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In Defence of the Hellenic Logos
For me, one of the most difficult aspects of understanding ancient Hellenic thought was the unpleasant fact that the Hellenic language is conceptually different to English. Hellenic thought is thus different to English thought and the mind raised in the conceptualisations inherent within the common usage of the English language differs vastly from the same mind raised in the conceptualisations within the common form of the Hellenic language. Both minds tend to see different qualities and distinctions in the same objects that, at first, may be confusing and hard to perceive. From the English perspective, it could be successively argued that the correct and precise use of the language would serve the problems of literal vs. figurative translations far better than the modern and common indiscriminate usage of synonymous words that only vaguely resemble one another but have important distinctions that most people seemingly tend to ignore. The matter of translation becomes even more complicated with archaic terms that have not only a modern and common usage but also have a very long historical conceptual development. Many of these archaic terms play a vital role in the correct conceptualisation of Hellenic thought and its relationship to action. The Logos is one such of these terms; it refers to simultaneously to 'word', 'speech', 'ratio' and 'reason' and it is the basic element of the ancient Hellenic civilisation that is, in its own terms, correctly referred to as the Civilisation of the Logos.
"For this reason it is necessary to follow what is common. But although the Logos is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding."
Herakleitos (from Sextus Empiricus. Against the Mathematicians. 7.133) For Speusippos, Logos was the articulate voice that was capable of identifying and naming everything (with reference to the Hellenic language). It was also a dialectic prose between Nouns as the proper names and identification/meaning of things (i.e. thought) and Verbs which convey the activities of the Nouns (i.e. action). Herakleitos identified the Logos as not only a Divine Law but also as an intrinsic and inherent ordering of the Kosmos that within humans renders all things knowable in terms of the Hellenic Kosmotheasis (worldview). Furthermore, Herakleitos makes it implicitly clear that it is the Logos which leads a person to Orthognosia (correct knowledge) and Orthopraxia (correct deeds). The term Hellenismos in its ancient usage specifically designates the correct and proper usage, expression and practice of the Logos. Hence, and finally, any exploration of any aspect of Hellenic civilisation is first and foremost a study of the Hellenic Logos and more specifically of particular terms and their conceptual development and usage. I explain this to clarify my rationale in the following essay which bases my exploration of the modern and ancient understanding of orthodoxy and orthopraxy upon the guiding principle of the Logos as a study of the Words and Reasons underlying such conceptions. This is a personal search for what something 'is' in its own truth rather than what some may argue that it should be according to modern standards.
It takes only a quick glance at many religious anthropological studies of various different religions from the last few decades to note that orthopraxy is fast becoming a 'buzzword' and as a concept has been growing in popularity over the last sixty years. Orthopraxy (defined as correct action) as an anthropological term is used alongside the term orthodoxy which is defined generally in English to be correct thought, belief and/or opinion. A slightly more enquiring gaze at a greater array of anthropologies over the last century will illustrate that not all anthropologists even use these terms and a vast majority of anthropological dictionaries do not even list them as official terminology. Regardless, there are those within the Social Sciences (including Anthropology) who use the terms and their treatment of these terms range from (a) the highly selective usage of both terms in conjunction with one another to (b) what appears to be a dichotomised and simplistic binary classification system.
Research into these terms as a binary classification system leads directly to specific anthropological theories that are based upon modernist epistemological dichotomies such as thought vs. action; body vs. soul; consciousness vs. matter and nature vs. culture as frameworks of reference for anthropologists to study foreign cultures and religions. In fact, from an enquiry into these anthropological theories, two separate theoretical dichotomies emerge as the causes that have sundered the field of anthropology as a whole into opposing theories that possess their own internal dialectic. These central dichotomies are Universalism vs. Relativism and Materialism vs. Idealism. At the heart of this theoretical opposition in anthropology lie the modernist epistemological dichotomies between thought/action; body/soul and nature/culture. Interestingly enough, a common ideology could be identified among the different anthropological theories that have been used by others to support and justify such dichotomies. This ideology is the foundation for an important political revolution that changed the world and a fervent religious reformation movement that is highly influential within Christian theology. A Christian religious movement that advocates an emphasis on orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy as a theological reform and mission that aims to liberate people from the theoretical, academic, ecclesiastical and social systems that oppress and render them submissive. It is important to note that concerning Christian Theology and the Bible I have had to rely exclusively on the knowledge and opinion of prominent and respected Christian Theologians and scholars. Ironically, at the root of all of this stands three Hellenic logoi (words); Theoria, Praxis and Poiesis. Words that now, in modern times, are isolated in a foreign language and out of context to their original conceptual usage within the totality of the Hellenic Logos. Words and concepts which were (on the surface) written for future political leaders and appropriated by the Christian church fathers from Classical philosophy and transformed into the underlying structure of Christian thought and action. These philosophies now stand accused, by this new Christian liberation movement, of planting the seeds of the ills of Western society. The first part of this essay explores orthodoxy and orthopraxy in their modern form in the field of anthropology while the second part examines the transformation of Theoria, Praxis and Poiesis into its Christian form of orthodoxy and orthopraxy as well as the crucial role these three logoi play within Christian theology. The third section of the essay returns Theoria, Praxis and Poiesis to their original context and perspective in ancient Hellenic thought and action. It is only in this return to their source within the Civilisation of the Logos that these three words and the concepts they embody may be understood within context to Orthognosia (correct knowledge), Orthopraxia (correct deeds) and ultimately the Orthos Logos (Correct Reason) in a manner that is purely Hellenic and free from the distortions of foreign political, ideological and theological motivations. The purpose of this essay is neither to repudiate the anthropological or theological usage of the terms orthodoxy and orthopraxy nor to condemn the advocates of orthopraxy. This essay seeks the Aletheia (truth as the correspondence of Reason to Reality) of whether such a binary classification system is adequate or refined enough to define the role of thought and action within the civilisation of the Logos. It also seeks to find the answers within the corpus of ancient Hellenic works to the epistemological question that has created the dichotomies of certain anthropological and theological ideologies: "How do we know what we know?" (i.e. thought or action; body or soul). It is only through finding the answer to this question that the modernist dichotomy may be understood and reconciled.
PART ONE: Conflicting Theories in the Study of Humanity
1.1. The use of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy as Classificatory Terms in the study of religion and culture Firstly, it is important to note that the terms orthodoxy and orthopraxy are used by certain scholars as general classificatory terms for religions in the fields of Theology, Comparative Religion, Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology. Despite the valid concerns that could be raised about the general classification of religions in these terms, it is significant that the scholars who make use of such terminology do so as observers rather than as members of a religion. Very few of these religions that have been thus classified have internalised these terms as the mode by which to define and clarify their own religions. Hence in Anthropology, orthodoxy and orthopraxy remain largely 'external qualifying or classificatory terms' as opposed to internal transformative or clarifying principles. Secondly, the classification of any religion and/or culture in terms of orthodoxy or orthopraxy logically indicates that there is a set and standard criteria that determines the nature of that which is orthodoxic and that which is orthopraxic. A definitive list of these criteria could not be found in any authoritative document, book or within the public information from university anthropology departments. If such a list of criteria exists it is not a matter of public record. Hence to identify the criteria, it was necessary to examine the examples of when and how these terms have been used in actual studies of different religions and cultures. "In approaching issues of ritual density, it is has become customary to distinguish the degree to which religious traditions put an emphasis either on correct belief in theological doctrines or on correct performance of behavioural responsibilities. The first style of religion is 'orthodoxic' from the Greek words 'orthos' (correct, right, straight) and 'doxa' (belief, thought, opinion). The second style is 'orthopraxic' from the Greek 'praxis' meaning 'correct action'." Catherine M Bell  The first criterion that was identifiable was that of ritual density. "'Ritual density' is a term borrowed from Catharine Bell, Sinologist and theorist at Santa Clara University. Bell defines ritual density as “why some societies or historical periods have more ritual than others” (1997:173). But it connotes more. It is aware of a distinction that exists between a group’s ritual activity and the other components in which its life consists; and, on that awareness, represents the measure of one in relation to the other at any given point in that group’s history. Ritual density, it can be said, is the degree to which ritual plays a role in the life/piety of any given society; otherwise put--the ratio of ritual to other aspects of life in the day-to-day operations of a community. To be sure, conclusions about such a ratio will much depend on how broadly or narrowly one defines “ritual” over against “non-ritual” activity." Michael A Daise  Catherine Bell does not adhere to a single definition of ritual activity and quotes William Geertz in her book 'Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice': "In ritual, the world as lived and the world as imagined, fused under the same agency of a single set of symbolic forms, turns out to be the same world"  Bell goes on further to explain the reason why the dichotomy of thought and action is used in such a context:
"For Geertz, this opposition of conceptions and dispositions, or the world imagined and the world lived, constitutes cultural life per se. Moreover our perception and analysis of their opposition and resolution constitute a theoretical explanation of 'meaning' in culture. …Thus the dichotomous nature of conceptions of order (worldview) and dispositions for action (ethos) is fundamental to Geertz's approach, as is their resolution. The temporary resolution of a dichotomy is cast as the central dynamic of cultural life." Catherine M Bell  From this perspective, a few important points should be noted: (a) The dichotomy of orthodoxy and orthopraxy presupposes an intrinsic dichotomy between conception (general ideas) and disposition (prevailing state of mind and characteristic spirit) and hence a dichotomy between Ideas and Mind/Spirit, Worldview and Ethos, Perception and Reality as well as the Sacred and the Secular that exist as a framework of reference within the mind of the observer rather than in the minds of those who are being observed. (b) The use of the dichotomy relies completely on the interaction of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy as a central dynamic. This central dynamic functions as a classic tension of the opposites which resolve themselves into moments of unity through culture and cultural expressions. Catherine Bell clarifies further on how the dichotomy should be used: "Whether a community is deemed orthodoxic or orthopraxic can only be a matter of emphasis, of course, since no religious tradition can promote belief or ritual at the total expense of the other, and many would never distinguish between them at all. Moreover, whatever the overall emphasis in a tradition as a whole, it is easy to find sub-communities stressing the opposite pole. …Terms like orthodoxy and orthopraxy cannot be used effectively if accorded too much rigidity or exclusivity. Nor can they be used to suggest that one style is more religious than the other; the differences between orthodoxy and orthopraxy appear to emerge primarily from social organisation and history, not the degree or purity of religiosity." Catherine M Bell  The function of orthopraxy within this context is thus clarified as the unification of an individual's beliefs, thoughts and ideas with reality and orthopraxy thus becomes the medium through which orthodoxy may be actualised or practiced in the real world. "Competence realised through situational ideals, is the intermediate level of the attainment of orthopraxy, when practitioners attempt to make ideals and reality coalesce." Anna M Gade  From the given accounts it is obvious that the terms orthodoxy and orthopraxy are two sides of the same coin and work harmoniously in conjunction with one another in an anthropological framework of reference. An excellent further example of this is the work of the Professor of Anthropology at Harvard, James L. Watson whose studies of orthopraxy in the history of Chinese culture are widely respected and cited. His usage of the term orthopraxy indicates that it was through the implementation of orthodoxy that the ritual practices of China were standardised to promote a unified cultural system that was characterised by a high level of uniformity of beliefs, attitudes and conceptions. This example illustrates that both orthopraxy and orthodoxy are emphasised in a balanced manner and not in the form of an active dichotomy. Professor Watson also illustrates perfectly that it was only through correct thinking that a standardisation of ritual action as orthopraxy could be achieved. Furthermore and importantly, Watson states that it was not the details of rituals that were standardised but rather the structure of practice. Now if the term orthopraxy is rather used as an emphasis on practices as the means of achieving cultural unity (because it has been proved that actions assimilate foreign cultures faster than ideas do) as
was done in China to promote the concept of internal unity and uniformity, it acts in the same manner as a dogma and conformity to such orthopraxy becomes the determining factor in whether an individual is Chinese or not.  "The proper performance of the rites, in the accepted sequence, was of paramount importance in determining who was and who was not deemed to be fully 'Chinese' " James Watson  This leads directly to a second and very vague criterion that appears to be a factor in the use of orthodoxy and orthopraxy as anthropological frameworks of reference. This is the conditions upon which an individual is considered to be a member of a religion or culture and the conditions that would constitute an individual's exclusion from a religion or culture. According to Professor Watson's studies, in China the nonconformation to the standard practices or orthopraxy is simultaneously a non-conformation to the orthodoxy or correct thought that guides and informs actions. Conformity to these standards is essential to being recognised as Chinese and non-conformation is tantamount to the loss of cultural identity. Membership to religions such as Christianity is based upon the adherence to certain beliefs and to Judaism through matrilineal birthright or a long conversion process. Certain religious traditions set different conditions for membership; i.e. location (i.e. citizenship and landownership) and/or common language. How religions within a cultural framework are classified is largely determined by the definition of culture employed by the anthropologist studying them. With reference to classifications of religions and cultures in terms of either orthodoxic or orthopraxic rather than in conjunction with one another; a third criterion of orthopraxy is identified through the study of the Creek Native American Indian religion where there is evidence of a religious philosophy based on actions and activities without the presence of any actual philosophical schools, doctrines or texts.  Other religions that have been classified by this criterion include Shinto because of its lack of formulated doctrine and theology as well as a primary focus on ritual interaction with the Cosmos. Interestingly enough it is largely upon this criterion [i.e. no evidence of being orthodoxic] that some academics have classified the ancient Hellenic and Roman religions and cultures to be orthopraxic but this will be discussed more fully in the later in this section. Certain scholars also classify Judaism as orthopraxic based on this criterion due to the fact that they have no word for theology and observe a strict adherence to prescribed and proscribed activities.  Professor Fritz Graf, Director of Epigraphy and Chair of the Greek and Latin department at Ohio State University and Professor Sarah Iles Johnston, also of the Greek and Latin department at Ohio State, provide the reason underlying the classification of Hellenic religion as orthopraxic. A reason which is based on the fact that the current Western understanding of what an orthodoxy is, is determined by the Christian Church's definition of it; i.e. defined by what the Church Fathers called the Heiroi Logoi (sacred texts). "Accordingly the Heiroi Logoi implicitly comprised authoritative canonical writings in which the central beliefs and history of a religion were set down. By this reckoning, neither Greek nor Roman 'mainstream religions' could be said to have real Heiroi Logoi. Their religions which focused more on the correct performance of certain acts such as sacrifice (orthopraxy)than on correct belief (orthodoxy), [and] had neither any need or desire to record what a person was supposed to think or feel as he or she practiced its
They also make mention of the secrecy surrounding the heiroi logoi of the cults based on the order by Ptolemy IV for all Bacchic initiators to seal copies of their heiroi logoi when handing them in to his ministers (which explains why Herodotus and Pausanias do not narrate the heiroi logoi that they mention). …And even when the basic "plot" of a myth remained stable. most Greek and Roman religions were strongly local in their focus. albeit heavily cloaked with logic and rhetoric and without the emphasis or context which would draw 'profane' attention. to move 'heiroi logoi' out of exclusively Western circles. Religious Studies. as Professor Watson and the other anthropologists have noted.rituals. Some accounts and narratives of which has survived the passage of time in either allegorical form or within the usage of particular epithets in hymns such as those of Orpheus. Birmingham University  The role of a religious hierarchy within a religion introduces a key point to the subject of classification. There are. Such local "histories" moreover. largely based on their reputation as revealed wisdom. "There are of course many problems in defining what is 'mainstream' in such a diverse set of traditions that comprise the Hindu religions and in which there is no tightly defined hierarchy to define orthodoxy and orthopraxy" George D Chryssides. although admirable in its intention. " Fritz Graf and Sarah Iles Johnston  Graf and Johnston go on to offer an example of how at least four 'heiroi logoi' may be found in Herodotus as well as references to the 'heiroi logoi' of the creation of the Kosmos and the nature of the Underworld as used by ancient scholars such as Pausanias and Plutarch. it is correct thinking that guides any action into becoming correct action. So it is thus not a matter that Hellenic religion does not have 'heiroi logoi'. In the early 19th century. …"Canonical" sacred histories therefore were unlikely to exist even at a local level…" [Graf and Johnston continue on to discuss the evidence that may be found within ancient Hellenic texts declaring the existence of 'heiroi logoi' within Hellenic religion] "Having determined that earlier scholarly definitions of 'sacred text' are not quite adequate to the task at hand. Without any formal religious pan-hierarchy that governs all religious traditions and cults within a large indigenous religion and whose function it is to define what either correct thought or correct action is. Other narratives were discussed quite openly by various philosophers. why a given god is portrayed as he or she is. had the side-effect of making virtually any text with any connection to religion "sacred"… As for history. The first thing we notice is that ancient heiroi logoi are often presented. Pindar. Homer. implicitly or explicitly. encouraged Max Müller to attempt to enlarge the category of 'heiroi logoi' beyond Jewish and Christian texts. as explanations for what is done in a ritual. . it is merely the fact that current Western definitions of Orthodoxy refuse to recognise any text outside of Judaism or Christianity as being validly sacred. or why some aspect of the world is the way it is. this characteristic. the task would fall to a diversity of individual cults and traditions where multiplicity may well lead to diversity. Müller's endeavor. problems with classifying certain other religions in these terms too. let us start anew from what the ancients [Hellenes] themselves said. were open to quite a bit of change as the need or whim arose.  Furthermore Graf and Johnston make especial reference to the aition that accompanied every cult and every ritual as the 'narration of why a ritual or cult had come into existence'. Graf and Johnston also indicate that there is ample evidence of written copies of the various heiroi logoi that were circulated in ancient times. etc. poets changed details from version to version. of course. A given town might have stories about how particular cults or rituals came into existence but these were of history primarily to the inhabitants or to unusually curious travelers such as Pausanias. Müller argued that many eastern texts were just as sacred as the bible. …Another trait that earlier scholars often applied to heiroi logoi was that they had been divinely transmitted to primordial figures such as Moses.
