Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

They didn’t make their brains, their crimes are not their fault

The sciences have grown steadily bolder in their claim that all human behavior can be explained through the clockwork laws of cause and effect. This shift in perception is the continuation of an intellectual revolution that began about 150 years ago, when Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species. Shortly after Darwin put forth his theory of evolution, his cousin Sir Francis Galton began to draw out the implications: If we have evolved, then mental faculties like intelligence must be hereditary. But we use those faculties—which some people have to a greater degree than others—to make decisions. So our ability to choose our fate is not free, but depends on our biological inheritance. [...]
According to Harris, we should acknowledge that even the worst criminals—murderous psychopaths, for example—are in a sense unlucky. “They didn’t pick their genes. They didn’t pick their parents. They didn’t make their brains, yet their brains are the source of their intentions and actions.” In a deep sense, their crimes are not their fault. Recognizing this, we can dispassionately consider how to manage offenders in order to rehabilitate them, protect society, and reduce future offending. Harris thinks that, in time, “it might be possible to cure something like psychopathy,” but only if we accept that the brain, and not some airy-fairy free will, is the source of the deviancy.

Physics killed free will and time’s flow. We need them back
Modern science has taken a wrong turn – and it's all because real numbers aren't real at all, argues quantum physicist Nicolas Gisin
"Time passes, and free will exists – any other way, science makes no sense."
By Nicolas Gisin
What irony, then, that the search for scientific truth seemed to kill free will. That started with Newton and his universal law of gravitation. Derived from observations of the solar system bodies, it speaks of a cosmos that operates like clockwork and can be described by deterministic theories. Everything that happens today was set in motion yesterday, ...

How Hardwired Is Human Behavior? - Harvard Business Review › 1998/07 › how-hardwir...
How Hardwired Is Human 

Nigel Nicholson New fields of science don't emerge in a flash, and evolutionary psychology— sometimes called modern Darwinism—is ...
Countless management books have been written extolling the virtues of confidence; they cleverly feed right into human nature. Given their biogenetic destiny, people are driven to feel good about themselves. But if you operate on a high-octane confidence elixir, you run into several dangers. You neglect, for instance, to see important clues about impending disasters. You may forge into hopeless business situations, assuming you have the right stuff to fix them. The propensity to put confidence before realism also explains why many businesspeople act as though there isn’t a problem they can’t control: The situation isn’t that bad—all it needs is someone with the right attitude.
The truth is, even with self-confidence we cannot control the world. Some events are random. [...]
Leadership. As noted at the outset of this article, evolutionary psychology does not dispute individual differences. Indeed, an increasingly robust body of studies on twins conducted by behavioral geneticists indicates that people are born with set predispositions that harden as they age into adulthood. Genes for detachment and novelty avoidance have been found, for instance, which together appear to amount to shyness. It used to be assumed that shyness was induced entirely by environment—if a shy person just tried hard enough, he or she could become the life of the party. The same was said for people who were highly emotional—they could be coaxed out of such feelings. But again, research is suggesting that character traits such as shyness and emotional sensitivity are inborn.
That personality is inborn is not news to any parent with more than one child. You provide a stable home environment for your brood—the same food, the same schools, the same basic experiences on a day-to-day basis. And yet the first child is introverted and grows up to be an R&D scientist. The second, who never stopped chattering as a child, grows up to become a flamboyant sales executive. And still a third child is as even-keeled as can be and pursues a career as a schoolteacher. Evolutionary psychology would tell us that each one of these individuals was living out his biogenetic destiny.
All three of these children are hardwired for certain dispositions. For instance, each falls somewhere along the continuum of risk aversion described earlier. But each one’s level of aversion to risk differs. The point is, along with each person’s fundamental brain circuitry, people also come with inborn personalities. Some people are more dominant than others. Some are more optimistic. Some like math better than poetry. People can compensate for these underlying dispositions with training and other forms of education, but there is little point in trying to change deep-rooted inclinations.
The implications for leadership are significant. First, the most important attribute for leadership is the desire to lead. Managerial skills and competencies can be trainedinto a person, but the passion to run an organization cannot. This feeds into the rather unpopular notion that leaders are born, not made. Evolutionary psychologists would agree and, in fact, posit that some are born not to lead.
Second, the theory of inborn personality does not mean that all people with genes for dominance make good leaders. A propensity for authoritative behavior might help, but some organizational situations call more urgently for other traits—such as empathy or an ability to negotiate. There are as many types of leaders as there are leadership situations. The important thing is to have the personality profile that meets the demands of the situation.
Third and finally, if you are born with personality traits that don’t immediately lend themselves to leadership—shyness is a good example, as is high sensitivity to stress—that doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. Rather, it means that you must protect yourself in certain ways. If you have a low threshold for stress, for instance, you would do well not to lead from the front lines. You could put your trusted senior managers there and position yourself in the corporate office to focus on strategy.
The worst problem an organization can get itself into, this line of thinking suggests, is to have a leader who does not want to lead. Reluctant leaders can survive as symbolic figureheads but will perform poorly if asked to manage other people. The motivation to lead is the baseline requirement for competent leadership. After that, other personality traits and managerial skills matter. They must match the demands of the situation. But if the person in charge is not born wanting to lead, he or she should do everyone a favor and follow or ally themselves with partners who do.

