The Schism in Philosophy

Christos Yannaras


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Description

The Schism in Philosophy is an introduction to a mode of philosophizing ratheråÊthan simply a history of philosophical questions and the responses proposed to them.åÊHistorically there have been two contrasting modes of philosophizing: the communalåÊmode of the Hellenic world and the individualistic mode of the post-Roman West.åÊWhat the Greeks sought was the ‰ÛÏcriterion of truth‰۝: a thing was true when it did notåÊchange or decay. Whereas existents themselves are ephemeral and subject to decay,åÊthe mode of their coexistence is the rationality of harmony and beauty, and this modeåÊof being renders the universe a cosmos, a thing of ordered beauty. Consequently, theåÊGreeks found their criterion of truth‰ÛÓthat upon which they founded philosophy‰ÛÓnotåÊonly in changelessness but also in the communal verification of knowledge: a thing wasåÊtrue if it could be defined as the result of shared experience. In contrast, in the WesternåÊtradition truth was a product of the individual‰۪s intellectual capacity‰ÛÓsufficient on itsåÊown to guarantee the possession of knowledge‰ÛÓrather than a product of communalåÊverification; for Western philosophers truth was defined as ‰ÛÏthe coincidence of theåÊperceived object with its intellectual conception‰۝ (adaequatio rei et intellectus). ThisåÊbook‰۪s purpose is to trace the divergent paths along which philosophy developed in theåÊHellenic and the Western traditions as a result of this fundamental schism.

Norman Russell, translator


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