a primacy of ethical behaviour. So based on the ethnic nature of their religion. In an orthodoxic religion or culture there needs to be common thought or worldview concerning a common theological formulation. Academics have noted that when the elements of a ritual (including its ritual gestures) are symbolic of theological ideology and formulations there is a distinct difference in ritual styles from those who are purely orthopraxic. a focus on ritual practices and a wealth of cultural traditions) within a religion are not a clear enough indication of whether a religion is orthopraxic or not.  Furthermore. Another factor in their classification as orthopraxic is based on their adherence to the Vedas as an authoritative ritual text while some note the orthodoxy within Hinduism based on their common theological formulation.  From these examples. Because of the specific theological knowledge necessary to perform the ritual. studies indicate that adherence to ritual observances and practices are indicative of whether a member is one of good standing or not within the religion. some academics classify Hinduism as orthopraxic. orthodoxic rituals are said to express something that already exists within the participant as opposed to a ritual style that is said to cause something that does not already exist within the participant to happen. the criterion for classification as an orthodoxy is further clarified. Finally there are scholars. Religious Studies academics have noted that orthopraxic religions are related to ethnicity and the religion is inherited by birth into an ethnic collective. This criterion has a deeper connotation too as an orthodoxic ritual is also distinguished from all forms of magical agency where the participant and their correct and precise practice of ritual is thought to act as an 'agent' to bring about something that does not already exist within the participant.Identifying mainstream religious circumstances becomes problematic. namely ritual style and whether a ritual is symbolic of formulated theological principles or not. thought or action under such Studies of Hinduism and the difficulty in classifying it.  This illustrates another criterion.  The difficulty in discerning the difference between orthodoxical and orthopraxical elements within certain religions and cultures have led some anthropologists to subdivide this binary system further and introduce what is known as an orthodoxic ritual.e. illuminates yet another criterion for the classification of a religion as orthopraxic. Generally. orthodoxic rituals imply that the participant bears knowledge as to the proscribed meaning of the symbolic elements within their ritual while orthopraxic rituals are thus defined by ritual gestures and elements which have no proscribed meaning and are open to interpretation. who do not make the distinction between orthodoxic and orthopraxic rituals but rather determine the distinction between orthodoxy and orthopraxy to be the difference between macro-theology and micro-theology. one such example being those associated with the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. either orthodoxic or orthopraxic. In these ethnic religions. There also needs to be evidence of an organised religious and/or philosophical system (including actual schools and/or a pan/local religious hierarchy) with a recorded common theological/philosophical structure in the form of actual doctrines and/or texts that emphasise a formulated way of thinking. This term is used because it has been noted that the mere presence of ritual activity (i. as a totality. This correct formula for thought would guide .
It is within these definitions of culture and the opposition to them that the first aspect of the epistemological nature of the dichotomies used in anthropology is revealed. Within Structuralist research all differing opinions observed within any particular culture are recorded as dichotomies. the ritual style of an orthodoxic religion must be symbolic and comprised of known and recognisable symbolic elements that represent common theological formulation. He went on to explain that all human experience was mediated through the human mind which structures perceptions according to sensibilities of time and space (i. The meanings of these symbolic elements and gestures have thus a proscribed meaning and are not open to interpretation. Evolutist. Logically. in particular. During the same period. Finally. Culture Relativism and the Anthropological definitions of A further factor in the classification of religions and cultures in dichotomous terms is the matter of the definition of culture (and/or religion as a cultural expression) that is used in different schools of anthropology. spatial awareness).2. etc. Universalism and Relativism illustrate a presumed duality between Nature and Culture. Sumner called this principle ethnocentrism and identified that cultures that displayed ethnocentric qualities tended to see their own cultures as the centre of the world against which all other foreign cultures and people . As an anthropological dichotomy. the mind dichotomising the world) and this binary thought is reflected in various cultural institutions (including religion).I. The sociologist William Graham Sumner added further that culture is an important factor in structuring human perceptions. Kant stated that humanity was incapable of direct and unmediated knowledge of the world. an orthodoxic ritual does not employ 'magical agency' to achieve its ritual goal and the orthodoxic ritual is merely an expression of something that already exists within the participant. Universalism.e. suggests that the structure of human modes of thinking is the same regardless of culture and that all humans think of the world in terms of binary opposites (i.E. Structuralism. called for a formal anthropology that would synthesise Kant and Herder's ideologies. Herder also stressed the positive value of cultural diversity. and Diffusionist stress shared human characteristics and modes of thinking that transcend culture in a manner that may suggest a universal psychic unity. location. Herder was one of the first to argue that language determines human thought which two centuries later would become central to the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis (that now stands in opposition to P. and hence is relativistic in nature.human actions into becoming orthopraxic. Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottfried Herder.e. 1. philosopher and linguist. This is the theoretical opposition between those who believe that human modes of thought (and by implication knowledge) are universal and those who believe that it is structured by cultural influences such as language. Their studies thus appear to use a methodology called Cross-Cultural Analysis to identify common characteristics within a general and/or abstract framework of reference.  The development of Cultural Relativism as a theory finds its roots in the German Enlightenment thinkers. linguistic theories). the definition of culture and religion employed by an observer is a crucial feature in how the observer will analyse and report their conclusions concerning a religion or culture. Universalist anthropology schools such as the Structuralist. Wilhelm von Humboldt. Furthermore.
By regarding a single implement outside of its surroundings. is the reason why anthropologists are concerned about nonanthropologists employing their theories indiscriminately. art or beliefs in religion..  This illustrates that the anthropologist as an observer evaluates and analyses a foreign culture only in comparison to their personal culture. to members of the group itself. it is rather . Accordingly Boaz determined that culture was far more than just certain tastes in food.  Although the basis of the theoretical opposition between Universalism and Cultural Relativism may indeed be epistemological in nature. His definition of culture is thus: "[Culture is]…the totality of the mental and physical reactions and activities that characterize the behaviour of the individuals composing a social group collectively and individually in relation to their natural environment. these theories work in much the same manner as mathematical formulations that measure the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Observer Effect. As a heuristic tool . Hence. regardless of their epistemological opposition of Universalism or Relativism. It is also interesting to note that cultural relativism was transformed into moral relativism in the context of the Commission for Human Rights of the United Nations in preparing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.. From this perspective. outside of other inventions of the people to whom it belongs. the position of the observer must be taken into account. It is likely that this innate relativistic bias of the observer. Boaz discussed the field of Ethnology to be one that sought to find comparisons and distinctions between vast ranges of different cultures so that the impetus of human action could be discovered. not abstractions from the individual under observation. which is now commonly accepted in anthropology. we cannot understand its meanings. " Franz Boas  Boas went further to state that because scientists (and in this specific case anthropologists) grow up in a particular culture they too are ethnocentric... and outside of other phenomena affecting that people and its productions. to other groups. We have to study each ethnological specimen individually in its history and in its medium. Moreover. Franz Boas proposed that the mediation of culture was perhaps more subtle than commonly assumed at the time. the anthropologist's view of another culture is relativistic to their own culture. Boaz disputed this method: "It is only since the development of the evolutional theory that it became clear that the object of study is the individual." Franz Boaz  From Boaz's observations it is evident that classification alone is not truly explanatory of cultural expressions if its criteria [of classification] is based on abstract general assumptions. This fact is recognised in anthropology and even Poststructuralists who still support a Universalist binary classification system factor the culture of the observer into the analysis of anthropological data. Our objection . and of each individual to himself.. music.. The method used by Ethnologists to achieve this goal was based upon a 'common assumption' that presupposes that all things within any culture may be subjected to standard abstract classification. is that classification is not explanation... Such general categorisations thus are only useful to ethnologists as they compare various cultural studies to determine the impetus for human action. i.were measured.e. the anthropological/ethnological theories of Cultural Relativism and Universalism remain scientific heuristic tools that anthropologists use as a general strategy of analysis when approaching different cultures.
From this it is apparent that general readers of anthologies should not only take note of the culture of the observer but also their theoretical perspective. understand the relationship between thought and action in the compound and complex nature of particular collectives of living. tend to define culture strictly in terms of overt. With reference to the actual epistemological theoretical opposition. as opposed to the Idealist theories where thought is . In understanding the basis of the heuristic tools within anthropology. will also yield different conclusions within the data they may collect. regardless of whether they are aware of it or not. The many advocates of this idealistic approach "share an interest in psychological phenomena. observable behavior patterns. The dichotomy between thought and action within this theoretical and methodological opposition is no longer used as a classificatory term applied as a tool in cultural observation but in the form of an active tension of the opposites that divides anthropological thought into two distinct camps. Included in the latter (Idealism] are culture and personality or psychological anthropology. Marxist theory immediately rejects the existence of (a) anything outside of the material or (b) anything transcendent to the material. This repudiation of Idealism renders thought to be a purely material function. The contemporaneous development of these two major points of view allowed for scholarly debate on which approach was the most appropriate in the study of culture. to orthodoxy/orthopraxy or any other apparent dichotomy an observer may make use of. structuralism. moving. Those who use the cultural relativist models are aware of the purely theoretical nature of the dichotomy and use it as a methodology to analyse the dynamic unity of real human life that they observe.e. is methodologically and theoretically opposed to Idealism. derived from field research experience. "Materialists. ethnoscience. and symbolic anthropology. in their terms. "Materialism. Idealism and Materialism. Thought versus Action in Idealist and Materialist Anthropology The second opposition in the field of anthropology arose as a direct result of the thought/action dichotomy in a manner that is not only epistemological but also political by association. concerning what is the most appropriate and effective heuristic tool by which to study different cultures as individuals within a collective that will yield the most accurate conclusions. " Elliot Knight and Karen Smith  Materialist anthropological theories (including American Materialism) are influenced in either part or whole by Marxist Anthropological theory. and they share the belief that techno environmental factors are primary and causal" (Langness 1974:84). i. in anthropology. From those who use orthodoxy and orthopraxy in universalist theories. it is assumed that all people think and act alike. and they tend to view culture in mental and symbolic terms" (Langness 1974:84). 1. on the other hand.an opposition in educated opinion.3. the necessity to identify anthropological classification in terms of the culture of the observer is evident within both Universalist and Relativist theories. Materialism. It is thus a method by which an observer may. breathing human life where thought and action is not always seen in a dichotomised form. it is also evident that the function of the dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy differs depending on the theoretical perspective of the observer. Conclusions reached from these two vastly different approaches.
the cultural materialist) and approaches the study of humans as native thought and behaviours arising from material consideration. It uses Hermeneutics (the art of interpretation) to study the symbolic systems of any culture to determine how people think and act in religious. The definitions of culture within Materialist and Idealist anthropologies also differ. In what is now called Geertzian Theory. materialists tend to see culture more empirically and in terms of overt behaviour patterns while idealists determine culture to be abstract. This anthropology finds its theoretical roots in the works of Karl Marx. drama. historical and ideological opposition between the doers and thinkers of humanity.  Symbolic or Interpretative Anthropology as an Idealist theory arose as a direct reaction to Materialism and Marxism.  (b) American Materialism as a theory which bases its understanding of cultural systems upon three key principles: Cultural Materialism. within Materialist anthropology the different (and complementary) functions of thought and action become a dynamic dichotomy through the sociopolitical. Hermeneutics is also employed to study the expressions of a culture in terms of art. Professor Geertz determined culture to be: "[Culture is] …a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate. etc. and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life" Clifford Geertz  Geertzian Theory also concludes religion to systems of a society and defined religion as: be one of the cultural . dance. It is thus essentially a Universal Materialist theory whose methodologies are based upon empirical science as the basis of knowledge for the observer (i. Frederick Engels and even further back to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Marxist and Hegelian theory were introduced into its theoretical structure to explain the evolution of cultures. Materialist theory.seen as spiritual or intellectual and transcends the material. Materialist anthropologies include: (a) Cultural Materialism whose aim is. is used to study humanity based upon the statistical foundation that any collective consists of a majority class of physical 'doers' (workers) as opposed to a small and elite minority class of thinkers.  One of the prominent scholars in this school of anthropology is the late Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) and leading anthropologist who served until his death as the professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. music. Furthermore. etc. social and economic contexts within a culture.e. perpetuate. This form of materialist theory is based on an expansion of the Marxist model with a few distinctions and is a reactionary theory to Cultural Relativism and its methodologies. as a heuristic or methodological tool.  Even though Structuralism is an Idealist theory and thus in essential opposition to Materialism. "the task of cultural materialism is to create a pan-human science of society whose findings can be accepted on logical and evidentiary grounds by the pan-human community" (Harris 1979: xii). Cultural Evolution and Cultural Ecology. Here the thought/action dichotomy becomes a matter of majority or minority interests according to the determination that within any collective the majority focus on action and only a small minority focus on thought. ideological or symbolic.
abstract. not only rejects the dichotomies but actively seeks to deconstruct and demystify epistemological and ideological motivations in the social sciences. It includes within its methodology a 'Cultural' Model which allows for many different kinds of cultural knowledge. experience and material objects that comprise their world and cognition thereof (i. as a strictly anti-objectivist theory. Moreover." [Religion is] …1) a system of symbols (2) which acts to establish powerful. who deem both human behaviour and actions to be important frameworks of reference within culture.  The basis of this anthropological opposition in theory and methodology illustrates yet another facet of the thought/action dichotomy within context to the usage of terms such as orthodoxy and orthopraxy. pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men (3) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. The roots of this anthropological theory. symbolic or intellectual thought and/or elements of orthodoxy in the same collective. as a natural consequence of their theoretical framework of reference. It is an approach that stresses how people make sense of reality according to their own indigenous cognitive categories and not those of the anthropologist. 1. The epistemological question concerns humanity as a species and as individuals within cultural collectives.e. it is important to note that some anthropologists have completely rejected and repudiated the validity or efficacy of such dichotomies. Since ancient times man has wondered about the nature of thought and knowledge and asked the question . rejected 'modernist' dichotomies such as thought/action. focus on human activities and highlight the elements of praxis (action) and/or orthopraxy in a collective while de-emphasising or negating transcendent.e.  Other Idealistic Anthropological theories include: (a) Cognitive Anthropology studies how people understand and organise the events.  Postmodern Anthropology. Universalism/Relativism and Idealism/Materialism) into interconnected and distinctive methodological or heuristic tools within a single theory. psychology and personality of a culture through the study of its individual members. The accuracy of information derived from anthropologies is thus dependent upon the application of an appropriate anthropological model to any particular culture or religion. worldview). Idealist anthropologies will do the exact opposite if their definitions of culture do not include human actions and activities as frameworks of reference together with thought. The Theories Epistemological and Ideological Basis of Anthropological At the roots of opposing theories and methodologies in anthropology lie a great epistemological question and an ideological movement that are both interconnected and yet remain distinct. Hobbs and Locke and later to Franz Boas. Materialist anthropologies will.  (b) Culture and Personality Anthropology seeks to define the character. body/mind and nature/culture.4. Since the 1990's Ecological Anthropology. which was only officially recognised in the 1950's. can be found in Enlightenment Thinkers such as Rousseau.  While certain anthropologies reconcile these theoretical polarisations (i.
