RE: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 21:17:58 GMT

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    Andy said:
    I don't know if I can answer your questions concisely. But if my memory
    serves me correctly, in Bill Moyers and Joseph Cambell's "Power of Myth"
    series, didn't Campbell make the point that the key to enlightenment was
    transcending these dualism also? I hear a little of Campbell in what Rorty
    is suggesting here. If you can get your mind wrapped around Campbell,
    surely these ideas put forth by Rorty will seem trivial by comparison.

    DMB says:
    Yes, Campbell and many others discuss the transcendence of all dualities.
    Its a very ancient idea symbolized in the caduceus, which is the staff
    carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods. (Today this symbol has been
    adopted by the medical profession, so you can often see it decorating
    hospitals and emergency vehicles.) Anyway, the staff is ususally depicted
    with two snakes, symbols of change because of the way they shed their skins,
    and is topped off with a set of wings, representing transcendence. Its a
    symbol of transcending all dualities in favor of the One underlying reality
    that gives rise to all the static forms. This symbol and the idea it
    expresses is much, much older than Plato. Its not a mistake invented by any
    one person or mode of thought, it is the plauge of all mankind. The East
    knows this problem too. The maya, the world of the ten thousand things, what
    is the sound of one hand clapping. All this is a reference to the same
    problem, the problem of how were built to perceive the world. Up means
    nothing without down. Cold means nothing without hot. This kind of dualistic
    thinking is a feature of every language and every culture. So Rorty's
    attempt to get rid of dualisms without any reference to the mystical One
    is... um, ignorant. And to blame this age old problem on Plato or Western
    Philosophy is pretty dumb too. I think Rorty is a shallow and superficial
    thinker. Trivial? You bet!

    Andy said:
    ps.I eagerly await my epic love poem.

    DMB says:
    I'm gratful, but I don't think you've earned it yet. I'll start thinking
    about words that rhyme with Andy just in case you do. ;-)

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