Date of publication: 2017-09-05 18:52
The belief that what is ultimately real must be immutable is a very common one: it gave rise to the metaphysical notion of substance, and finds, even now, a wholly illegitimate satisfaction in such scientific doctrines as the conservation of energy and mass.
This might be described as the space of points of view, since each private world may be regarded as the appearance which the universe presents from a certain point of view.
the strange feeling of unreality in common objects, the loss of contact with daily things, in which the solidity of the outer world is lost, and the soul seems, in utter loneliness, to bring forth, out of its own depths, the mad dance of fantastic phantoms which have hitherto appeared as independently real and living. This is the negative side of the mystic's initiation: the doubt concerning common knowledge, preparing the way for the reception of what seems a higher wisdom. Many men to whom this negative experience is familiar do not pass beyond it, but for the mystic it is merely the gateway to an ampler world.
John Hick has proposed a &rdquo pluralistic hypothesis&ldquo to deal with the problem of religious diversity (Hick, 6989, Chapter 69). According to the pluralistic hypothesis, the great world faiths embody different perceptions and conceptions of one reality that Hick christens &rdquo the Real.&ldquo The Real itself is never experienced directly, but has &rdquo masks&ldquo or &rdquo faces&ldquo which are experienced, depending on how a particular culture or religion thinks of the Real. The Real itself is, therefore, neither personal nor impersonal, these categories being imposed upon the Real by different cultural contexts. Hence, the typical experiences of the major faiths are to be taken as validly of the Real, through mediation by the local face of the Real.
Some philosophers think that a stress on ineffability signifies an attempt to consign mysticism to the &ldquo irrational,&rdquo thus excluding it from more sensible human pursuits. Grace Jantzen has advanced a critique of the emphasis on ineffability as an attempt to remove mystical experiences from the realm of rational discourse, placing them instead into the realm of the emotions (Jantzen, 6995, p. 899). Others have staunchly defended the &ldquo rationality&rdquo of mysticism against charges of irrationalism (Staal, 6975). The issue of ineffability is thus tied into questions of the epistemic value of mystical experiences, to be discussed below in section 8.
Cantor and Dedekind established the opposite, that if, from any collection of things, some were taken away, the number of things left must always be less than the original number of things. This assumption, as a matter of fact, holds only of finite collections and the rejection of it, where the infinite is concerned, has been shown to remove all the difficulties that had hitherto baffled human reason in this matter, and to render possible the creation of an exact science of the infinite.
the triumphs of former ages, so far from facilitating fresh triumphs in our own age, actually increase the difficulty of fresh triumphs by rendering originality harder of attainment not only is artistic achievement not cumulative, but it seems even to depend upon a certain freshness and naïveté of impulse and vision which civilisation tends to destroy.
Mystical and religious experiences can be classified in various ways, in addition to the built-in difference between mystical super sense-perceptual and sub sense-perceptual experiences. This section notes some common classifications.
What defines Geometry, in this sense, is that the axioms must give rise to a series of more than one Dimension. And it is thus that Geometry becomes a department in the study of Order.
To conceive the universe as essentially progressive or essentially deteriorating, for example, is to give to our hopes and fears a cosmic importance which may, of course, be justified, but which we have as yet no reason to suppose justified.
This simple faith survives in Descartes and in a somewhat modified form in Spinoza, but with Leibniz it begins to disappear, and from his day to our own almost every philosopher of note has criticised and rejected the dualism of common sense.