His theoretical reworking of Hegelian philosophy was a direct reaction against the inferred capitalism of a school of thought known as North American Pragmatism. like Karl Marx. who looked at the suffering of the masses and thought if our knowledge has led us to such ills. it becomes necessary to study the terms and concepts borrowed from the ancient Hellenic Logos to better understand the relation between ancient Hellenic thought and action with that of Christian theology. orthodoxy and orthopraxy denote correct actions guided by the correct thought as determined by Christian doctrines while the Social Sciences' usage of the term studies a culture in respect of the role dogma. we should learn a new way that will serve the majority rather than just the select few thinkers of the world. is indisputable. However. Finally." The influence of Marx's theory. as both a social revolution and a theoretical reform movement. Some have determined that the intellect is more than just the sensory awareness of the material body while others have gone as far as to say that the material world is just a thought form. PART TWO: Orthodoxy versus Orthopraxy in the Christian era 2.of "how do we know what we know?" Man has also questioned human actions and behaviours to ask "what causes us to act?" Many great thinkers have pondered these questions. Others have reacted to this emphasis on intellect and the thought processes of man and denied its primacy while placing the onus for knowledge on physical actions and experience of the world that informs the human brain. there are men. Hence as Christian theological terms. which also finds certain of its roots in Hegelian philosophy. Many religions and religious philosophies have determined the intellect to be divine in nature. rules or correct thought plays in human actions and behaviour. The impact of Hegelian philosophy and of Marxism (with its deliberate emphasis on praxis and de-emphasis of theoria) has changed not only the field of the social sciences but also that of Christian theology. is both a deliberate 'borrowing' and a natural consequence of writing the New Testament in and translating the Old Testament into the Hellenic language (which has a . There are also those who say that the physical world is all that there is and only that which is empirically observable is secure knowledge. each contributing to the dialectic of epistemology as the philosophy of knowledge. The difference between these usages is fairly evident.1 Relevant Theological and Philosophical Terms There are similarities in the manner in which the terms orthodoxy and orthopraxy are generally used in the Social Sciences and how they are used on the most basic level in Christian theology. in Christianity the terms are used as agents of transmitting Christian culture and in the Social Sciences they are used as projected frameworks of reference to see the same cultural pattern in other religious collectives. Some say that true reality is not the physical world that we see but rather a hidden order that underlies all things and that knowledge and truth derives there from. A relation. Christianity tends to use the same words and others in a theological sense to clearly delineate correct thought and action in Christian terms and in accordance with the bible and its derivative doctrines. while the Social Sciences generally tend to use the terms in a philosophical or epistemological sense to study and classify the origin of and relation between human thought and action in particular cultural collectives. Thus for the sake of clarity. which primarily.
The Logos of John is (a) a real and personal God [John 1:1]. doctrine [Acts 18:15. nothing. (c) the revealer or interpreter of the hidden being of God. inward thought as the faculty of thought and reason [Hebrews 4:12].particular world view and Reason in the basis of the concepts of the words and language. The Christian Logos is thus both the 'inward thought' and the 'outward form' by which the 'inward thought' is expressed. This is as result of Logos' root word being 'lego' referring to gathering or collecting which later referred to speech. "We say that Jesus is the 'on' (existent).22. largely upon the writings of John (who originally wrote in the Hellenic language) and his usage of Logos that much of the theological doctrine about the divine nature and salvation through Christ was originally derived. the ten commandants [i. in essence and nature with God and yet distinct [John 1:1. the 'on' before all things through whom are all existents.e. It is. The Christian Logos: The Christian usage of the word Logos is. Mark 5:35.18].1. Even demons claim that this is so… Let us consider something if Jesus is the Logos. a 'collecting' or 'collection' of things within the mind and of the words by which they are expressed. (b) the Word which was with God before Creation and was one. If it is thus why is the Logos with God? Necessarily on account of this: so that through this Logos there might be produced "all things" and without Him. For this is the name above every other name. Therefore God acts through the . What is the Logos? I say it is a certain active paternal power which so moves itself and disposes itself that it is in act. Septuagint: Greek Deut.36].29]. This reality proclaims itself through the herald John. The term Logos was compared to the Latin oratio and ratio and also the Italia ragionare referring to both thought and speech. Justin claims was a Christian before Christ) when he says that it is the Logos that will lead people to Orthognosia (correct knowledge) and Orthopraxia (correct actions). first and foremost. Philippians 1:14]. the Logos).3]. Even more. Timothy 4:15] and more specifically the doctrine of salvation through Christ [Matthew 13:20-23. We say he is the Logos "in the principle" and we say this Logos is God. however.2. The first of these words is Logos itself that Christian theology tends to embrace in the same manner as Herakleitos (whom St.10. The conjunction between Christian theology and ancient Hellenic thought and Reason is hence as much a matter of the results of using the Hellenic language to write and translate their canonical texts as it was that of using Classical and Neo-Platonic philosophical thoughts to structure their theological understanding of the use of Hellenic words in the bible. 2. deka logous. cause or reason [Acts 10. A New Testament written in Aramaic (and hence with an Aramaic worldview) would have led to different Christian theological doctrines as. For 'to on' (the existent) is the principle of names and the principle of substances…indeed have we not said that Jesus is the 'Logos' "with God". after all.e. many of the early Church fathers were not native to Hellas and only had the medium of the Classical philosophers through which to understand the deeper and more profound meanings of Hellenic logoi (words).1. This becomes selfevident when one looks at the subtle differences in meaning of these terms when used by the Eastern Orthodox Church in Hellas who still preserve the original Hellenic text of the bible compared to those of Western Christianity whose canonical text has been translated into Latin and then further into a host of other languages. (d) the reflection and visible image of God and the organ of all His manifestations to the world. i. not in potentiality. It was used to denote a 'saying' of God or of man [Matt Matthew 19:21.
2. Western Christian Theology determines Christian Orthodoxia to be that which is considered correct or proper belief. 'belief' or 'thought'.…'theoria' came to be interpretated in such a way that it was said that in 'theo' . the antonyms of orthodoxia are heterodoxia (other opinions/beliefs/thoughts) and kakodoxia (bad opinion) and not orthopraxia. [namely] 'theologia speculatio' later represents precisely the opposite to exegetical theology [i. The roots of the apparent dichotomy between thought and action becomes more identifiable when the development of the word theologia within the early Christian corpus is considered. The Christian Orthodoxia In much the same manner as the Social Sciences. [by this translation thus] 'speculative' means the same as 'theoretical'. "We should point out only that during the period directly preceding Plotinus. as provided. PRAXIS was understood to be one of the three basic ways of Knowing. 'theos'. yet does not identify the proper sense of the word.there lies the root of 'theion'. The fact that the translation of 'theoria'. Stackhouse. prior to any 'allegoria'." From Marius Victorinus' letter to Candidus explaining the Christian Doctrine of the Logos  2. orthopraxia becomes the correct reaction or response to correct teaching in the manner of a reflective and reflexive action. (GA. 19. 'theorein' means: 'looking upon the divine'. Professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary: "In classical philosophy. interpretative or explanatory theology] is one of those peculiar contingencies that occur from time to time in the history of a meaning. This is one specific Greek etymology. Furthermore. Praxis stands distinct from. 'Theoria' is translated into Latin as 'speculatio' which means pure contemplation.e. but in a complementary relationship to both POIESIS and THEORIA. Again it says "the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father"… For in God is the Logos and thus in the Father is the Son.  This is evident by the corollary of orthodoxia and its emphasis upon the performance of correct doctrine in accordance with biblical teachings and doctrines.1.  It is important to note that Eastern orthodoxia refers to both correct opinions and correct actions deriving from the Church's doctrines and dogmas. it is generally accepted in Christianity that orthodoxia derives from the Hellenic orthos meaning 'straight'. and in particular with reference to the teachings of the early ecumenical church councils from Nicaea to Chalcedon and including the doctrines and practices of Eastern Orthodoxy. Living and Being in the Kosmos. Thus orthodoxia in a Christian sense is based upon the orthognosia (correct knowledge) of the biblical teachings and doctrines which make up the corpus of Christian theology or theologia (as the Word of God in Christian terms). 'upright' and by implication 'correct' and doxia which they translate to mean 'opinion'. within the Hellenic conception. The Logos is therefore the active power which puts itself in motion so that which is potentiality might be actuality… For the gospel says "in the principle" was the Logos and the Logos was with God. We are here concerned with a reinterpretation. Theoria . by Alexander of Aphrodisias. Finally it [the word theoria] becomes identical to biblical theology and theology pure and simple. Here orthodoxia and orthopraxia are not dichotomous in nature as within the Hellenic conception of thought and action there can be no orthopraxia without orthodoxia to guide and inform it. where it is opposed to 'allegoria': [in this sense] 'theoria' is that kind of contemplation that identifies historiographical facts just as they are.Logos and always acts. The word 'theoria' then came to play a major role in [Christian] theology. one that has its grounds in certain of Aristotle's accounts. 63)  The significance of the synonymous association between the terms theologia and theoria with regard to a dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy is explained [in a Christian understanding] by Max L. It includes the kind of awareness and orientation to life that can be discovered by aesthetic and kinaesthetic experience. Within this conception of orthodoxia. for example. Poiesis involves imaginative creation or representation of evocative images.
systematic study." Max L Stackhouse  In many Christian theological circles. orthognosia. Within Christianity. in the form of a conclusion. Within the Western Christian context. Christian orthopraxia referred to the participation in Christian sacraments such as the regular attendance of church services. in short. theologia and theoria became synonymously associated. Praxis and Poiesis are the terms used by Aristotle to denote his tripartite divisions of activities through which the soul's potential for knowing could be realised. fasting. It is one instance of the devaluation of ancient Hellenic Reason. a practical case of application is made…. a process by which the 'observation' aspect of theoria loses its innate activity and inferential knowledge and is reduced to passive and speculative opinion. the relation between theoria and praxis is still not dichotomised but rather exists in a harmonious and unified manner. prayer and receiving communion. has become the technical term for the 'action/reflection' mode of teaching and learning. In contrast to these. The epistemological nature of the anthropological dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy is thus indicated to be between two of the original three Aristotelian activities of knowing. metaphysical and epistemic. As has already been noted.  "Praxis. Christian Orthopraxia In its earliest form. orthodoxia. Anthropologists thus seek to identify the forms of knowledge and human activity as theoria and praxis and their interaction or primacy within a collective culture. reflection and contemplation. It thus includes all that can be known by analysis. interpretation and critical evaluation.involves observation. the developing dichotomy between theoria (as exemplifying Christian thought) and praxis (as embodying Christian action) is complicated further by the translation of theoria into the Latin speculatio. Stackhouse  Theoria.1. In its modern and generalised form orthopraxia has come to mean literally the right practice as the reflective and responsive action or the practical reflection of the knowledge gained through one's concrete experience or reflection on the truth of Christian faith in love and justice. some anthropologists reconcile this dichotomy in the manner of a tension of the opposites that illustrates thought and action as interconnected and complementary human activities while others leave it as a binary classification system. Praxis involves intentional practical engagement whereby people seek to something for the common good. one that does not focus primarily on either speculative theory or aesthetic expression but accepts these as possible resources for action. 2.4:1.8:29]. Thus the Aristotelian distinction between Theoria and Praxis and between Praxis and Poiesis thus results later in Western Christianity as a dichotomy between orthodoxia and orthopraxia in an Idealist/Materialist form. "The relationship between theory and praxis is nevertheless not simply to be determined in such a way that out of theory. theoria and praxis or what they have translated into English as contemplation/thought versus action. The central issues of Theoria are less aesthetic or kinaesthetic than ontological. However the kind of life or world orientation that derives from Praxis is not unrelated to Poesis and Theoria. This developed into action which was worthy of the call of God and conformed to the image of Christ [Eph.3. Rom. In praxis 'theory is ." Max L. reporting.
But is it really the case. is disclosed what friendship.liberation theologians also speak of two types of praxis enunciated by Marx. learning from experience which differs from the learning and teaching derived from speculative theory or aesthetic expression. From the realisation. love. what they contain and what they mean. In their critique of the Greek emphasis on theory. Marx. self-giving and forgiveness are. a further epistemological aspect of these two terms is identifiable. contemplation and active service of others. i. very large claims are made about how certain ideas have shaped oppressive structures of civilization. Friere underscores the importance of praxis that heightens awareness and changes human patterns of thinking and action.At points. This purposeful religious movement brings the true nature of the growing popularity of the usage of the term orthopraxy into perspective and explains the modern dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy in Christian theology that has simultaneously expressed itself as a theoretical reform movement in the Social Sciences. i. Freire. has gained a new emphasis and active advocacy that actively seeks to promote a primacy of praxis and a deliberate de-emphasis on theoria.e. the Enlightenment minds generated as theory has in modernity developed into a rationale for imperialistic domination. even more. classism.2 The Dynamics of Theoria. Liberation theologians depart from the Aristotelian meaning of praxis as a solely ethicopolitical activity. imperialism.. praxis is transformed from its Aristotelian activity through which common sense or practical wisdom could be known into both a specific type of teaching and learning which focuses on the reflection that comes from human action.e. sexism and colonialism have been especially engendered by Classical and Enlightenment theories. And it is against the way that Classical (especially Greek) philosophical tradition has influenced Catholic social and political life. The fact that much of [Christian] theology has become wedded to the [Hellenic] Theoria has brought theory to the brink of nihilism. sometimes even an exclusiveness. for example. over praxis in early Christian life. …Following Hegel. Praxis and Poiesis in a new form of Praxis "[Matthew L] Lamb believes that what the Greeks and. love.." Max L Stackhouse  The Hellenic primacy of Logos as Reason and order was inherent within the very development of the language and the structure of the Hellenic worldview always held that thought directed action.. self-giving and forgiveness. especially those taken up by [Christian] theology? .manifested'. liberation theologians have deliberately sought to develop a theology that better integrates theory and practice. His distinguishing praxis of denunciation and annunciation will be adopted by certain liberation theologians. " Thomas L Schubeck  2. Under the combined influence of Aristotle and Plotinus. However orthopraxia.. early Christian thought conferred a greater dignity on theology. The rise of . That is a point which the neo-conservative advocates of Praxis also stress. .One side of this point is that Praxis is based upon Theoria and the former is only as good as the latter upon which it is based. They hold that the goal of praxis is not simply any good action in the political world. in the praxis of friendship. in its modern Christian form. "These [Christian] theologians moved away from the ancient Greek notion of Praxis and develop a new meaning based on the insights of Hegel. but liberative action that frees people to participate in the polis…." Heinrich Fries  From this interrelated concept of the function of Christian praxis in theoria. Doctrine assumed a primacy. doctrine and pastoral action. and contemporary Christian social thought. This sheds a new light on the anthropological use of orthodoxy and orthopraxy as modes of theoria and praxis that identify the manner in which a human cultural collective teaches and learns. It is also through praxis that the Christian values may be truly actualised and known through experience. praxis as creative work which satisfies basic needs and praxis as revolutionary work that changes alienating structures. that the terrors of racism.
epistemology) no longer had a stable ontological.  These motifs became highly influential in the development of practical theology in North American seminaries where theology and piety were held to be personal 'inference' policies. the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 . This preference for a life of theoria is believed by certain scholars to have influenced a disjunction in early Christianity and induced its emphasis on theology under which the sociopolitical aspect of praxis became limited and poiesis thus became restricted to only appropriate theological expression. metaphysical and moral theory is the exploration of existing conditions. He then applied and developed the definitions of religious experience used in practical theology in accordance with this new Pragmatism. Hegel's use of the German term Aufhebung as the 'simultaneous preservation and transformation of a concept through its interaction with an opposing concept' became thought of as a recasting of the Hellenic praxis in the historical formation of political unities. Hegel's concept of the German Geist (as the 'Spirit' that moves man and his interactions in the making of history and thus is the means by which human knowledge of the world is gained) became the influential concept within this new praxis." Max L Stackhouse  The works of Hegel greatly influenced the philosopher. In direct antithesis to the Enlightenment thinkers. It should be noted that theory and practice were deliberately not dichotomised in Dewey's conception and he saw theory as making practice intelligent rather than uninformed. Kant.e.philosophy and the politics of the time led to philosophers such as Socrates. thinkers further abstracted theoria until it was so detached from poiesis and praxis that its theory of knowledge (i. psychologist and [Christian] theologian William James. Using the Hegelian recasting of praxis and along with concepts from the works of Bacon. Hume. who is often referred to as the father of American Psychology.  "…Pragmatism as the North American form of Praxis presumes that a creative spirit is at work in human progress and that the purpose of theological. to identify possibilities that can be actualized to create values. John Dewey later applied this Pragmatism to the formation of professions and in particular the teaching profession and furthermore to the democratic theories of education. metaphysical or material nature.  During the Age of Enlightenment (18th century). Hegel repudiated the belief that theoria was the guiding principle of poiesis and praxis. Furthermore he proposed to "intellectualise practice rather than practicalise the intellect".1831) began to focus once more on the more practical and historical accounts of the attainment of human knowledge. supply solutions to problems and lend integration in conflicts. Plato and Aristotle holding a personal preference for a more contemplative life in accordance with the ancient Hellenic concept of Theoria (which will be discussed in Part Three) rather than one wrought with the corruptions and vices of the socio-political sphere of activity (termed praxis by Aristotle). He recast theoria as that which identifies and expresses the human reasoning process which is both poetic and pragmatic. As a reaction to the Enlightenment thinkers and to correct what he believed was their erroneous conclusions. Reid and Mill. enhance satisfactions. William James developed the North American form of praxis known as Pragmatism. From this Hegelian perspective theoria in its sublimated form is the human attempt to convey the patterns made by poiesis and praxis in the reasoning processes that arrive at the truth. ethic. The validity of any form of theoria .
