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Thread: Hubris and Self-Alienation

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    Hubris and Self-Alienation

    Following are a list of quotes from a semi-new book, Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas (professor of Philosophy, cultural history, psychology and has founded a graduate program in "Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness").

    Basically, in this work, he sets out to depart from what he considers the traps of postmodernism, using of course pomo-procured knowledge which is actually creative or progressive. He compares our point in time with that of the Copernican Revolution; we face a time, now, in which a grand scale cosmological death and birth must take place. But in order for that to take place, what he seems to push for in his book is a reintegration or reconciliation between "Romance and Enlightenment," i.e. the humanities and science.

    So right now I'm looking for responses to any of these following quotes in light of his vision of reintegrating two disparate (to some) epistemologies. I'd share my own opinion to start off, but I don't want to shape, even more, the direction of the discussion. Remember that I like tangents, so long as they are educative and challenging. Bring the links, too. I got a lot of time on my hands.

    "Because of science's sovereignty over the external aspect of the modern world view, these noble spiritual journeys are pursued in a universe whose essential nature is recognized-- whether consciously or subconsciously-- to be supremely indifferent to those very quests" (31)

    "For quite literally, in a disenchanted cosmos, nothing is sacred. The soul of the world has been extinguished: Ancient trees and forests can then be seen as nothing but potential lumber; mountains nothing but mineral deposits..." (32)

    "That any meaning and purpose the human mind perceives in the universe does not exist intrinsically in the universe but is constructed and projected onto it by the human mind...Might not this be the final, most global anthropocentric delusion of all? For is it not an extraordinary act of human hubris to assume that the exclusive source of all meaning and purpose in the universe is ultimately centered in the human mind, which is therefore absolutely unique and special and in this sense superior to the entire cosmos? [...] To base our entire world view on the a priori principle that whenever human beings perceive any patterns of psychological or spiritual significance in the nonhuman world, any signs of interiority and mind, any suggestion of purposefully coherent order and intelligible meaning, these must be understood as no more than human constructions and projections, as ultimately rooted in the human mind and never in the world" (35).

    "The ambition to emancipate ourselves as autonomous subjects by objectifying the world has in a sense come full circle, returned to haunt us, by turning the human self into an object as well" (33).

    Last edited by AMCrenshaw; 02-17-2009 at 10:53 PM.

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