Carl Schmitt: Nazi-era philosopher who wrote blueprint for New Authoritarianism

May 25, 2016 9.02pm AEST

there is one German thinker from the 1930s who does help to explain the rise of the “new authoritarians”. Carl Schmitt, a brilliant jurist and political philosopher, both predicted the collapse of the Weimar Republic, and was – for a short time – a passionate defender of Hitler’s regime. He fell out with the Nazi party in 1936, but spent the rest of his life writing powerful critiques of liberal politics. After years in the wilderness, his works are again attracting attention. Three of his big ideas, in particular, shed some light on the way the new authoritarians think about politics. [...]
Quick-fix authoritarian solutions will ultimately fail, but they can also be highly destructive. The second half of the 20th century can be defined as a struggle between Schmittian politics – the authoritarianisms of the left and of the right – and a workable liberal alternative.
After 1945, Germans refused to accept the assumptions of a Schmittian world, of a society divided into friends and enemies. Instead they forged a constitution that embedded the rule of law and liberal freedoms. That embrace of liberal democracy was a hard-fought lesson. The rise of the new authoritarians around the world is forcing us to learn it all over again.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hegel threw everything he had to say into the stitched-together The Phenomenology of Spirit

The Jew invented the God-fearing man; India the God-knower and God-lover-Sri Aurobindo … 
An excerpt from Michel Danino’s book “Indian Culture and India’s Future”.
Increasingly aware of this cruel, irritable, egocentric and exclusivist character of Jehovah, many Western thinkers, specially from the eighteenth century onwards, rejected his claim to be the supreme and only god. Voltaire, one of the first to expose the countless inconsistencies in the Bible, could hardly disguise how it filled him with “horror and indignation at every page”. In particular, he found the plethora of laws dictated by Jehovah “barbaric and ridiculous”. The U.S. revolutionary leader and thinker Thomas Paine wrote of the Old Testament in this Age of Reason:
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon that the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
With the growth of materialistic science, in particular Darwinian evolution, such views which were revolutionary at the time of Voltaire, became widespread. Bernard Shaw, for example, described the Bible god as “a thundering, earthquaking, famine striking, pestilence launching, blinding, deafening, killing, destructively omnipotent Bogey Man.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the courageous U.S. pioneer of woman rights movement, wrote in 1898, “Surely the writers [of the Old Testament] had a very low idea of the nature of their God. They make Him not only anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather than mercy. I know of no other books which so fully teach the subjection and degradation of woman.” Mark Twain put it in his own way: 
“Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness. The portrait is substantially that of a man – if one can imagine a man charged and overcharged with evil impulses far beyond the human limit… It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast.” 
On another occasion he added, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Freud, seeing in Jehovah an all too human creation, subjected him to psychoanalysis – a dream of a subject for a psychoanalyst. Aldous Huxley called the Old Testament “a treasure trove of barbarous stupidity [full of] justifications for every crime and folly.” In fact, Huxley traced the “wholesale massacres” perpetrated by Christianity to Jehovah’s “wrathful, jealous, vindictive character, just as he attributed “the wholesale slaughter” of Buddhists and Hindus by invading Muslims to their devotion for a “despotic person”. Albert Einstein said, “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.”
Because a few intellectuals had the courage to state the obvious, the power of Christianity was greatly reduced in the West. Yet I have always marveled that Indians should learn about Christianity neither from those bold Western thinkers nor from their own inquiry, but from bigots who continue to pretend that the Age of Enlightenment never happened. 