e. The Socialist revolution in Cuba became an inspiration to other impoverished people and small armed uprisings broke out in many countries aimed at overthrowing the ruling class and installing a Socialist regime.  The importance of action (and activism) in Liberation theology has both practical and political content within the Christian Faith. political. Brazil. Catholic missionaries brought their concerns to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and a strong sense of a need for change filled the council. all social dimensions. Its impact was a deep economic chasm between a minority ruling/middle class and the majority who ended up in marginalised rural areas and large urban shanty towns. The Marxist de-emphasis of theoria was brutal and any individual or collective who placed a primacy on theoria was held to the agents of a manipulative. as the enabler of praxis. This Christian work amongst the impoverished and marginalised was the basis of Liberation Theology in practice and inspired the formation of lay Christian communities within these areas where an emphasis was placed on community orthopraxis as their means to liberation and independence. To combat this.or poiesis was determined by its usefulness to individuals and communities in general as well as the measure of success and prosperity that any theoria may secure in pragmatic or praxic terms. artist expressions and theories must serve only to clarify the role and function of praxis. Through his belief that philosophy was a tool of change in the world. Influenced by Marxist ideology. was often cast as the tool that oppressed and subjugated the agents of praxis (the workers) through false theoria and the illusory power of poiesis in the form of religion. selfish and controlling form of praxis. Certain theologians. missionaries and evangelists integrated Marxist tools (i. Their orthopraxis is the practical methods by which they liberate the oppressed as a call of God. de-emphasis of theoria and emphasis upon this new form of praxis) that would liberate the impoverished and dependent masses by the effects of Christian orthopraxis.  It was in the midst of this ideology that Liberation Theology began to take form. The term Liberation theory came to refer to various 20th century theological movements who saw the gospel "in praxis" as liberation from all forms of economic.  Karl Marx was hugely influenced by Hegelian philosophy and so much so that he objected to the capitalistic notions that American Pragmatism had associated with Hegelian praxis. In 1971 these new religious reform movements who favoured a social revolution became known as Liberation theologies. Mexico and Cuba was based on industrialised growth in the form of import substitution. The conditions under which the majority lived were a source of concern for the Christian evangelists and missionaries who ministered to the poor in these regions. South American bishops and missionaries began to see Socialism as the orthopraxis of true Christian values and other Christian missionaries (both Catholic and Protestant) employed the tools of Marxism without the emphasis on materialism to affect social reform through raising the consciousness of the communities they served. Marx brought forward his ideology that theoria. Marx replaced Hegel's Geist with a human understanding of material and social reality that was stripped of illusion and based purely on rational thought. the development of dependent capitalism in countries such as Argentina. These conditions led to strong popular movements that sought to bring about socio-political change in their countries. Within this Marxist ideology. social and spiritual oppression.  During the 1950's and 1960's.  .
the religious reform movement spread rapidly in some Western countries and influenced even the Social Sciences and other fields of study in a more secularised form. both living and dead. intellectual and political life is so entranced by abstract theories of modern science that it loses contact with those basic 'natural' structures of human virtues so necessary for any Polis (State) …. insights occur spontaneously. theories whose influence Liberation theologians particularly resent and oppose. Second. understanding on another. However. has a compound structure. and mission in theological education' identifies four distinct groups that advocate this new orthopraxis: "[The first group of] Contemporary advocates of Praxis frequently hold that western thought has taken some wrong turns. 2. This is done in terms of both faith and practice while upholding both the transcendence of their theology and the immanent needs of their people.It is in any case ironically convenient that these three Greek terms represent a typology of current attempts to repudiate the connection between theology and classical philosophy. it elevated Theoria over Praxis. in the history of theology. according to Lonergan. regardless of opposition.A third group consists of 'new philosophers of deconstruction'. but the knowing. a still rather inchoate group of intellectuals who hold that theology. Radicalising the 'hermeneutics of suspicion' they argue that . "Lonergan's primary focus is not the known. globalization. the other with reason in its speculative. Metz who believed that it was the responsibility of the Christian Church to guide the direction of history. in the history of piety.3 The New Advocates and Forms of Orthopraxy There are modern theologians. specifically when. mythical and liturgical dimensions. First. Princeton Professor Max L Stackhouse in his book 'Apologia: contextualization. The distinction between orthodoxy and orthopraxy became an active socio-political dichotomy and new advocates of orthopraxy emerged from all over and in all forms." Max L Stackhouse  "Ironically." The Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Modern Western Theology  [Johannes B Metz proposes that the Church should] "…seek to contribute to the liberation of noetic praxis from the oppressive academic. Knowing." Matthew L Lamb from 'Solidarity with Victims: Towards a Theology of Social Transformation'  The 'other' theories Metz and Lamb mention in the quotation above refer to those of ancient Hellenic origin. such as the Canadian Jesuit Priest Bernard Lonergan and Johannes B. Thus there is a distinction between experience and insight.These new Liberation theologies were and are opposed by traditional Christian theologians. a second group advocating a recovery of Praxis consists primarily of conservative political philosophers who believe that Post-Enlightenment religious. ecclesial and social structures which both condition and are conditioned by those [other] theories. insight is always insight into sensible or imaginable presentations. as Nietzsche has declared. it elevated Poiesis over Praxis and when. who have sought to reconcile the growing disjunction between theoria and praxis by attempting to mediate the dichotomy and balance the socio-historical and existential needs of Christian people. Experience occurs on one level. The one becomes preoccupied with religion in its cultic. Thus there is a further distinction between insight and judgment or reflective understanding. abstract senses…. but it remains to determine whether they are correct or not. ontologically based ethics and classical political philosophy are basically dead topics.  There are also those who sought to strengthen the dichotomy.
Research indicates that all four types of orthopraxy are also found in converts as well as evangelical and ethnic groupings within Christian orthodoxy. very bad form in many centers of theological education today to raise any questions about the priority of Praxis or the current forms of intellectual characterization. Aside from the hope and promises of liberation these new orthopraxies bring. (3) Reform orthopraxy as gradual changes of tradition to best suit new environments and circumstances. male. bourgeois and Western cultural imperialism. To let it be known that one might have some reservations about any of these is frequently taken as a failure to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit (Geist?) among oppressed people of the world. They identify these four forms of orthopraxy as: (1) Ultra Conservative/Fundamentalist orthopraxy which consists of strict adherence to old fundamental practices without embracing change or innovation.  From these scholarly analyses of the new orthopraxy. (2) Traditional orthopraxy as the fulfilment of the requirements of a tradition without applying doctrine. In both its radical secular and religious forms it is used as a type of deconstructionism to liberate people from theoretical structures believed to be the source of the ills and/or illusions of Western society. (4) Reconstructionist orthopraxy as complete innovation and rethinking of orthopraxy to best suit an American environment. although few know about or care about the practical implications of modern deconstructionism. These four types directly correspond to the four types of orthopraxy from Judaism and each of the types can be found in all Christian orthodox jurisdictions. " Max L Stackhouse  This new Western orthopraxy has also attracted the attention of scholars of Eastern Orthodoxy whose research has also identified four different types of orthopraxy within Christianity in the United States alone. These forms are either religious/spiritual in nature or entirely secular. of course. devoid of any pretence that it is rooted in any objective vision of the true." Max L Stackhouse In the first part of this essay. it is apparent that it is a plurality and not a single form even though as a totality it appears to have arisen from a single source (i. or as a moral blindness to the practical demands of life in favour of the 'idealist' ideology of white. the good and the beautiful is basically an echo of faded dreams that were never valid in the first place. Many are convinced that religious Poiesis and intellectual Theoria must be subjected to a radical hermeneutics of suspicion. Hegelian epistemology). the good or the beautiful …the fourth group consists primarily of 'radical' Christians who share with other groups a series of presumptions about intellectual and social history. 2.4 Concerns about the New Orthopraxies "It is. socio-historical analysis and liberation theology that turn it [Praxis] into an Orthopraxis. The advocates of these orthopraxies are many and promote orthopraxis with a de-emphasis on theoria and poiesis from both religious and secular platforms. The motivations of this deconstructionism are general socio-political reform.talk of the true.e. the implications of non-conformation to orthopraxy as a standard were discussed within context to Professor . there is another side to the dichotomy and one fraught with genuine concerns about the practical implications and consequences of this new movement. [They] …claim that humans today are liberated by knowing that Theoria has no foundations beyond the poetic fantasies of those who play with them and that Poiesis is the Praxis of the strong.
orthopraxy as a rigid standard thus acts in exactly the same manner as a dogma that effectively excludes or marginalises those who do not act or think in the standard manner. especially since all serious politics finally involve command over. the ancient Hellenic influence upon the situation is evident. orthodoxy/orthopraxy is also expressed as the dichotomy between the conceptions of order (worldview) and the disposition for action (ethos). The recasting of the Hellenic concepts of logos. worldview. In other words. Another concern and one that may engender many questions is the simultaneous usage of theology as a tool for fideist politics that heed Metz's call for the Church to direct the course of human history. PART THREE: The Hellenic Logos It is relevant that in anthropological terms and according to leading anthropologist William Geertz (as was discussed in part one). theoria. From Christian theology in all its forms and especially through the growing popularity of these new orthopraxies. Thus the appeal to Orthopraxis engenders a new sect of fideist [Faith as independent of and/or opposed to Reason] politics for which theology is an instrumental ideology. in the same manner as the Christian biblical teachings and theological . praxis and poiesis and the dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy that has resulted is not a true reflection of Hellenic thought on the matter or the realities of Classical philosophy and the sacred concepts they expressed frequently by means of allegory. or the threat of use of coercive force. This focus on politics by Praxis-orientated liberation theology could easily make [Christian] theology (and religion) into an instrument of power only. Stackhouse." Max L Stackhouse Hence the very movement that proposes to liberate people from oppressive theoretical structures simultaneously limits the freedom of people by the establishment of another oppressive theoretical structure. Within this new orthopraxic movement in Christian theology much the same has begun to happen as has been observed by Princeton's Prof. "Those with other [than Orthopraxis] orientations are unofficially excommunicated (by being told that their views represent the consciousness of oppressive classes). a conception of order or. what in more common terms is called. This is a crucial understanding of what orthodoxy in a cultural or religious sense truly is.Watson of Harvard's research into Chinese culture where conformation to orthopraxy is essential to maintaining cultural identity." Max L Stackhouse  Professor Stackhouse also indicates that such liberation does not encourage a critical analysis of the problems of the oppressed people it seeks to make autonomous. "There is no doubt that responsible participation in societal life includes political responsibility but some areas of living should be exempt from political interest or manipulation. Yet the ancient concepts that these words represent have been blamed by some of these new advocates of orthopraxy for seeding the ills of Western civilisation while other advocates have merely dismissed them as poetic illusions of the past that were never real to begin with. the dichotomy between thought/action. As was noted. The third part of this essay deals with these concepts in their own culture and in accordance with their original definitions and reason. the use of.
As there is no clear delineation between religion and other cultural elements of ancient Hellas. This is especially evident when the ethnic religion of a collective is simultaneously their State religion or the religion of their leaders. of course. It would also thus indicate a disjunction between their worldview and their ethos (used in this context to mean the distinctive spirit of a culture in the manner of Hegel's Geist). The philosophers did not. Regardless of appears in the form of theogenies. clearly separate the discussions of the ontologia and the theologia in their works under separate headings or in separate papers as it was generally presumed that everyone who studied such things knew the common Logos (Reason and order). They ought also to know the common conceptions. this would also mean that. of poetry or within . cosmogonies. is whether such order genealogical myths. founding myths. Sallustius . A common Logos which was not only inherent within the very structure and development of the Hellenic language but was also transmitted in a more elaborate form through that which more accurately is called the Palaios Logos (Reason of Old).doctrines develop the Christian worldview through guiding people to view. that they may properly attend to the teaching. This classification is based on what anthropologists tend to identify as a lack of cohesive religious thought and theological formulation.On Gods and the Kosmos The search for order and ordering principles. there was no cohesive formulation of thought or common conception of a religious order in ancient Hellas that provided the impetus for human action/activity or guided and informed the conduct of the people. understand their place and act within the Christian order of the world. anthropologists identify an absence or lack of adequate theoria in amidst what they perceive to be evidence for a primacy of praxis. and not habituated to foolish beliefs. there will simultaneously be no clear disjunction between the cultural and religious conceptions of order or worldview as they will be completely integrated. according to these anthropologists. 3. Common conceptions are those to which all men agree as soon as they are asked. It is also inconsistent with the verifiable fact that all philosophers did not write only of ontological matters concerning the nature of beings but many of their writings also randomly discuss the nature of the Gods which is. The dialectic process is thus not one of disagreement of opinions but in reality that which refines and develops the Palaios Logos. They should also be in disposition good and sensible. free from change. it bears mention that certain religious anthropologies classify ancient Hellenic religion as strictly an orthopraxy with little or no emphasis on any related orthodoxical elements. In places where there is no clear delineation between culture and religion because the religious beliefs are ethnic and shared by the collective. in one innate to ancient Hellenic culture. for instance. called theologia. In simpler terms.1 The Palaios Logos and Common Conceptions of Order Those who wish to hear about the Gods should have been well guided from childhood. There is a certain irony in this classification when one considers that it is the very preference for theoria that the advocates of this new orthopraxy accuse Classical ontology of. free from passion. With this in mind. the meter form or another. so too does any culture or religion. This Palaios Logos forms the foundation and mainstay of Hellenic thought as the seed from which the dialectic process began as well being the dialectic's formative and cohesive principle. that all gods are good. in the ancient Hellenic language. the tuning of instruments.
It is within the Palaios Logos that the common foundation of Hellenic thought and actions may be found. the entire body of ancient Hellenic writings has effectively passed into the Palaios Logos and this is affirmed by the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes who state that: "We don't have one sacred book containing the commands or revelatory words of 'God'.the framework of philosophy or the law. presents the truth in its entirety. the search for the principles that clarify the Logos of the Kosmos was made sensible by the development of the concept of Nous (Mind) as an intellectual principle. that is. the Logos and the Pythagoreans discovered that it could be expressed in mathematical terms."  As the corpus of ancient and primary text Hellenic works are generally accepted by the Ethnikoi to be truth in its entirety it is necessary to move beyond personal opinions and personal terminology to discover the true significance of concepts such as Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy in purely ancient terms and in accordance with the Palaios Logos. whose purpose is to regulate humanity's servile obedience to a celestial dictator. In philosophy. The Palaios Logos is the Reason and Words of the Ancestors and it was and is kept with respect and honour. it is the corpus of Hellenic ontologia that must be consulted to determine what such terms meant to the ancient Hellenes and how they were used. On the contrary. This is only comprehensible when one considers one of the most important differences between Christianity and ancient Hellenic thought. which is hidden under the phenomenological appearance of things. By the time of Plato. In Christianity. In fact. the large number of our texts. Herakleitos calls this order. its ontology is incorporated within its theology while in ancient Hellenic thought it is always understood as separate as an absolute convention and necessity. This may seem strange because in Christianity the same dichotomy is examined in terms of theology. under Empedokles. Logos and Nous along with other important concepts became what is known as the Palaios Logos (Reason of Old) in the same manner as the ancient laws and customs were called the Nomos Arkhaios. present and future simultaneously. This separation is the means by which to clearly differentiate between the existences of the Gods and the classes of onta (essential or substantial beings). These texts are the condensation of human reasoning in its attempts to validly interpret the Cosmos in a way liked by the Gods. Sacred texts are for us the whole corpus of (ancient) Hellenic Learning. numbering many thousands. at least those works that have survived the sinister flames of Christian pyres (fire). expression and action. discovery of and elucidation of order and the ordering principles is evident as a constant motivation for Hellenic thought. logically. the Herakleitan and Pythagorean concepts of order were placed under the governance of the purposeful and intellectual force called the Nous whose knowledge encompassed past. the search for. Now in modern times. . As the Nomos Arkhaios was the basis for the development of civilisation (as a verb) and the foundation of the Thesmon (customs) of Hellas so too was the Palaios Logos the basis for not only the development of the language but also the structure of Hellenic thought and the Hellenic worldview. As orthodoxy versus orthopraxy deals purely with mortals and their ordering principles or worldview as well as the means by which humans gain knowledge and what guides their impetus for action. which for Xenophanes was the means by which the Divine accomplished their ends within the Kosmos and for Empedokles was distinctive from (but not in opposition to) the matter which it worked upon from 'within' (in a manner that is simultaneously transcendent and immanent). Stoic linguistic theory later differentiated between the internal logos as thought and the external logos as speech.
