Start: May 21, 2011, 9:32 am End: May 31, 2012, 9:32 am
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Comment by Rod in reply to philippe Last Updated: May 15, 2011
One of the results of this pattern, which can be seen in Auroville, is a kind of mass paranoid psychosis. Instead of addressing the behaviors of people in a direct and rational way, people are overcome by their fears and their righteous delusions, etc. I prefer using Occam's razor, if possible. The law of parsimony was effectively used to combat religious obscurantism during his time as well.
Comment by Rod in reply to Rod Last Updated: May 15, 2011
Standing on the head of reason is Adwaita. I don't think the law of parsimony gets that far at all and probably has little to do with spirituality; something like the idea can probably be found in Nyaya and Mimamsa which said about everything possible concerning causality. I am mentioning the idea in this context because it is very tempting to ascribe "spiiritual" and "occult" causes for things that are actually quite concrete and present, such as class discrimination. There, Marxist criticism and psychology is probably the best authority. Back to Rod's Comment
if you’re looking for an orthodoxy here you won’t find it. I find some things of value in Marx just as I do in the case of a number of other philosophers. I also think he’s mistaken on certain points. As for the
Frankfurt school I largely see these thinkers as a catastrophic betrayal of Marxist materialism and attempt to domesticate his thought back in the fold of bourgois idealism.
This is a fair point and the sorts of demystification that we find in Lucretius and Spinoza (two of my personal heroes), differ substantially from the sort of demystification I’m talking about. These sorts of demystifications reveal not the human in everything, but precisely that the human isn’t in everything (which is part of what makes Marx’s dissertation such a hoot and complete misreading of Lucretius).
When I evoke the concept of demystification I’m thinking specifically of 20th century critical projects where the aim is always to reveal some hidden human force behind what we take to be out there in the world. The
Frankfurt school would, of course, be included in this, but also psychoanalysis, deconstruction, Foucault’s analyses of power, Zizek’s critiques of ideology, etc., etc., etc.
Let me be clear: I am not suggesting these modes of demystification aremistaken. All of these modes of critique reveal something real and important. The problem is their overstatement. There’s a marked tendency to see all material beings as disguised reflections of the human, ignoring the positive contributions of nonhuman agencies that can’t be reduced to the human.