Having spent a few years laboring over the last sections of “Science of Logic”, I don’t think it’s right to say that the project of the Logic is to give a conceptual-discursive account of what religion accounted for representationally; that’s the aim of the whole system of philosophy, not just the first of its three parts. Once you work through the whole book, you come out of “Science of Logic” still generally ignorant of spirit as spirit, for example — the pure grasp of thought in the Logic isn’t thematized as historical or social in the Logic itself. (Nor do the philosophies of nature or subjective spirit get this thematizing — history and society finally get thematized in objective spirit, the middle third of the “Philosophy of Spirit”, which is where it makes sense for them to show up. That’s where the world-history lectures belong, for example.)
The significance of the Logic for Hegel’s full system is obscured by the stitched-together character of PhG. Hegel just sort of threw everything he thought he had to say into that book, adding sections at the last minute (and greatly annoying his publisher). By the time he’s re-presenting that material in the Encyclopedia system, it’s not all stuck together anymore — “Phenomenology of Spirit” becomes the title for just abbreviated versions of Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and two short paragraphs on Reason. The discussion of “Spirit” that follows in the Encyclopedia is just about the knowing/acting subject — sensation, perception, memory, etc. treated in psychological fashion, before the transition to objective spirit. Very different structure, though the content of Consciousness/Self-Consciousness are recognizable as what Hegel was treating under those titles in the early book.
The obscure arrangement in the book goes along with a serious lack of clarity about what Hegel was supposed to produce next, after PhG — “Science of Logic” claims to be following after PhG in its preface, but I don’t think there’s really any smooth linkage between the two. There’s no reason to become familiar with Hegel’s discussions of religion or Greek tragedy before starting to look at the Logic, for example. The Encyclopedia Logic improves on the Logic’s beginning immensely, by abandoning any role for PhG; starting the system off with the “positions of thought with respect to objectivity” lets it be clear that the topic of the Logic is the concept as such. (The Logic has a “it was the concept all along!” line going through it, like you mention happening with spirit in PhG, but it’s harder to grasp than the parallel line in PhG because it doesn’t start showing up until hundreds of dense pages later, and then is articulated in a discussion of Kant’s B-Deduction.)
So, if you go through with trying to read WdL in a summer (which sounds like an absurd pace — Houlgate and Pippin both teach it over three semesters, and that’s still a forced march), you should be prepared for a very, very different book than the Phenomenology. If you want to continue leading readings of Hegel, you’re probably better off looking at something more directly on what’s of interest to the group, like the Aesthetics or Religion lectures. The Logic takes a long, long, long time to have its payoffs. The Encyclopedia Logic is at least radically shorter, and has a lot of fun short discussions in the Zusatze, while retaining the basic structure that WdL has (without some of the harder parts — Hegel omitted them so he could actually use the EL to teach from, which even he didn’t do with WdL). 
“So is it fair to say that I’m picking up on what Hegel is trying to promise, but he doesn’t really deliver?”
I think he more or less does deliver on that promise — by the end of the Encyclopedia. The Logic isn’t that ambitious; it leaves work for the Realphilosophie to do. 