self-actuating. Human Knowledge and the Impetus for Praxis (Action) . 3.  This convention of separating the ontologia and the theologia is another good example of a common conception of order within the Hellenic worldview and brings the often difficult subject of the myths into perspective. the theologia and (2) that which was subject to the ontic laws derived from the domain of the Eide or Forms (and was subject to ousia as either essence or substance.The reason for this separation is simple and derives back to some of the earliest concepts of the Palaios Logos. By the time of Proclus. The theologia deals purely with the nature of the Gods while the ontologia deals with the nature of Beings. Furthermore. The myths are thus symbolic. The reason underlying his concern was that for the Gods to be immortal and unchanging. essence or permeations of the Gods within the Kosmos. they must be immobile and to accomplish their ends by the power of Nous (intellect/mind) alone. the separation between theologia and ontologia was highly developed and the distinction was made clear between the existence and power of each God. From this distinction the difference was clarified between (1) that which transcended ousia (substance) and formal unity and was not bound by the ontic laws of unity and multiplicity or in other words those who were supra-essential. the ontologia). uniform.e. i. inert state of perfection and goodness that is the true nature of the Gods).  The adjective Theoi is used to refer to the Gods as the multiplicity of organised.e. In this sense the Gods are referred to as Makarês to denote their chief characteristic of Makariotis (the blissful. i. Myths are largely ontological in nature and concern the powers of the Gods rather than the existence of the Gods. systematic. The adjectives and proper names used to refer to the Gods collectively and individually are thus evidence of a highly formulated and developed religious sense of order and worldview that exists within the ancient Hellenic language itself and is remembered in the logoi (words) that perfectly express each conception of the Hellenic Kosmotheasis. the distinction between Ontology and Theology was the difference between a discourse on taxein (classes or ordering principles) and proper names. that the individual Gods are immortal and therefore not subject to the eroding effects of time in the world of changes  while the prosopon (the phenomenological world and mortal beings)  is subject to mortality and divisiveness and hence obviously belongs to a different taxin (order).e. The theologia studies the proper name of an individual God as individuated from other Gods while the ontologia deals with taxein (classes or ordering principles). functions. The genealogical myths are very often expressions of ontological orders or the classes. i.2 Psyche. The separation begins to take shape with Xenophanes and his repudiation of anthropomorphism. interpretative and poetic human gnosis of the nature and order of an essential and substantial reality beyond the phenomenological appearance of things  that depicts the essences and permeations of the Theoi ontologically. Hence the Gods are seen as immortal and immobile rather than in motion and subject to mortality. for Proclus. The theologia differs in that it is a study of the Proper Names and nature of the Gods. recurring and perfect Onta (beings) who constitute the Essence of Intellect in the Universe which extends and permeates all things .
Pneuma was a far deeper concept than it is commonly translated to in the form of breath. These are associated with pneuma and aer (air) as that which life depended upon. Upon its departure at death. This division of Psyche is the 'ethical' ruler of the lower two parts of Psyche. It was wind in Homer's usage and used to indicate the inner fervour within people by Xenophanes while for Aristophanes it was the demeanour of a person. The Timaeus states that it is divine in nature. awareness and activity.  (2) The Thymoeides (the enspirited) receives communication from the logistikon and acts upon it. The Pre-Socratic philosopher Empedokles took this psychical totality to be a daimon (spirit) that had to undergo various incarnations within a soma (body). aesthesis (sensation) results. was created by one of the Demiourgoi and is located in the human head (but not in the brain itself which is allocated as the seat of aesthesis (sensation) which Pythagoras states is one of the supports of Psyche). Psyche was divine in nature and immortal in so much as it survived the death of the soma (body) and [in the manner of Herakleitos] was active while humans slept and its processes could be observed through dreams. By the 6th century BCE. deepens and expands upon the works of those who went before him. Plato's anamnesis (recollection) is also founded upon Palaios Logos based upon the account which is given of Pythagoras' recollection of his previous incarnations as well as the thoughts of Empedokles and Pindar. the concept deepened through the correlation of human breathing during sleep with the unconscious cognitive system that was active while the senses were closed off from the Kosmic Logos of the waking world. The logistikon also has a prenatal vision of the eide (forms) and as such is the cognitive archê (principle) of a non-sensory dianeia (genius and associated with Nous which Pythagoras determines to be another support of Psyche). observation and participation within a totality of human potential for consciousness. Its natural function is dianeia (genius) and logismos (logic) and when it is beset by the pathoi (passions) of the body. the concept of Psyche incorporated the early functions of the Homeric thymos (as the animating factor of the body and the impetus for heroic virtue) and was understood to be the term that described the psychical totality of a human that correlated to the totality and unity of body parts into the soma (body). immaterial and invisible. . Anaximander. This division is very much in line with the Homeric Thymos as an early conception of Psyche which was heroic in nature and in motion and animated the soma (body) during life and was the impetus for heroic activity although it was only in the later work of Aristotle that it was formally associated. Through Plato anamnesis is raised to the level of episteme (secure knowledge) and Psyche becomes that through which we may recollect knowledge of the Eide (Forms). In Pindar. However. All the motifs of this Palaios Logos are later found in the works of Plato and his tripartite division of Psyche in which he integrates.  In Herakleitos. Anaxagoras and Diogenes of Apollonia.  These three parts of Psyche are: (1) The Logistikon is the rational division of Psyche that in Plato's Phaedo takes on the characteristics of the unitary Psyche. The recollection of this knowledge is made possible because Psyche shares certain qualities with the Eide in that both are immortal.  Plato's tripartite division of Psyche is an acknowledgement of the rational and somatic (bodily) functions of the psychês which enables human reflection.Some of the most archaic concepts of Psyche (soul) are found in Anaximenes.
As the logistikon is autokineton (selfmoved) and in aeikineton (perpetual motion).  (3) The Epithymetikon (the appetitive) receives no communication from the logistikon and pursues physical pleasures and is sometimes tempered by dreams and divination. Plato develops and refines this earlier Pre-Socratic motif in that the selfmoved Nous (mind) which is within the logistikon participates in true reality through its connection to the Eide (Form) of Kinesis and this 'self-motion' is the ousia (essence) and definition of Psyche. He extends this early conception of Psyche to include the ensouled nature of inanimate objects which can cause kinesis (motion) in other things. (2) Animal (Zöon) Psyche which possesses the Threptikon but also the Aesthetikon (the power of Sensory Perception) thus gaining the additional capacity for perception/awareness as well as the capacities of Orekiton (appetitive). Aristotle was not however referring to the shape of the body but rather the Psyche as the actuality of the soma (body). decline and nourishment.  He identifies this actuality as a potentiality or more simply put a dunameis (capacity/influence/power)  for Psyche to engage in functions or activities. Plato distinguishes between primary motions that are of Psyche itself and secondary motions that are somatic (related to the physical body). Epithymia (desiderative) and Voulesis (will). etc as well as the Platonic tripartite division with a few slight changes in detail but no change in structure.  Each division of Psyche has its own appropriate arêtes (virtues) and pathoi (passions). the higher powers of Psyche possess the lower powers as well): (1) Plant (Phyton) Psyche which possesses the Threptikon (the Nutritive power) which is the basic requirement for Zoë (Life) and gives the capacity for growth. Aristotle revises the Platonic concept of Forms and in a more materialist sense states that Psyche has no innate knowledge of the Eides (Forms) but is in itself the eide (form) of the soma (body).  It is the division of Psyche which the seat of epithymon (desires in terms of longing or wilful desires).only the motionless soma remained.e. Psyche is that which enables the capacity for life and upon which life is dependent (which is the same as with all other conceptions of Psyche except said with far more complexity). i. In Thales. Aristotle returns to the tripartite division for the dunameis of Psyche which he categorises in the form of a nested hierarchy (i. Plato's conception of Psyche is very similar to the Pre-Socratic motif of Kinesis (motion) and Alkmaeon's conception of Psyche in aeikineton (perpetual motion).  Furthermore. such as the magnesian stone (magnet). The Atomists also held Psyche to be the source of motion. Their perception of Psyche was that of an aggregate of spherical and fiery atoms that were both in motion and the cause of motion.e. Aristotle differs in that he includes plants within . Thymos (enspiritedness) and Kinetikon kata topon (motion according to place/environment) (3) Rational (Logikon) Psyche which has the powers of Threptikon and Aesthetikon as well as the capacity for Intellect (or thought) through the power of Dianoetikon (Genius) These dunameis roughly correspond to the various functions within earlier concepts of Psyche such as the Homeric Thymos.  Aristotle determined the kinesis (motion) of Psyche to be circular in nature thus identifying that Psyche is in motion because it is the final cause [of Psyche] and movement is originated by noesis (thought) and proairesis (choice). an identical notion of Psyche is found in that he concludes that the power to produce kinesis (motion) is evidence of the existence of Psyche.
the potential for knowing through different kinds of knowledge must find an appropriate activity through which that which may be known can actually become known. namely art [technē]. for him (and later Lucretius). Epikouros of Samos also proposed that Psyche was materialistic and vitalising in nature and that its full potential was actualised within a soma (body). As the hexeis (ways of knowing) of Nous and episteme (scientific knowledge) are both ways of knowing that are products of the intellectual process (namely induction and deduction) they are unified under Sophia (Wisdom) and assigned a single activity. i. hexeis] through which the [rational. and nous. (a) the capacity to receive impressions. (c) to form intentions to act in response to them and (d) to do these things rationally. Epikouros (like the Atomists) held Psyche to consist of atoms which act upon and are acted upon by the atoms of the soma (body) and resembled pneuma and heat mixed (as per the PreSocratic concept of pneuma). Psyche was not immortal and had no existence outside of the soma (body). total comprehension/understanding) was held by the ancient Hellenes to be Aletheia (Truth). Judgement and opinion are capable of error [and are therefore excluded].  Aristotle.his ensouled life forms and does not separate the appetitive or desiderative capacity of Psyche from the Logikon as Plato does with the Epithymetikon. determines Aesthesis (Sensory Perception) to be the beginning point of all knowledge. they must be put to use.  The Stoics too revisit the Palaios Logos and determine Psyche to be fiery or heated pneuma. Epikouros and Speusippos. By unifying certain concepts from the Palaios Logos. Aristotle too.e. however. This correspondence of Reason to Reality (i. like Demokritos. logikē] psyche comes to truth by way of affirmation and denial. the ruling part is the Hegemonikon which in humans is called the Nous (mind) or Dianeia (genius) which is very similar to that of Plato's Logistikon and Aristotle's Logikon. like Pythagoras and Demokritos believed that the conclusions of Logiki (rational thought as a function of both Aristotle's Logikon and Plato's Logistikon) had to be supported by sensory input.  The Neo-Platonists expanded and developed Plato's relation between Psyche and the eides (forms) with their highly developed theory of .  Epictetus also determines the ruling part of Psyche to be the Hegemonikon and defines it as the epistemic and moral way of knowing/disposition of a human. For them.e. only potentialities and for them to be actualised. The Hegemonikon is completely rational when fully developed or matured and manifests four mental powers. wisdom [sophia]. Nichomachean Ethics  The Hexeis are. Epikouros differed in that. Aristotle. Thus Aristotle assigns each hexis (way of knowing) to have a corresponding energeia (activity). Aristotle determines these three energeia (activities) to be : (1) Theoria as the activity of Sophia (including Nous and Episteme) (2) Praxis as the activity of Phronesis (3) Poiesis as the activity of Technē  (Note: these will be discussed at greater length in the next section) In the same manner as Aristotle. "Let it be assumed that there are five [ways of knowing. in his discussion on the Logos of Psyche further identified five hexeis (ways of knowing as moral and intellectual virtues) by which the Logikē Psyche (Rational Soul) could arrive at Aletheia (truth). practical wisdom [phronesis]. Aristotle. (b) to assent to or concur [with these received impressions]. scientific knowledge [episteme].
daimones (spirits) and heroes).  Plotinus affirms this and elucidates that Psyche is a product of and eikon (likeness) of Nous that is both turned inward to its source [toward the Nous] and outward towards the world [which it vitalises]. including those of the planets). Thought and action is thus co-equal. Psyche is seen in terms of the trias (mean and two terms) and hence there are three types of Psychês: (1) the divine Psychês (the Ouranioi. In Homer. The function of Psyche in Plotinus remains synonymous with the Palaios Logos. it is clear that such functions/capacities belong to the Hellenic conception of Psyche (soul).  In Proclus. This consistency of thought exists within the very structure of order as the Logos within the Hellenic Kosmotheasis (worldview) regardless of minor variations in expressing the ratio (as another form of Logos) of the divisions of capacities. Through the unitary nature of Psyche. Proclus discusses Psyche as being both Zoë (Life) and zoön (living things) thus affirming Plato's 'ousia (essence/substance) of Psyche. The ontology implicitly specifies that it is intellect that guides actions and actions that actualise the intellect through activity. The distinctions and gradations of the Psychês provide the foundation for the continuation of belief in palingenesia (rebirth). So too does Proclus preserve palingenesis (rebirth) although he denies that psyche can be reborn into animals. This consistency of thought concerning Psyche is found too within the body of myths. .as per Plato) and within time through its energeia. Another example is given by the Stoic Kleanthes who states that the myth of the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus concerns the emergence of Wisdom from Nous and the location of the Hegemonikon as within the Nous of Zeus. complementary and harmonious within the ancient Hellenic ontology. Psyche becomes a plurality of individuated Psychês that are unified through sharing a common source and natural function but are differentiated in that they operate in and over distinct somata (bodies). A final and elegant example is that offered by Damaskios:  “By the method of Kore the psyche descends in genesis [conception/creation]. powers and functions to one another within Psyche. This is especially apparent in the Iliad through Zeus' (who is identified with Nous) guidance of the heroes' thymos (as not only the Homeric conception of Psyche but also the source of heroic arête and the coordinated motion of the heroes virtuous thoughts and actions). (2) the Psychês that pass from intellection to ignorance (noesis) and (3) [in the manner of Empedokles before] the Daimones (further subdivided by Proclus into the Psychês of angeloi (messengers). It is also evident that there is cohesion of thought concerning Psyche that affirms and develops the Palaios Logos through the centuries. In turning inward Pysche is fertilised by the Nous and produces activities that 'move outward' such as aesthesis (sensation) and growth. By participation in the En.  From this account of the ancient Hellenic ontological thought regarding the origins of human knowledge and the impetus for human action. Proclus too affirms the Palaios Logos and Psyche maintains its intermediary position through its participation in eternity by reason of its ousia (essence/substance .sympatheia and assign a medial position for Psyche between the noeta (mental) and the aestheta (sensory impressions). Plato and the Stoics before him and Psyche is thus said to vitalise and govern matter. the Theoi as the essence of the Intellect within the Kosmos interacts with the world of mortals and guides their actions. Plotinus identifies a systematic plurality of Psychês within the framework of Kosmic sympatheia.
3 Theoria.By the method of Dionysos it is fragmented at genesis [i.e. It is liberated [by] acquiring the powers of Heracles. Praxis and Poiesis According to the accounts of Cicero and Iamblichus. The method of liberation is also clarified by the power of Herakles which is the heroic thymos as the coordination of thought and action in arête. [and] it is brought cause/purpose by Demetra” Damaskios Damaskios thus explains much of the formulated ontological structure underlying many of the myths in this quotation. who engage in economic activities. The gathering of Psyche by Apollon is a direct reference to the harmonising power of the Logos (i." Roberto Polito  3. It is gathered through Apollo And. the second were the competitors and the third comprised those who sold their wares at the games. The first type consisted of those who went as observers. (1) Theoria as the activity of Sophia (including Nous and Episteme) (2) Praxis as the activity of Phronesis (3) Poiesis as the activity of Technē . by Athena Soteira it is cleansed through the true philosophy. Aristotle affirms the traditional divisions with his five hexeis (ways of knowing) and the three energeia (activities) that correspond to these five hexeis. Plato's tripartite division of the psyche (soul) into logistikon. (2) Political 'Auxillaries (in the form of civil servants and military) and (3) those. true philosophy) of Athena Soteira and given cause/purpose by Demetra who. as the mother of Kore. is both the beginning and the end of the motion of Psyche thus indicating a circular motion.e. It illustrates not only the fragmentation of Psyche in the manner of the relation between unity and multiplicity which is an ontic law but also shows the intimate bond between Psyche and soma (body). For there is no question in antiquity that body and soul interacts with one another and that consciousness entails certain physical processes. the tripod and the lyre) while the katharsis (cleansing) of Psyche is the 'saving' wisdom (i. By the method of Prometheus and the Titans it is bonded with the body.e. This affirms the existence of orthognosia (correct knowledge) concerning Psyche within the ancient Hellenic ontological writings of both philosophy and mythology. [conception/creation]. These three distinctions were revisited by not only Plato but also later Aristotle and the Stoics. Pythagoras identified three different types of people that attended the Festival Games. either rich or poor. "The ancient debate on the substance of the soul is clearly different from that of the later Western tradition about the mind which is centred on the dichotomy between consciousness and matter. thymoeides and epithymetikon roughly corresponds to these three Pythagorean 'types' as does Plato's three functional 'class' divisions as found within his Republic: (1) Philosopher 'Guardians'. This orthognosia not only offers a spatiotemporal perspective of the place of the human Psyche within the Kosmos but it also gives a sense of order to the Hellenic Kosmotheasis concerning the origins of human knowledge and the impetus for action.
