïve again and do not bring assumptions to the text. The ancient and modern dispute.understand what they understand. being to those texts (reading them that is) what the texts themselves demand or require. They trust the authorities that have shaped their knowledge rather than go back to the texts themselves on their own and on their own try to come to terms with those texts on their own terms. mostly out of embarrassment and refuse to forget what their teachers and the great textbook authors told them about what great minds said and thought. Unless one does this one will only see what one has been taught (or told) to see by others. is all too often dismissed by scholars. . They seem ignorant of that they stand on the giants shoulders.

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