Eric 1d ago
The “picture thinking” of “Religion” is already critiqued in “Absolute Knowing” (cf. the last and first paragraphs of those chapters, respectively) as what the Science of Logic would call external reflection. In so far as the Phenomenology achieves the overcoming of the division of consciousness and its object by seeing the two as the result of the same activity (Hegel is still riffing on Fichte and Schelling, which he continues to do by critiquing them pretty directly in the Science of Logic while preserving their terminology), it serves as the jumping off point for the Logic, which as Daniel says, really has no bearing on the social ontology of the Phenomenology.
Ultimately, I think Hegel subordinates the concrete universality of religion to that of theoretical philosophy just because the former is an external positing. This is the standard view, but it seems justified by the transition from “Religion” to “Absolute Knowing.” I think this may also help explain the transition to the Science of Logic. Hegel felt the Phenomenology provided the ground for that book by already achieving the unity of consciousness and its object. Ardis Collins at Loyola argues that the Phenomenology is a sort of “proof” system necessary to get to the starting point of science in the Logic (almost like the Wittgensteinian ladder.) I think the Logic is essential for elucidating the other aspects of the system by serving as the whole thing’s ontological foundation, and also I think providing the clearest critique and sublating of Schellingian metaphysics. The Phenomenology is what Hegel had to go through to get to a point where he could really put forth his ontology in its purest philosophical dress.
Sri Aurobindo's concept of internationalism was to have nations before 'inter', but today, a number of organisations and individuals, with no known allegiance to ...
There's the connection with Sri Aurobindo and Auroville. I am particularly interested in the Periya Puranam and the Nayanmars. It's no wonder I chose to build a ...
In Sri Aurobindo, I found for the first time a thorough analysis of the phenomenon and also the convincing vision of the next stage of evolution -the emergence of ...

Times of India (blog) - turned a mystic, his destination being Sri Aurobindo Ashram, in search of his inner quest.His writings, mainly about human suffering in the villages of his state, ... › Cities › Puducherry
Kumar Bhatia, management consultant and Member of Integral Management Group of Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR), was translated ...
Uploaded by QUB School of LawRobert McDermott on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother at the Cultural Integration Fellowship - Duration: 58:35 ... 

P Kumar - 2016
Sri Aurobindo, in his book 'The synthesis of yoga' said that “one must lies one's little lower self to find the greater self”. According to Manusmriti-(6.70ff) “Breath control burns away all kinds of physical and physic blemishes”. ... 28. Sri Aurobindo (2007), “The Synthesis of Yoga”. ...

ARS Clement, SU Maheswari - PARIPEX-Indian Journal of Research, 2016
Even before Macaulay's famous 'Minute of 1835' advocating English education, Indians had been trying to write in English. At first, verse was more popular than fiction: poets like Derozio, Toru Dutt, Sri Aurobindo and Sarojini Naidu appeared before many novelists. ...

T Lomas
From the perspective of a modern scientific understanding, we might associate this law with the theory of evolution, and particularly with emergentist philosophies (eg., Aurobindo, 1939-1940; Wilber, 1995) which ... Birmingham. Aurobindo, S. (2005 (1939-1940)). ...

— Edited by Sri Aurobindo Archives and Research Library 
ISBN: 978-81-7058-363-9 

— Compiled from the Writings of Sri Aurobindo 
ISBN: 978-81-7509-045-3 

— Compiled by Sri Aurobindo Archives and Research Library 
ISBN: 978-81-7058-032-4 

(Corrigenda-Cum-Addenda) — Compiled by Gopal Dass Gupta 
Glossary and index of proper names in Sri Aurobindo's works 

The research below was done by members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives and Research Library. At present the material consists of two items: 
Most of the documents presented were first published between 1977 and 1994 in the biannual journal of the Ashram Archives, Sri Aurobindo: Archives and Research. 
This provisional glossary contains Sanskrit and other terms used by Sri Aurobindo in the Record of Yoga, the diary of his spiritual practice between 1909 and 1927. 
To download the current PDF version, click here