(1) theoria to praxis and (2) praxis to poiesis. in the manner of the verb skopeo) but is rather a mode of apprehension and comprehension through observation. de Vogel that the Greeks always maintained that true philosophers are only those who know how to exemplify a coherence of thought and living. This brings Herakleitos' identification of logos as the guiding principle for orthognosia and orthopraxia into a new perspective as it is through the nous that logos guides thought/opinion into becoming orthognosia and action into becoming orthopraxia. the term theoria referred to observation and theoroi (plural) to those observers who were sent to games. now emphasised in its speculative value and now in its moral value. through observation. The hexeis are thus both the impetus for the energeia and the telos (purpose/perfection) of the energeia.3.e. It is also important to remember that in Aristotelian terms the kinesis (motion) of Psyche is circular. Before discussing the significance between the Aristotelian relation of theoria to praxis and praxis to poiesis it is necessary to explore how the terms were used in the ancient Hellenic language. a proof of this is in fact previously expressed by C. . Agathon. in Pre-Socratic times. theoria. one will be without any true knowledge of phronesis in the same manner as without technē the perfection of poiesis will never be attained. Now it is important to note that each of the hexeis (ways of knowing) and each of the energeia were held to be co-equal in Aristotelian thinking although Aristotle's own personal preference lay with a life of theoria. episteme and Sophia will never be realised or known and without praxis.e. Psyche. Moreover. Praxis and Poiesis (a) Theoria "We can.These three energeia (activities) correspond to the three different lifestyles which people tended to gravitate towards according to their activities or disposition (and as per Pythagoras' insight): (1) The contemplative (nous/episteme/sophia and theoria).1 The ancient meaning of Theoria. Theoria is not an activity that involves just looking at particulars (i. praxis and poiesis) to consist of two separate and distinct relations. the soul potential for nous." Giovanni Reale and John R Catan  Originally. As a contemplative mode within philosophy theoria thus comes to denote the activity of apprehending and comprehending universals such as Logos. nous (which most agree to be the ruling part of Psyche) and its intimate relationship with logos (reason) will not become an actuality and Reason or rationality (as the guiding principle for thought and action) will remain unrealised thus leading to irrationality and disorder. and hence are teachers not only of thinking but living. Aristotle clearly determines the dynamics of these energeia (i. Dikeosyne (Justice). theoria retained its meaning of observation and simultaneously came to refer to the contemplative life in a metaphorical manner that retains all the nuances of its earlier usage. Nous. (2) The practical (phronesis and praxis). the importance of theoria is usually stressed because without it.  Hence without engaging in theoria. Furthermore.  Within philosophy. oracles or religious festivals within Hellas and abroad to report on or observe the events that transpired. 3. etc. (3) The productive (technē and poiesis). say that the constant in Greek philosophy is theorein. but always in a way where the two values reciprocally are involved in a structural way. in conclusion.
to what he sees. Greek metaphysics. rather it involves seeing things of fundamental importance. It constitutes the essence of the spectator to be given over.  This type of observation/participation (i." Hans Georg Gadamer  "Plato in the Phaedrus already portrayed the lack of understanding shown by rational analysis in mistaking the ecstasis of 'being-outside-oneself' by regarding it as the mere negation of being collected and thus as a kind of derangement. But theoria is not to be conceived primarily as subjective conduct. it is a form of involvement which alters the context in which it appears. for example. to act theoretically [in the Hellenic sense of the word] is defined by the fact that in attending to something. Perhaps the finest manner in which to ."In his title essay 'In Praise of Theory'. not something active but something passive (pathos). as a self-determination of the subject. active and passive.  Hence it is through Theoria that the philosophical ascent to the Forms occurs and through contemplation that the basis for virtuous praxis (action) is found. still conceives the essence of 'theoria' and of 'nous' as being purely present to what is truly real and for us too. This does not mean 'seeing that which is' simply in the sense of observing ambient phenomena. being-outside-onself is the positive possibility of being fully there in the presence of something. Theoria is true participation. "In the same way. from the ancient perspective. Theory then is not disinterested. catching a glimpse of the secrets beneath the surfaces of the visible.e. The theoria of the philosopher is merely a metamorphosed observation of the universal principles in real life and the Kosmos in much the same manner as theatre goers would observe the principles of human life reflected through poiesis upon the stage. 131)  Karl Kerenyi believed this to be an important facet of Hellenic religion which he interprets to be a religion of Schau (German: showing or seeing) which in the words of Hannelore Rausch may be understood as: "For the Greeks. Such being has the character of self-forgetfulness. his role has a political aspect. but in terms of what is contemplating. disengaged contemplation of immutable truths. Since the envoy is an official representative of his home city. the philosophical theoros ascends to the Eide (Forms) not only to apprehend the Good but also to take the pattern for Arête in ordering their own life as well as that of society and the individual. Hence the modern distinction between subject and object does not exist. vision. the German philosopher. Observation or contemplation is thus simultaneously participation. one is able to forget one's own purposes. It is a form of seeing." In Plato's Republic. In truth. At the same time theoria refers to the functions of an envoy sent to participate in. both derived from its Greek etymon. a religious ceremony or communal games. namely being totally involved in and carried away by what one sees." Colin Davis  Furthermore and very importantly. there is no distinction between the observer and what is being observed. a spectacle in which men are both viewers and viewed. Hans Georg Gadamer suggests two senses of theoria [theory in the Hellenic sense of the word]. The 'theoros' is both witness and participant and his presence is also a mode of intervening in public affairs." Kerenyi also notes that the Gods too come to festivities as theoroi (observer/participants) and he describes the fundamentals of Hellenic religion as one that is "a reciprocal." (GW 1. in self oblivion. festivity and the point of view of the spectator are inextricably connected and we now understand that in the Greek feast this situation of thea [the act of seeing and the root word of theoria] is always repeated as the one in which the Gods and the human beings come together. participation mystique) was also the mode by which the ancients approached theatre as a didactic medium.
in a similar manner to eudaimonia (happiness). it is appropriate to invite him to yours. therefore. in the same way the mind as a whole must be turned away from the world of change until its eye can bear to look straight at reality. It is also the root of the word eispraxis which means 'I earn' in the manner of reciprocal compensation. and at the brightest of all realities which is what we call the good… The rest. In other words. As such. As an interactive act. any interactive act may be called praxis and the ancients used the word to both describe political or communal actions as well as sexual intercourse. Aristotle also thus implies that it is only in the total understanding of one's neighbour's actions that happiness may be achieved. but are implanted by subsequent training and practice. In other words. it does not refer to any or all physical actions but firstly to that of a reciprocal act or participation in an interactive act. it is appropriate to greet them or if a neighbour invites you to his house. Diotima uses the technical language of the Eleusinian Mysteries to refer to the theoroi (observers) who come for the first time as mystes (initiates) and afterwards as epoptes (watchers). praxis may refer to the act of loving someone or taking revenge upon them equally. praxis is not isolated but requires the presence of others or something else in an interactive way.  Another good Platonic analogy of the journey of the theoros and the activity of theoria is that of what is commonly called Plato's Cave (which is again offered as 'alike unto' to the Eleusinian mysteries that began in darkness and ended in a blaze of light). if a neighbour greets you. His exact treatment of the word has an implicitly ethical implication within its conceptual usage as he refers to 'the observation of neighbours actions as the means by which eudaimonia (happiness) may be attained'.understand the sacred nature of this philosopher's ascent to the Eide (Forms) within a Platonic framework may be found in Plato's Symposium where Diotima likens the contemplation of the Eide as akin to the epotika (revelation) of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries. One particular reference to the 'Cave' explains the type of 'seeing' that is the activity of the theoros: "But our argument indicates that the capacity for knowledge is innate in each man's mind and that the organ by which he learns is like an eye which cannot be turned from darkness to light unless the whole body is turned. Praxis may also be used to denote participation in a military operation where individuals are coordinated and act together interactively.  (b) Praxis The word praxis derives from the verb pratto which means to act."  From this it is possible to see that the highest virtue is thus goodness which is innate and found both through and within Psyche. of what are commonly called arêtes of the mind perhaps resemble those of the body. Aristotle also uses the word 'theorein' in manner that illustrates the totality of its ancient meaning and describes observation in the manner by which one would observe a custom referring not only to the watching or seeing of something but also to the participation therein. However. It refers directly to the activity of taking action or 'acting' and is not concerned with what is accomplished or results from the act. In the same manner praxis also denotes the actions of the individuals who collectively govern a polis via their corresponding and interactive civic functions. Bringing this internal goodness to the fore is thus the aim of the ascent of the theoros. in that they are not in fact innate.  .
this is Aristotle's call for such talents and abilities to be initialised within students of Ethics and Political Sciences if they should truly wish to be a benefit to the polis. the telos (purpose) of building a ship is not the building itself but rather the sailing of the ship. "Zeus is making it rain". etc) Aristotle put forward that for arête (virtue/personal excellence) to be actualised. telos) of poiesis. Aristotle defines technē as any craft. This is an important statement as it illustrates that personal virtue is not a reality unless it is reflected in one's actions towards one's fellow human beings. The praxis of personal arête is thus not a solitary activity that one pursues on one's own but is rather an interactive and communal action. shoemaking. in fact. Poiesis also denotes the technē (craft writing poetry) from whence derives poiema (poem) and poietis (poet).  the of The the Aristotle uses poiesis to denote the activity related to any technē (craft) and furthermore defines poiesis (in a manner that is antithetical to praxis) to refer to the making or construction of something that has an aim (telos) that lies outside of its own activity. praxis denotes an action whose result is its own telos (purpose/perfection/end) and it is in this sense (as well as etymologically) that praxis stands in opposition to poiesis.e.e. If one considers this statement within context to the Pythagorean/Socratean/Platonic association of the innate talents and abilities inherent with Arête and Agathon. it must become praxis (i. Aristotle further makes a distinction between praxis and those actions which produce things through craft (such as shipbuilding.e. For him.  Yet praxis is more than this too and is simultaneously any rational action that is voluntary and does not seek to produce anything other than its own activity.e. an interactive action) for it is insufficient to hold the potential for and have knowledge of virtue and never use it or apply it. (c) Poiesis The term poiesis derives from the verb poiō referring to construction of something.e. He furthermore determines technē to be a productive potential or capacity which is informed by an understanding of its own intrinsic rationale. i.In more technical terms. i.e. it. praxis refers to the skilled application of theoria (i. i." Daniel Franklin Pilario  From the above quotation. refers to a world of free and creative 'praxis' (action) beyond the noisy world of productive technological endeavours.  Within context to poiesis as the energeia (way of knowing how it works) of technē (craft). Praxis is caused by and is the perfection of phronesis (common sense/practical wisdom). word has also been used in manner to denote the actualisation of power of a God. . the rationale of building a ship is different to the rationale of writing a poem and simultaneously the rationale of building a ship is related to the rationale of sailing a ship. praxis in Aristotle's usage of the word becomes clearer. poetry. skill or art which is the purpose/result or perfection (i. "To be practical in the Aristotelian sense does not only mean the competence to apply 'theoria' to concrete situations. using rationale or critical analysis to make a decision or solve a problem) indicating that praxis is neither purely reason or purely action but a combination of the both with theoria acting in conjunction with and informing praxis.
by sending him. "The existing constitution. and other things as bad. in fact. the evolution of technē (craft) and that the first products of human society were necessities while further developments improved the quality of life. As it was some of them were friends and relations of mine and they at once invited me to join them. like the traveller who takes shelter under a wall from a driving storm of dust and hail. I was forced. whom I should not hesitate to call the most upright man then living. to the belief that the only hope of finding justice for society or for the individual lay in true philosophy and that mankind will have no respite from trouble until either real philosophers gain political power or politicians become. … Finally I came to the conclusion that all existing states were badly governed and that their constitutions were incapable of reform without drastic treatment and a great deal of good luck. a life of contemplation (theoria) or a life of political and interactive activity (praxis).e. by some miracle. to arrest a fellow citizen and bring him forcibly to execution. and so I watched their proceedings with great interest. and seeing lawlessness spreading on all sides. Socrates refused. Praxis and Human Fulfilment The first distinction between Praxis and Theoria centres on the Classical debate about which type of lifestyle is best suited for human happiness and fulfilment. Among other things they tried to incriminate my old friend Socrates. and risked everything rather than make himself party to their wickedness.3. Plato firmly believed that the contemplative philosopher should participate in the political life of a good city but to refrain . it is important to bring Plato's choice into the context of his own life and experience of political life. i.In the mass production of crafts. as if it were the natural thing for me to do so. the multiple applications of a particular skill or in the performance/creation of an art there is also a level of inherent mimesis (artistic imitation) within poiesis which renders it reflective of life. is content that he can keep his hands clean from iniquity while life lasts…"  The true matter at hand then is not only what type of lifestyle is best suited for human happiness but what type of lifestyle is best suited for personal arête (virtue as excellence) when faced with the corruptions of political life. true philosophers. 3. Aristotle observes that the development of culture is." Plato  Socrates further justifies abstention from a political life in Plato's Republic: "One who has weighed all this keeps quiet and goes his own way. I found that they soon made the earlier regime look like a golden age. with others. The definitions alone of these terms only begin to show the significance of the ethical concerns posed by Aristotle in his separation of theoria. I was disgusted and drew back from the wickedness of the times. Even though Aristotle too favoured Plato's emphatic emphasis on the superiority of choosing a contemplative life.2 Theoria. My feelings were what to be expected in a young man: I thought they were going to reform society and rule justly. This is important because it is this very preference for theoria that Christian Liberation theologians blame for causing the ills of Western civilisation. When I saw all this. in part. Within context to human life. praxis and poiesis into the dynamics of the two separate comparisons of theoria to praxis and praxis to poiesis. which was subject to widespread criticism. Plato's 7th Letter which he wrote as an old man reflecting on his younger years may bring his own experience of political life into the context of his choice for a contemplative life. was overthrown…and a committee of Thirty [was] given supreme control.
but to make each man a link in the unity of the whole"  This statement clarifies Plato's vision. they create a disposition or tendency in individuals towards certain types of knowledge and lifestyles. in speaking of such subjects and with such premises to indicate the truth roughly and in outline. However. Aristotle's lifestyles and the energeia with which they are associated are thus not so much a political statement about social classes as they are a metaphor for and of the multidimensional (and holographic) order within all things. it is crucial that the allegorical nature of Plato's Republic not be forgotten: "And so the recapitulation of 'The Republic' which appears before the section on physics addresses itself to a consideration to the structure of the universe by means of eikonikos [as likeness/representation/reflection]" Proclus Hence whatever distinctions exist between Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Ethics are simultaneously metaphorical differences. While the energeia of theoria. These intrinsic potentials within each individual were what Aristotle was referring to in his identification of three life styles and three types of energeia (ways of knowing). Socrates and Plato affirm this Palaios Logos by logically concluding that if the cultivation of individual talents and abilities lead to the harmony of Psyche in the individual thus the virtue and harmony of a State would be determined by the harmonious and appropriate placement of each citizen (as a part within a whole) according to their individual talents and abilities. praxis and poiesis are within each rational Psyche. whether trivial or serious. From this perspective they are the innate potentials and activities of: (a) The Universe. and share their labours and rewards. …The object of our legislation is not the special welfare of any particular class of society. This association of Arête and Agathon was first held by Pythagoras who determined Arête to be the harmony of Psyche (soul). prevent them from behaving as they are not allowed to… [They are not allowed to be left] remaining in the upper world and refusing to return again to the prisoners in the cave below. all three are necessary for the different aspects of life and are developed to a greater or lesser extent as a natural consequence of living. (b) the State as a collective of individuals and (c) an individual. and to ascend to the vision of the Good as we have described and when they have achieved this and see well enough. and its purpose in fostering this attitude is not to leave everyone to please himself. "We must be content. With further regard to this. a person who engages in theoria) as one of the Philosopher/Guardians: "Then our job as lawgivers is to compel the best minds to attain what we have called the highest form of knowledge. Plato identifies the ideal role of the theoros (i.from participation in the politics of corrupt regimes which were (and are) commonplace. In the Republic.e. but of society as a whole. and it uses persuasion or compulsion to unite all citizens and make them share together the benefits which each individually can confer on the community. and in speaking about things which are only for the most part true and with premises of the same kind to reach conclusions which are no better… " Aristotle  In this quotation Aristotle clarifies that such distinctions as between three energeia and the three types of lifestyles are structural paradigms through which the student of Ethics and Political Science may reduce the . Socrates believed the concepts of Arête (Virtue) and Agathon (Beneficial Good) included innate talents and abilities and the cultivation thereof.
