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Why do you keep linking Wittgenstein with Hitler? 


--- Jonathan Crowther <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >The latin translation of the arabic sentence should
> be: 
> ><intellectus in formis agit universalitatem>, which
> I would 
> >translate as <the mind infuses(agit) universalism
> in our ideas 
> >forms)>. The mind is any individual person's brain,
> which is 
> >partially associated with the universal mind. In 
> >other words: all of us, all men/women share the
> mechanism of 
> >thinking, we all share the power to give shape to
> ideas, which 
> >is a trait of the universal mind.
> 
> I think the translation is "The intellect does
> universals in 
> forms".
> 
> The passive intellect receives the forms through the
> senses and 
> the active (or agent - hence agit) intellect uses
> the logical 
> intentions of genus, species and difference to
> create universals.
> 
> Avicenna and Aquinas agree up to this point. 
> Avicenna then 
> creates a problem based on his assumption that
> universals are 
> identical in all intellects.  If this were the case
> there would 
> be no room for error or scientific advance.  To
> solve his 
> problem he develops the no-ownership theory or
> universal mind in 
> which we all participate whereas Aquinas says "the
> intellectually
> grasped form has its universality not according to
> the exietnce it has
> in an intellect but according as it is related to
> real things as a
> likeness of them",
> 
> Aquinas posits an essence by which we know things
> and by which 
> things exist but which we can only know through
> positing 
> universals or models (Popper's conjectures) subject
> to 
> experimental verification (Popper's refutations). 
> The Aquinas / 
> Avicenna and Popper / Wittgenstein arguments are
> essentially the 
> same.
> 
> Avicenna I think confuses the creative or poetic
> intellect with the
> agent intellect which does participate in the anima
> mundi or
> collective unconscious.  
> 
> On Avicenna's view there can only be a heightened
> consciousness 
> which receives more truth than its fellows. 
> Scientific 
> knowledge is found by learning from a more open mind
> than one's 
> own, one more transparent to the universal mind
> rather than by 
> the painful route of conjecture and refutation,
> hypothesis and 
> experiment.
> 
> Richard Dawkins book "The Extended Phenotype" argues
> that 
> specific difference is located at the genome level
> rather than 
> the phenotype level.  Regardless of the merits of
> his argument 
> this illustrates that specific differences are not
> "read" from 
> nature but thought through using universals in this
> case the 
> genetic / DNA model.  Under Avicenna's view we would
> never have 
> got to this model.  I believe that its Nobel
> Prizewinning 
> discoverers have credited Aristotle with its
> discovery.
> 
> We could of course proceed to an argument as to
> whether genes 
> are real (are atoms real?) but on Aquinas' theory we
> hopefully 
> wouldn't feel the urge.  Only the essence is real
> and our 
> universals are means of knowing about essences as
> defined under 
> the logical intentions of genus, species and
> difference: 
> unsheath your dagger definitions, as Joyce says, if
> you want to 
> cut reality but don't forget that you are cutting
> it.
> 
> Is this important?  The no-ownership theory leads to
> diminished 
> responsibility and to the emergence of charismatic
> individuals 
> who claim to represent reality more purely by being 
> more receptive to
> the universal mind: "I can see what you can't see",
> the 
> condition of several Eliot characters. By definition
> I would not 
> be able to argue against such an individual and
> would be by 
> definition a heretic.  Sound familiar?  The model is
> the 
> intellect as radio receiver - the heretic is
> receiving static or 
> is tuned to the wrong station.
> 
> Once truth has been read and written there can be no
> further 
> advance, no scientific advance because there is no
> real concept 
> of error.  
> 
> Christianity does not subscibe to a no-ownership
> theory.  On the 
> contrary it holds each man ultimately responsible
> for his own 
> intellect.  The Church's position re science is (not
> without
> justification) misunderstood and an interesting read
> is Arthur
> Koestler's well documented essay on Galileo and the
> Church in "The
> Sleepwalkers".  
> 
> The non-ownership theory and the related mind as
> substance theories
> pop out of the intellectual woodwork periodically
> and invariably
> underpin despotic ideologies: this theory is just
> one of the many
> enemies of the open society, but a particularly
> invidious one because
> of its romantic appeal and the fact that it attacks
> the very basis of
> intellectual life: Wittgenstein and Hitler both got
> it from
> Schophenhauer in "The World as Will and
> Representation". 
> 
> 


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