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nccollignon : rationality   23

Hellenistic period - Wikipedia
how did the enlightenment of the Hellenistic period relate to spiritual/religious development?
greece  history  rationality 
6 weeks ago by nccollignon
Galileo Galilei | Spiritual Meanderings
the "other side" of the story - defending the church's dealing with Galileo's pestering (among other things)

"It was in this letter [*Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina*], also, that Galileo himself defined the astronomical debate as being irrevocably rooted in interpretation of the Bible. Under pressure from both sides of the dispute, the Church was drawn into the fray."
history-of-thought  spirituality  science  rationality 
7 weeks ago by nccollignon
somnio ergo sum - descartes' three dreams
What is remarkable about Descartes' dreams is not that he dreamed (for even philosophers presumably dream), but that he wrote down a description of his dreams and of his interpretation of them and then kept this record* for more than thirty years, until his death.
What is remarkable, in a word, is that this thinker who prided himself on his rationalism and who has come to represent, at least to philosophers, the very spirit of rationalism, should have taken his dreams so seriously.
dreaming  rationality  spirituality  history-of-thought 
8 weeks ago by nccollignon
Lettre de Rimbaud à Paul Demeny - 15 mai 1871
Je dis qu’il faut être voyant, se faire voyant.

Le Poète se fait voyant par un long, immense et raisonné dérèglement de tous les sens. Toutes les formes d’amour, de souffrance, de folie ; il cherche lui-même, il épuise en lui tous les poisons, pour n’en garder que les quintessences. Ineffable torture où il a besoin de toute la foi, de toute la force surhumaine, où il devient entre tous le grand malade, le grand criminel, le grand maudit, — et le suprême Savant — Car il arrive à l’inconnu ! Puisqu’il a cultivé son âme, déjà riche, plus qu’aucun ! Il arrive à l’inconnu, et quand, affolé, il finirait par perdre l’intelligence de ses visions, il les a vues ! Qu’il crève dans son bondissement par les choses inouïes et innombrables : viendront d’autres horribles travailleurs ; ils commenceront par les horizons où l’autre s’est affaissé !
poetry  rationality  spirituality 
8 weeks ago by nccollignon
John Maynard Keynes: "Newton, the Man"
I believe that the clue to his mind is to be found in his unusual powers of continuous concentrated introspection. A case can be made out, as it also can with Descartes, for regarding him as an accomplished experimentalist. Nothing can be more charming than the tales of his mechanical contrivances when he was a boy. There are his telescopes and his optical experiments, These were essential accomplishments, part of his unequalled all-round technique, but not, I am sure, his peculiar gift, especially amongst his contemporaries. His peculiar gift was the power of holding continuously in his mind a purely mental problem until he had seen straight through it. I fancy his pre-eminence is due to his muscles of intuition being the strongest and most enduring with which a man has ever been gifted. Anyone who has ever attempted pure scientific or philosophical thought knows how one can hold a problem momentarily in one's mind and apply all one's powers of concentration to piercing through it, and how it will dissolve and escape and you find that what you are surveying is a blank. I believe that Newton could hold a problem in his mind for hours and days and weeks until it surrendered to him its secret. Then being a supreme mathematical technician he could dress it up, how you will, for purposes of exposition, but it was his intuition which was pre-eminently extraordinary - 'so happy in his conjectures', said De Morgan, 'as to seem to know more than he could possibly have any means of proving'. The proofs, for what they are worth, were, as I have said, dressed up afterwards - they were not the instrument of discovery.

There is the story of how he informed Halley of one of his most fundamental discoveries of planetary motion. 'Yes,' replied Halley, 'but how do you know that? Have you proved it?' Newton was taken aback - 'Why, I've known it for years', he replied. 'If you'll give me a few days, I'll certainly find you a proof of it' - as in due course he did.

'Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone'
newton  science  rationality  history-of-thought  philosophy 
12 weeks ago by nccollignon
Isaac Newton's occult studies - Wikipedia
Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians.
rationality  culture  science 
12 weeks ago by nccollignon
Lecture 16: The Romantic Era
ROMANTICISM appeared in conflict with the Enlightenment. You could go as far as to say that Romanticism reflected a crisis in Enlightenment thought itself, a crisis which shook the comfortable 18th century philosophe out of his intellectual single-mindedness. The Romantics were conscious of their unique destiny. In fact, it was self-consciousness which appears as one of the keys elements of Romanticism itself.

The philosophes were too objective -- they chose to see human nature as something uniform. The philosophes had also attacked the Church because it blocked human reason. The Romantics attacked the Enlightenment because it blocked the free play of the emotions and creativity. The philosophe had turned man into a soulless, thinking machine -- a robot.

The Enlightenment’s appreciation of Nature was, of course, derived wholly from Isaac Newton. The physical world was orderly, explicable, regular, logical. It was, as we are all now convinced, a Nature subject to laws which could be expressed with mathematical certainty. Universal truths -- like natural rights -- were the object of science and of philosophy.
rationality  culture  history-of-thought  society 
12 weeks ago by nccollignon
Irrationality - Wikipedia
Much subject matter in literature can be seen as an expression of human longing for the irrational. The Romantics valued irrationality over what they perceived as the sterile, calculating and emotionless philosophy which they thought to have been brought about by the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.[7] The Dadaists and Surrealists later used irrationality as a basis for their art. The disregard of reason and preference for dream states in Surrealism was an exaltation of the irrational and the rejection of logic.
rationality  culture  society 
july 2018 by nccollignon
Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgment | Science
When blue dots became rare, participants began to see purple dots
as blue; when threatening faces became rare, participants began to see neutral faces
as threatening; and when unethical requests became rare, participants began to see
innocuous requests as unethical.
biases  psychology  rationality  society 
june 2018 by nccollignon

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