The structure of a polis reflects this Logos too but sadly is subject to the irrational desires or passions of its leaders/lawgivers and the corrupt state of political life in many places bears witness to this. Zeno's dichotomised society of men. 'enemies'. Within Plato. 'slaves' and 'aliens to one another'. Plato and later the Stoics. The central Stoic concern was achieving homologia with their rational nature and that of the Kosmos.  The corruption of a polis is thus an important factor in whether participation therein (i. as happiness which may only be complete by the eudaimonia of others. The Divine Logos is thus within everything and orders everything in accordance with the design of Physis (Nature as 'self-emergent'). Such allegories admirably represent the holographic and geometrically three dimensional Logos of Hellenic conception that is perhaps best summed up by Thales when he said "All things are full of Gods". The Nichomachean Ethics is thus not an instruction manual for rather the means of accumulating the knowledge which will actions.complex compound of human life and knowledge into simplistic order to know the 'whole' by a study of its parts. his central position was affirmed by Cleanthes and Chrysippos who adhered to the wise/ignorant dichotomy. is an allegory of the parts of Psyche and the struggle of the individual to find from freedom from the governance of the irrational. The question is thus raised by Aristotle whether eudaimonia. For Socrates. The homologia which the Stoics sought to attain is similar to the harmony of psyche as a state of Arête (virtue). "All this indicates clearly that the being of self as 'praxis' which is developed in books VI and X of Nichomachean Ethics and which appears to argue that 'theoria' is ultimately a solitary. elements in purpose of action but inform our The concept of restructuring a corrupt society is also visited by Zeno in his Politeia where he restricts membership to only those who are good and virtuous and excludes wretched people on the basis of them being 'hateful'. is a possible achievement within the contemplative and sometimes solitary life of a theoros. only in a political context. Although later Stoics would reject some of Zeno's proposed 'reforms'. like Plato's and Aristotle's. This was Zeno's way of illustrating that no true community is possible while the wretched are mixed among the good because the wretched destroy the basis for true fellowship in their passion-ridden pursuit of false values.e. free and independent activity makes sense only insofar as this solitary activity first arises and remains a genuine possibility of human existence. It would. The continuity and solitariness of 'theorein' [observation as contemplation] as the highest . not be ethical to assist a politically corrupt regime to the detriment of both personal arête as well as the beneficial good of the human collective. the ethical options of life under a corrupt regime are limited to either complete withdrawal or political and constitutional reform. of being with others each of whom are equally free in their being. The earthly political life was transcended within their thinking due to the inconsistency between earthly laws and constitutions with the Orthos Logos (the will of Zeus and the 'plan' of Physis/Nature). no eudaimonia (happiness) was possible in the political life under the governance of wicked men. after all. The same Logos (as an underlying order) is found in the Kosmos as it is found within Psyche. praxis) could truly be ethical or not. appetitive and desirous tendencies (that are not governed by the Orthos Logos/Nous).
Aristotle furthermore identifies that theoria is distinguished from praxis (action) in that it [theoria] is directed either to reality or to the object of physis (nature) and applied to such things such as philosophy.  Theoria within Psyche is hence the act through which reason and rationale may become the ruling part of the soul and free it from enslavement to the pathoi (passions).  "The reasoned capacity to act is different to the reasoned capacity to make.3. for neither is acting making nor making acting. The use of such metaphorical analogies is merely the philosophers' way of pointing out to students that much may be learnt of universals and principles from observing life. the energeia of the nous) for its own sake.e. Nor are they included one in the other. good action is itself its own end" Aristotle  . in its intrinsic import. This distinction derives from the roots of both words and their opposition to one another." Aristotle  The reasoning behind this [second] distinction is made clear by the statement: "While making has an end other than itself.way of relating to being (to the worldly being of beings as a whole) should thus. cosmology or mathematics. properly be understood ontologically (as finitude and individuation of one's freedom) and not as an ontic isolation of the individual from others." William McNeill  Aristotle determines theoria as the activity of the mind (i. astronomy. praxis derives from the root verb of pratto meaning "I am working" (indicating a work in process or a 'doing' of something already in existence) while poiesis which derives from the verb poiō which means "I am attempting for something to happen" (indicating the making or construction of something from its beginning). This is illustrated in the metaphorical analogy of the primacy of the contemplative life in Aristotle and the rise to power of the class of Philosopher-Guardian rulers in Plato. the contemplation of the universe for its own sake results in self-sufficiency or autonomy. Theoria is distinguished as an intellectual rather than moral virtue and for Aristotle. Both theoria and praxis are a source of virtue and eudaimonia (happiness) because theoria is not a solitary experience but rather an autonomous one where the theoros participates in the true reality of things through their observation both in participation mystique and through informing praxis in a complementary and interdependent manner. From this it is clear that theoria and praxis are not a dichotomy because they share a similar characteristic in that they are both fulfilling purposes in themselves and have no product other than their own activity. 3.3 Praxis. Poiesis and Human Motives The second distinction between Praxis and Poiesis concerns the difference between action and production and the difference between 'doing' and 'making'. the comparison and distinction between praxis and poiesis is relevant. To further understand the significance between actions that are an end in themselves and those that result in products outside of their own activity.
the act of building is in the thing being built and that of weaving in the thing that is being woven…but when there is no product apart from the actuality is in the agents..g.e. In the shoemaker who lacks the understanding of the cause of shoes there is no purpose in his actions other than the technological production of shoes for commercial and . Rhetoric. i. the purpose of such actions are never the activity themselves but rather something that may be achieved by the actions. i. These actions. This distinction Aristotle illustrates metaphorically by drawing on the root distinction between praxis and poiesis i. metaphorically expressed as a preference towards either a contemplative or a political life) which simultaneously speaks of the human capacity for virtue and passions depending on whether one is ruled by reason and rationale or desire. political practice and even the philosophical contemplation of the 'theoros' are all ends in themselves and have no ulterior motive other than their own 'praxis'. These activities which rightfully belong to the moral sphere as they have no ulterior motives and seek no reward are called Praxis in the Aristotelian sense of the word. the actuality is in the thing being made. e.e. the ends of which is protection for feet. This second distinction thus serves to support and develop conclusions of the first distinction in that the Psyche that is enslaved and ruled by pathoi (passions) will forever be desiring or longing and all actions will merely become the means by which people attempt to actualise their passions.e. the difference between the verbs pratto and poiō. i. In contrast and distinct from Praxis is Poiesis that refers to any activity whose meaningfulness lies in their external effect. Aristotle clarifies this further in Metaphysics: "[when] the result is something apart from the exercise.  This is an important ethical distinction as it illustrates a crucial factor within the Hellenic kosmotheasis which is 'understanding why we do things'. the act of seeing is in the seeing subject and that of contemplation in that in the object of contemplation and that of life in psyche (soul)" Aristotle  This statement serves metaphorically for Aristotle as he makes a central assertion to his ethical theory: That certain human activities such as ethical virtues.e. A good example of this is the distinction between a shoemaker who makes shoes according to a pattern based on the 'rules of making a shoe' but with no understanding of what the purpose of shoes are in comparison to a shoemaker who understands that the purpose of making shoes is the protection of feet and that the perfect shoe is thus one that perfectly protects the feet.e. praxis and theoria) and those that are intermediaries for ends other than their own action. neither does one act in a virtuous manner to earn praise nor does one engage in a political life for financial security. the ends of which are persuasion or shoemaking. The second distinction between praxis and poiesis is thus the difference between an action that is a reward in itself and those actions that are only a means to an end. This brings Aristotle's separation and comparison of theoria to praxis and praxis to poiesis into a clearer light.  The distinction is thus between activities that are their own telos and those activities that are not.e. Such actions have a telos (purpose/perfection) that exists external to the action itself. i. as a means to an end. This differentiation comes into better perspective when one considers the meaning of the ancient word telos which is simultaneously purpose. Aristotle likens to the skill of a craftsman whose activity produces a product other than its own activity.e. fulfilment and perfection. The first distinction is thus one of disposition towards either goodness or [through the pathoi] corruption (i.This distinction is thus one between activities which are an end in themselves (i.
present and future events. The telos (purpose) of this shoemaker is thus not the protection of feet but the commercial production of shoes as a by-product to the activity of making the shoes. if one considers the earliest meaning of the word Aitia (cause) which refers to the portion of responsibility allocated to something or someone. Dikeosyne (Justice) in comparison to the politician who knows both the cause of his office and the cause of the common good.  Due to the determining factor of Kairos in certain activities that deal directly with Physis (Nature) such as .economic reasons.  This is the basis of Aristotelian Praxis as an ethical act which is distinguished from any action that seeks something other than its own cause as its purpose or end. The role of Physis in early concepts of poiesis brings to mind the importance of Kairos (appropriate time or timely) within such intermediary activities. It is Kairos that determines which action or activity co-operates with the Agathopraxia (good deed) and as such Kairos is considered the Ortho Metron (correct measure). In terms of praxis. The same may be said of the difference between a politician who is elected to public office without understanding either the cause of his office (i. the person acting was not seen as the prime mover but rather as the necessary agent of the unseen prime mover of Physis (Nature). Furthermore. It is thus the aitia of an activity that is the impetus of human action through being not only the causation of an activity but also being the responsibility to fulfil the cause through action. it is through the activity of theoria that these causes may be known and an action chosen that may best exemplify the ethical determination of Aristotelian praxis. Speusippos stated that Kairos referred to the appropriate time to accomplish a task. However. Regardless of whether it was in the making of wine. In early Hellenic thought the human artisan or agent of poiesis was an 'intermediary' who merely aids or abets an already existing impetus of Physis as 'self-emergence'. the aitia is also the telos (purpose/end) of an activity including the responsibility to act in a manner which fulfils the cause as its end. perform a function or fulfil a need. Understanding the causes of activities and basing ones actions on fulfilling the cause of the activity is thus self-determined praxis that is in accordance with Physis (Nature) and hence is Sophrosyne (common sense) which is the Metron (measure) of Psyche concerning natural desires and pleasures.  This differs from the modern world where Physis has been conceptually subordinated to man who is now perceived as its prime mover. Philosophically Ananke is the compelling nature and force that regulates past. the activity of making the shoe that perfectly protects the feet fulfils his purpose and is an end in itself.e. Kairos itself is determined by Ananke (Necessity) who is both a Goddess (according to the Orphics) and a sacred institution/decree of the Gods (according to Empedokles). for the shoemaker whose telos (purpose) is the protection of feet. to serve the common good of his constituents) or the cause of common good itself.e. the growing of wheat or a midwife assisting in the birth of a child. The introduction of the concepts of Physis (Nature) and aitiês (causes) into the discussion of which actions may rightfully be called praxis and which fit more accurately under the term poiesis yields a further factor that sheds light on the matter. Aristotle may be understood further. i.
Each part causes an opposing reaction in the other parts while serving the purposes of the unified state. and regardless of their technical nature would thus be considered as participation in an agathopraxia (good deed). though at variance with itself.agriculture. Poiesis and the Reconciliation of Opposites There is a very ancient and common conception concerning duality and dichotomies found in the Palaios Logos which is as a direct result of the ontic law of the relation between unity and multiplicity. To further unify the structure the strings of a lyre are stretched from the yoke to the frame (in the manner described in the myth of Hermes who is the Messenger of the Logos and his construction of the lyre) to produce a continuum of circular dynamics. The reason for this is simple. Any action that is not caused by Ananke is thus unnecessary." Herakleitos  Every tension of opposing forces is a unity alike unto a unified structure with the tension of parts that constitute this unity being an essential component to produce both form and function. midwifery. Praxis. Examples of this are. etc. 3.4 Theoria. This common conception is that which in English is referred to as the tension of the opposites that derives from the famous quotation from Herakleitos: "They do not understand how. It is a backwards-turning attunement like that of the bow and lyre. The connection of Ananke with both order and the regulation of desire and appetite may be attested to in the following example of Plato's criticism of a man for "being a jumble of desires" while of the same man Socrates says: "There is no 'taxis' (order) or 'Ananke' (necessity) in his life". Yet each its nature separate preserve?" The tension of opposites is a relation of parts within a whole. The essence of this is found in an Orphic fragment in which Zeus addresses Mother Nyx. (a) The relation of the planets to the sun that creates a solar system (b) The lyre which is constructed by the convergence of two 'arms'. it agrees with itself.  Ananke as Necessity and the Orthos Metron of Kairos is consequently also associated with Sophrosyne as the Metron of Psyche and the selection of only that which is required and at the appropriate time. Through . Ananke (Necessity) is an aitia (cause) that is a deep seated impetus for action that governs both the need for protective footwear as well as the need for politicians who truly do serve the common good of the people. moral or beneficial praxis and what may not. It thus only through the tension of the parts that the multiplicity of parts may function as a harmonious unity which produces variance while still allowing each part to retain its own nature and its relational nature within the unity. "And how will all things but as one subsist. Energeia (energy/activity) is stored in potential within the frame. The criterion of praxis is thus not only an action where its aitia (cause) is simultaneously its telos (purpose/end) and is self-fulfilling in its own activity but it is also an action determined by the decree of the aitia of Ananke (Necessity). The concept of Ananke is central to the determination of aitiês (causes) and hence what may considered ethical.3.
(a) praxis and theoria both have their aitia (cause) as their telos (end) while (b) praxis and poiesis are both physical actions distinguished only by the difference between acting and making. maintaining with all their force that true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless Forms. praxis to theoria and praxis to poiesis. praxis and poiesis are seen within context to the trias (two terms and a mean) and placed diagrammatically upon the ancient tool of the metron i. i. "One party is trying to drag everything down to earth. Due to the fact that there are three terms in this particular instance." Herakleitos  If one part within a tension should be removed. the tension that holds the unity of multiple parts in a form will simultaneously slacken and the form and function of the unity will exist only in raw potential rather than actuality. out of the heavens and the unseen.e. the energeia which is stored in potential within the frame is released as a harmony or actualised. In its place all that will be left is a disparity of individual parts. and out of a unity all things. It is thus through Aristotle's distinction between praxis and theoria by way of the essential opposition between praxis and poiesis that he resolves the tension of the opposites between theoria and poiesis by illustrating that praxis shares a common characteristic with both. [something which is] being brought together and brought apart. i. The real tension of the opposites is thus not between praxis and theoria but between theoria and poiesis.e. for they lay upon every stock and stone and strenuously affirm that real existence belongs only to that which can be handled and is resistant to touch… And accordingly their adversaries are very wary in defending their position somewhere in the heights of the unseen. literally grasping rocks and trees in their hands. the balance beam. Theoria Praxis Poiesis These three divisions hence create two separate relations.the tension of the strings. This distinction is resolved by praxis as an interactive act with both the underlying reality (as .e. out of all things there comes a unity. in tune and out of tune. Theoria Praxis Poiesis Praxis is the mean because Aristotle distinguishes it from both theoria and poiesis while simultaneously being the common term in both distinctions. "Things taken together are whole and not whole. This tension of the opposites is akin to the opposition between Idealism and Materialism in that theoria is concerned with the reality underlying the surface appearance of things while poiesis is concerned with the material reality and that which reflects life. theoria. " Plato: The Sophist.
e. Their unity. poiesis) is thus the foundation of Aristotle's relation of the hexeis (ways of knowing) to the energeia as both their aitia (cause) and telos (end/purpose/perfection). episteme. It is also clear from Aristotle that is through the tension of the opposites between affirmation and denial that these hexeis as aities (causes) find their telos within their own perfection. The circular harmony of these energeia (theoria. is indisputable because of the fact that Aristotle specifically arranges them as a triad which. praxis or poiesis.' Herakleitos  It is also important to note that no formal tension of the opposites is made by Aristotle between the five hexeis of nous. phronesis and technē. Within the ancient Hellenic language. in Pythagorean terms. This is reasoning supported by Herakleitos' statement concerning the unification of the opposites: 'The beginning and the end are common on the circumference of a circle. He also specifically states that all five of these hexeis are ways of knowing through which the Logikon Psyche (as the part of the human psyche which differentiates us from other animals or plants) may know Aletheia (as a correspondence of Reason to Reality). praxis and poiesis is a trias (triad) as a unity it is a triangular number which is diagrammatically illustrated as below: Praxis Theoria Poiesis This is the expansion and contraction of the On (as that which objectively exists in reality) which is changed into various forms through the metron (measure) without losing its true identity according to Herakleitos. is a triangular number (which is exactly half of oblong numbers) upon which all interdependent and cyclic/circular harmonies are founded. sophia. Simultaneously though its material nature. praxis. Praxis is also the means by which poiesis may be improved ethically and productively by theoria. The motion of each hexeis through its activity to find its own perfection/end is thus a refining by distinction process. however. this tension of the opposites is called the palintonos armonie and as such refers to a counterbalancing harmony that is stretched equally in all directions. As the palintos armonie of theoria. its energeia is transformed by the metron (measure) into theoria. It is thus through the tension between affirmation and denial that the potential within each hexeis i. .informed by theoria) and the surface appearance of life (as guided by poiesis). poiesis through praxis becomes the foundation of knowledge for theoria.
