MD Perennial Philosophy

From: Elizaphanian (
Date: Sun Feb 23 2003 - 11:45:37 GMT

  • Next message: Elizaphanian: "Re: MD Metaphysics and Pragmatism"

    Hi David, Matt, others,

    I found David's discussion of Campbell interesting, but unpersuasive. My
    fundamental problem relates to the idea of Perennial Philosophy (PP)
    itself - I don't think it stands up to scrutiny; at least, not yet.

    DMB quotes Wilber describing the PP as "the common core of the world's great
    spiritual traditions". This is an explicitly essentialist approach. I want
    to know IF there is a common core, and see some evidence for that.

    Some sort of common core has prima facie plausibility, simply because there
    is a common human biological nature. Yet the acceptance of the MoQ states
    that the social level - which constitutes the foundations of our humanity -
    is separate from the biological. Thus there seems to me no obvious
    contradiction in claiming that different spiritual traditions show a 'family
    resemblance' but there is no core common to all.

    This seems to be a particularly characteristic metaphysical conceit. It is
    the 'conventional wisdom' on the subject (all religions are different roads
    up the same mountain) but I think that owes much more to Enlightenment
    ideologies than a proper acquaintance with the facts.


    The lover of myth is in a sense the lover of wisdom, for myth is composed of
    wonders. Aristotle

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