Yes, that skit was very funny. Thanks di0genes! One of the things that bothers me about speculative theory is how it tends to fragment everything with ever finer distinctions. It is the economic processes that bring us closer together. You remember Marx's contempt for the theorists of his day? Speculative mania is a joy, but it is an irrelevancy. As Farabi said, the theoretically true is what no one can do. That is why I read so much history, politics and religion. I want to see the real processes that have, in fact, brought us together - and keep us apart. (I do indeed consider religion a permanent anthropological category.) But you know my skepticism regarding theory! The philosophers have only blessed what was happening (or emerging) around them. So Plato did not 'make' the various Platonic Worlds (Christianity, Islam, Secular Modernity) based on Being and Knowing - he merely discovered that tendency in his times and furthered it along. Ditto Nietzsche and his World(s) of Becoming and Creating that have yet to be born. The great philosophers have never expected what (I think) you expect of theory; theory explicates, it does not make. Otherwise, theory would be exactly the same as myth.Where does Socrates speak of Mirrors? The Phaedrus? If you want to 'make' just carry a mirror - and, then like a god, you will create tree and star and whatever else you please. The problem with speculation is that it becomes a mirror in which we see our highest hopes, our greatest fears, ...anything we please. Not a mirror Skholiast, but a window is what we should want! What we want to see is what no Will made. As Merleau-Ponty indicated, the generality that actually emerges from our myriad interactions (which no one exactly intends) is the most interesting thing of all. Hegel says the same when he tells us that the Owl of Minerva flies only at night. It is the result of these various positions that is more interesting than any single position. I will quote M-P, albeit from my very fallible memory: 'The reason great men study sex and economics is that it is the visible record of our own inertia'.These institutions that theory (largely) ignores are our inertia! It is these political, anthropological, economic, social and religious institutions that are more important than anything! (Yes, philosophy is more interesting, but it is not as important.) One of the things that MacIntyre taught me is that unless one lives within a coherent world one can neither sensibly agree or disagree. (Of course, one can senselessly do both.) The postmodern world does not need more theory; it needs to come together within a Universal Myth. Joe
Joe,I'm just getting to this interesting comment, and thank you for posting it. You will recall the "First Program for a System of German Idealism" lays out fairly explicitly the idea of a unification of religion and philosophy (I'm not able to quote this precisely at the moment). The great failed experiment along these lines is Marxism, of course. It is now so trite to trot out the line about Marxism being a religion that it has been forgotten that it was supposed to be one. This is to over-simplify of course; you make the point w/ much more eloquence & finesse in yr LibraryThing review....I'll link to this in a post.