as do the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes and many others (including myself). Conclusion Again. it is not in it. every good 'psyche' (soul) uses 'nous' (mind). participates in. but no 'soma' (body) can produce 'nous': for how should that which is without 'nous' produce 'nous'? Again. praxis and poiesis are all thus ways for the potential for knowing to be known.On Gods and the Kosmos In the end. the basic requirements for life may be known and perfected while praxis brings the knowledge of communal co-habitation. Through poiesis. Their combined effect is the harmony of the fulfilled Psyche whose potential has been actualised. just as the engineer is not in his engines (although many engines move without being touched by any one). It is also not my intention to question whether modern dichotomies are truthful for those to whom they apply but rather to assess whether such modern dichotomies are truthful within the Hellenic conception of thought and action. The basis of the earliest anthropological theories were entirely epistemological in nature and were concerned with determining whether human thought was universal or relativistic to culture in nature. In terms of the cultural models. Humanity and the Kosmos in perfect balance of thought and action and body and soul. epistemological and ideological dichotomies are heuristic tools through which an observer is . Each energeia is distinct but also interdependent on the others. while the 'psyche' uses the 'soma' as an instrument. interacts with and is an intermediary of the Orthos Logos. The actualisation of this harmony between psyche and its soma (body) is simultaneously the actualisation of a complete human being. actual case studies and research into the universality of thought have only confirmed approximately thirty elementary human concepts  that are not relativistic to cultural differences. the conclusion is quite simple and determined by the comparison between the modern dichotomy in all its forms and the same words in the Hellenic language of the ancient texts. Through theoria all things within the heavens and upon the earth are observed and their underlying patterns drawn upon to perfect and inform thought and action. The Social Sciences/Anthropology/Ethnology is the study of humans as individuals and collectives in diverse cultural settings and at different periods in time. Sallustius . the true conclusion of whether any modern dichotomy has a place within the Hellenic religion or whether it is truly representative of its deepest truths is ultimately the choice of the reader.Theoria. A complete human being who observes. However. Together they act as the activities that seek to know objective reality and as such correspond to Aristotle's tripartite human Psyche as the activities through which each division of Psyche interacts with and knows the world. It is to these people that I address this conclusion as it is not my intention to persuade anyone to see the truth in the Hellenic texts if they do not already. Hence more modern anthropological theories now mostly adhere to a greater or lesser degree to varieties of cultural models. It is through the Divine Law and the beneficial Goodness of the Logos that all things are ordered and it is within this perfect pattern that the potential for a fulfilling human life may be known and realised. As such. the uses of abstract principles such as orthodoxy and orthopraxy as frameworks of reference are not neutral and derive from the ethnocentric perspective of the observer. For one who chooses to accept the entire corpus of ancient Hellenic works as the sacred texts which express truth in its entirety.
most members of any collective being observed will not abandon their own religion's epistemological answers about thought and the impetus for human action in favour of an external classification. within anthropology this old theoretical opposition has gained a new vigour through the growing influence of Marxist materialism in the West since the 1950's. In the same manner. As such. Materialist anthropology would not offer accurate information about the reality of that culture due to their theoretical perspective. The same may be said of any binary classification system. Marxist materialism theoretically and methodologically opposes all anthropological theories that are Idealist in nature. It is also clear from this perspective that there can be no correct action without correct thought to guide it and logically a . it is not neutral to refuse to note the patterns of thought in a culture because the observer is a Materialist and thus culture for them is comprised only of behaviour patterns. In the end. The ideological dichotomy between thought and action through Materialism versus Idealism is a very old debate and one that Aristotle was reconciling when he drew the distinction between theoria and praxis. Classification certainly doesn't explain anything and in a religion and culture like the ancient Hellenic. any classification by any scholar who bases their conclusions upon a perceived lack of canonical writings is both an insult to the ancestral writings and a misrepresentation of Hellenic religion. generally speaking. In a culture that truly does have a conception of an unseen reality. orthodoxy and orthopraxy roughly correspond to the methodological and theoretical opposition between Idealism (orthodoxy) and Materialism (orthopraxy). Marxist materialism opposes any theory that supports a conception of a true reality based on unseen principles or ideas. This approach has been used admirably by reputable scholars such as Geertz. As Materialists. Research appears to indicate that it was from the Marxist materialist primacy for orthopraxy that the dichotomy became a popular framework of reference within anthropology. It is also important to note that certain highly respected scholars and academics dispute the validity of any type of classification and it is clear that whether such a classification is even supported is determined by which definition of culture is used within the diversity of definitions of culture in existence. In other words. For those Hellenes and Hellenists who accept the Hellenic texts as sacred. From researching the various ways that orthodoxy and orthopraxy have been used by anthropologists.able to measure the ratio and relation of thought and action within a foreign culture. In terms of Christian theology. these theoretical oppositions within the Social Sciences remain the heuristic tools and strategies of analysis for observers while. I find it perfectly logical to use a dichotomy between standards of thought as opposed to standards of behavior to measure the ratio and relation of thought to action within a culture or religion if both thought and action are represented in an accurate. it is evident that the dichotomy between correct thought and correct action is not dichotomised within Eastern Orthodoxy which has retained some of the Hellenic complementary nature of thought and action. It would also be a pity to see any religious collective fracture into theoretical camps based on modernist dichotomies. coequal and interconnected manner. Bell or Watson among others. However. explanation is a vital part of the worldview and the ethos. to my mind. Marxist theory defines culture to be only behaviour patterns that are overt and observable while denying the validity or influence of an unseen reality.
standardisation of action requires a standardisation of thought to support the correct action and prevent endless diverse interpretations. orthodoxy and orthopraxy are interconnected and inseparable from one another as there is no such thing as correct action without correct thought. In an Aristotelian sense the distinction between pratto and poio is used to specialise the word praxis to denote only those actions whose cause is phronesis (practical wisdom/common sense) and whose ends are phronesis. the North American Pragmatists and Marx.e. orthodoxy and orthopraxy are defined to be: Orthodoxy: 1. Agreement with accepted standards. Orthopraxis: The correct deed. i. (2) The correct religious opinion in opposition to the heretical opinions. (for one) to act correctly. ideas Orthopraxy: 1. While in the Hellenic dictionary. This is due to the redefinition of praxis by Hegel. established doctrines. In its ancient Hellenic form praxis is distinguished from poio (to construct/make). the teachings and dogma of the Orthodox Church. practical application of rules as distinguished from theory. It is also self-evident from the comparative study of the three parts of this essay that there is little but the most basic resemblance between how the Hellenic terms are used by the ancients as to how they are used by scholars and Christianity in the West. The English grammatical opposition between praxis and theory is carried forward into and further compounded by the terms orthodoxy and orthopraxy in their modern English dichotomised form which is firmly based on Christian theological and post Enlightenment ideological definitions. etc. Later it developed into an action which was worthy of the call of God and conformed to the image of Christ. In an English dictionary. . In its modern and generalised theological form orthopraxia has come to mean literally the right practice as the reflective and responsive action or the practical reflection of the knowledge gained through one's concrete experience or reflection on the truth of Christian faith in love and justice. Correct action 2. orthodoxia and orthopraxia are defined to be: Orthodoxia: (1) The correct opinion and action in agreement with specific principles such as political or economic principles. The dictionary also includes the following statement: Η ορθοδοξία είναι και ορθοπραξία which means orthodoxia is also orthopraxia. The antonyms for orthodoxia are: heterodoxia (other and distinctive religious dogma foreign to a country wherein it is found) and kakodoxia (bad opinion). It refers directly to the activity of taking action or 'acting. An English dictionary  defines praxis to be: Exercise or discipline for a specific purpose. Belief in established doctrine 2. Theologically in its earliest form refers to participation in Church sacraments and regular attendance of Church. A Hellenic dictionary  defines praxis to be: Praxis derives from the verb pratto which means to act.
The association of doxa with theoria is thus highly imprecise. thought. Parmenides determines doxa to be awareness of only the surface appearance of things. In a Hellenic grammatical sense the opposition between praxis and theoria is inaccurate. In the ancient Hellenic language. To state that inferential knowledge was merely doxa would be the negation of Reason. Even in the modern Hellenic language praxis does not stand in opposition to theoria. One such instance is the translation of doxa in both the Social Sciences and Christian theology to mean opinion. It is only in the Aristotelian distinction between theoria and praxis (which serves a specific philosophical and ethical purpose) that this distinction is made and resolved simultaneously because of the common conception of not only the meaning and etymology of words but also the ontic law of the relation of multiplicity to unity. the word doxa has another meaning too (and one that is not included in its English form) and as such it refers to any form of praise that expresses one's opinion. As has been illustrated in this essay. Doxa refers thus to personal or communal praise within a hymn or prayer to a God or Goddess as well as a compliment one may give to another person.The usage of classificatory terms such as praxis. As the ancient Hellenic civilisation was called the Civilisation of the Logos it would be a contradiction in terms to classify it with a term whose meaning in English would include an opposition to theory. By this definition. or belief. Sallustius emphasises the importance of common conceptions and it would be highly confusing and misleading to newcomers of the religion if they should be confronted by classifications of the Hellenic religion that do not precisely reflect the meaning of the word within the Hellenic language. because of the reason that supports them cannot accurately be referred to as doxa. even doctrines. Simultaneously. Within this context. This is simply not entirely true of its Hellenic meaning and is thus imprecise. Doxa in its Hellenic form does not include any form of inferential knowledge thus an opinion that is reasoned and supported by reason is not considered doxa but is rather considered knowledge as gnosis or even episteme (depending on how verifiable the knowledge is). it is cannot be associated with theoria that is an awareness/comprehension of an underlying or higher reality. However. the epistemological and ideological influences within the use of these terms by some scholars in the Social Sciences is indisputable and especially for those whom orthodoxy is determined by Western standards of Heiroi Logoi (Sacred Texts). orthodoxy and orthopraxy within their modern Western definitions may thus be seen as problematic in conjunction with the foundation of the Hellenic Logos as exemplified by the Hellenic language due to the usage of the same or similar words with different meanings and grammatical antonyms. the English praxis and the English orthopraxy which both include an inherent opposition to theory is even more imprecise because through its negation of theory is becomes antithetical to the term Logos which includes the capacity to theorise within its general meaning. praxis (through pratto) stands in opposition to poiō (making/constructing). There is an irony in such a classification when one properly purveys the ancient texts which indicate ample evidence of many accepted . Doxa does refer to opinion and specifically to opinion based on subjective awareness. in the English sense of the word. Doxa is however a support of Psyche (soul) according to Pythagoras and is an important process in the activity of knowing therefore cannot be discounted or negated within the modern religion. This is especially important when one considers that kyriologia (precise wording) is a grammatical virtue.
Within my reasoning and based upon the research used within this essay. If one should consider a comparative study of what Marcus Terentius Varro (Divine Antiquities Frags. It is then important to note that he referred to the strict observance of what Gods had to be approached by which priests in which cults and under which circumstances in which places.standards. For those of us who accept the corpus of Hellenic writings as our sacred texts and allow the wise and truthful words of the ancestors to guide our thoughts and actions to find our highest potential in accordance with the Orthos Logos and Physis. 6-10) wrote of ritual orthopraxis in Etruscan and later Roman religion to be a relevant study of the norms of ritual praxis that may have too applied to Hellenic religion. there is further evidence of formulated and established Hellenic religious thought that guided just any action into becoming a correct action. Nous and the potentials and actualisations of Psyche. epithets and spheres of activity are what the Christian theologians would term established doctrines. There is also the historical example of the committee commissioned by Ipparkhos. It is also evidence of a highly organised communal religious life that may not have been pan-hierarchical but was nonetheless structured and orderly. One of the leading members of this committee named Onomakritos was accused by Lasos of interpolating his own lines into an Orphic text and was exiled (for a period of time) from Athens. The common perceptions of the Gods in the forms of their proper names. common reason. The Hellenic ontology which is based on reason would also be considered established doctrine by Christian standards. the heuristic tools of external epistemological enquiry and Christian rhetoric is needless when the reason. new works may be added but the old works may not be changed. ideas and beliefs of a highly formulated nature. profundity and beauty of the ancient Hellenic writings provide ample epistemological answers concerning Logos. There is also emphasis placed on Ortho Logos. I am also forced to conclude that defining and classifying the Hellenic religion in terms of the Christian conceptions of orthodoxy and orthopraxy in its modern Western form is inappropriate.  In other words. Varro called this ritual orthopraxis 'civic theology'.  If the Hellenic Gods and the temples or altars dedicated to them with different epithets are seen within the context of Varro's definition. Both external classifications and these new orthopraxies are foreign to Hellas and a highly probable source of miasma considering the . Simultaneously the importance of orthopraxia as a consequence of orthognosia is a central tenet of the Hellenic kosmotheasis as is evident by the example of the usage of the Delphic Maxims within the education system to teach not only the correct knowledge of the language but also the correct knowledge to produce correct actions. son of Pesistratos in Athens in 6th century BCE to collect together firstly Homeric fragments and secondly Orphic fragments. ortho metron and orthognosia by many of the philosophers and the Palaios Logos remains. a cohesive foundation and a guiding principle in the development of Hellenic language and thought. all at once. There is also little doubt of the presence of fundamental principles that underlie and support Hellenic religious beliefs when one considers the fact that each God or Goddess had not only a proper name and epithets but also a Theotēta which is the abstract meaning of a Theos or Thea as a totality of their attributes. I am forced to conclude that the inclusion of scholarly theoretical oppositions and religious or secular reform movements within the ancient Hellenic religion are completely unnecessary. Such a severe punishment for 'selective insertion' is indeed confirmation that firmly established writings were not open to adjustment.
hymnos.F. W. orthognosia and orthopraxia are the most perfect and complete expression of the Logos that we may aspire to. Without a balance between them. all secure knowledge will be lost and everything will descend into purely a matter of opinion or belief. Cultural Variation and Processes of Change. skill and production that is one of the central means by which a culture evolves. It is my earnest hope that those who truly care for the Hellenic Gods. we will be less than we could or should be. They are also the means by which the innate talents and abilities within all modern Hellenes may be actualised into productive and thriving communities where all the gifts of Psyche are honoured equally. happiness and potential to fulfil both as a consequence of being ensouled in life. for without the energeia (activity) of theoria. SOURCES:  Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (Pg 191): Catherine M Bell  Ritual Density in Qumran Practice: Ablutions in the Serekh Ha-Yachad: Michael A. the ontologia and all of the explanations the Ancestors left to us of why things are the way they are. Gade  Ethnic Identity. Daise. the highest wisdoms will be lost to us and our means to know truth will remain unrealised. allegoria. Sophia and Episteme will simultaneously be de-emphasised. Without Episteme. I am therefore in agreement with those who state that this new orthopraxy is purely and simply deconstructionism. 33:1 (Pg 92)  Religious Festive Practices in Boston's North End (Pg 175): Augusto Ferraiuolo  American Indian Thought. mythos. The true implication of any de-emphasis of theoria in Aristotelian terms is dire. The simultaneous de-emphasis on poiesis will be a loss of creative expression. To find them we need look no further than the corpus of ancient Hellenic works and the thought and action they inspire within us. Together. We should not choose between them and we have our entire lifetime (and perhaps many more) to strive towards them. They are something we have to each come to know for ourselves and in our own time. craft.essential opposition to theoria and the complete negation of poiesis that they bring with them. Ritual Practice (Pg 27): Catherine M Bell  Ritual Theory. emotion and the recited Qurʼān in Indonesia (Pg 173): Anna M. the Nous. It is through the Logos that we may each come to know orthognosia and orthopraxia. Ritual Practice (Pg 27): Catherine M Bell  Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (Pg 191): Catherine M Bell  Perfection makes practice: learning. religion and the civilisation of the Logos will accept and embrace the full potential of the human Psyche (soul) and to understand theoria. Philosophical Essays (Pg xxxvii): Ann Waters . Without Sophia which is the source of human Reason and Aletheia as the correspondence of reason to reality. Rethinking the Insights of Standardisation and Orthopraxy: Melissa J Brown. Modern China. Orthognosia and orthopraxia are both equally important and inseparable from the Logos. it is not something that can be enforced on anyone. Without Nous. praxis and poiesis as co-equal. This would mean the simultaneous loss of the Hellenic worldview. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research/College of William and Mary  Ritual Theory. the Logos will be rendered insensible and unknowable. interdependent and complementary activities through which the harmony of each Hellenic psyche may be actualised. the theologia. The Gods willingly afford us the freedom.
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