Friday, April 01, 2016

Haeckel, Golwalkar, and Ganeri

Andrew Nicholson at The Indian Philosophy Blog - 3 hours ago
Jonardon Ganeri of NYU gave a lecture at Stony Brook University on March 2, 2016 entitled “Why Philosophy Must Go Global.” In this lecture Prof. Ganeri draws from Jain nayavāda and Madhyamaka Buddhism to argue for “a pluralism of epistemic stances” (not to be confused with epistemic relativism). He maintains that philosophy graduate programs must do a better job of presenting multiple approaches, including the teachings of non-western philosophical traditions.
This might be seen as a kind of mission statement for Stony Brook’s new MA program, “History of Philosophies, East and West.” It is a joint MA program sponsored by our Department of Philosophy and Department of Asian & Asian American Studies.

Story image for Sri Aurobindo from The Hindu

The idea of nurturing

The Hindu-15 hours ago
... educator and writer with more than 26 years in the field of education and the study of Sri Aurobindo's Evolutionary vision and education, and ...

'Harmony in management builds a successful team'

The Hindu-28-Mar-2016
At a recent one-day seminar on “Harmony in Management” organised by Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR), speakers ...

Integral Ideology, An ideological genealogy of Integral Theory
by R Carlson - ‎Related articles
Richard Carlson is a writer/musician and the president of Pacific Weather Inc, a firm ...Haeckel's theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny claimed that the ...

The Meaning of Evolution: The Morphological Construction ...
Robert J. Richards - 2009 - ‎Science
43 Dov Ospovat provided the most searching and rich analysis of Darwin's use of recapitulation. ... 46 It was rather "Haeckel, not Darwin, who popularized the recapitulation theory as an integral part of late-nineteenth-century evolutionism.

Foundations of Integral Philosophy – dance of the mind
9 hours ago - ... cosmological signnificance that suggested purpose and progress are Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Gebser, and Sri Aurobindo.

Open-source religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
19 hours ago - Open-source religions employ open-source methods for the sharing, construction, and adaptation of religious belief systems, content, and practice.
Before the coinage of the term open-source in 1998 or even the birth of the Free Software movement, the Principia Discordia (1963), a Discordian religious text written by Greg Hill with Kerry Wendell Thornley, included the following Copyright disclaimer, "Ⓚ All Rites Reversed – reprint what you like." By 1970, the implications of the disclaimer were being discussed in other underground publications.[9]
Open-source religions employ open-source methods for the sharing, construction, and adaptation of religious belief systems, content, and practice.[1] In comparison to religions utilizing proprietary, authoritarian, hierarchical, and change-resistant structures, open-source religions emphasize sharing in a culturalCommons, participation, self-determination, decentralization, and evolution. They apply principles used in organizing communities developing open-source software for organizing group efforts innovating with human culture. New open-source religions may develop their rituals, praxes, or systems of beliefs through a continuous process of refinement and dialogue among participating practitioners. Organizers and participants often see themselves as part of a more generalized open-source and free-culture movement.[2]

Further reading[edit]

Magazine / Columns : The guru of hate - The Hindu
November 26, 2006 BY RAMACHANDRA GUHA
Golwalkar's book disparages democracy as alien to the Hindu ethos and extols the code of Manu...
THIS column generally deals more - much more - in appreciation than in depreciation. However, it is obligatory on the historian to also (occasionally) notice individuals whose influence on history was malign rather than salutary. One such person was the Hindu ideologue M.S. Golwalkar, whose birth anniversary his followers are marking this year.

In the news
Image for the news result
The East India Company was vast and powerful, hiring thousands across the world. But what ... Apr 30, 2014 - Dan Snow travels through India in the footsteps of the company that revolutionised the British lifestyle and laid the foundations of today's global ...
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.