Category Archive: Philosophy

July 3, 2013

The Primacy of the Intellect?

Category: Philosophy,Theology - Anthropology :: Link :: Print

One can never think that he is getting into a deeper level of interpretation when he gets at the instincts of man than when he deals with the intellect of man.  There are, from the Christian point of view, no higher and lower levels of existence…. The ineffable, the inexpressible, the “groanings which cannot be uttered” are not any more valuable in the sight of God than the self-consciously expressed praise of God.

Christian psychology does not place the intellect ahead of any other aspect of man’s personality in the sense that one should be more truly human than another.  Man is equally prophet, priest and king.  All that Reformed theology has meant by emphasizing the priority of the intellect is that it is only through intellectual interpretation that we can communicate with one another about the meaning of reality — Cornelius Van Til, Psychology of Religion, 49, 67.

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Posted by John Barach @ 1:21 pm | Discuss (0)
August 23, 2007

Descartes the Humorless

Category: Philosophy :: Link :: Print

Let us turn a last time to the venerable Descartes, our adversary, the great seducer of the modern world. In this booklet on method, he seriously, without any trace of humor, complained that man had impressions before his mind developed to the full power of logic. For twenty years, so his complaint runs, I was impressed confusedly by objects which I was unable to understand. Instead of having my brain a clean slate at twenty, I found innumerable false ideas engraved upon it.

What a pity that man is unable to think clearly from the day of his birth, or that he should have memories which antedate his maturity. Have these naive confessions of the demigod of modern science, the inventor of the mind-body dualism, met with the only success that they deserve: unending laughter?

This brings up the serious question of what the omission of laughter, or its application, mean in the evolution of science. Scientists seem to be unable to grasp the folly of Descartes’ remark. Common sense, however, acts on the principle that a man who fails to apply laughter and weeping in the discovery of vital truth simply is immature. Descartes is a gigantically expanded adolescent, full of curiosity, loathing his mental childhood, and frustrating his mental manhood. — Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, “Farewell to Descartes,” I Am an Impure Thinker, p. 15 (paragraph breaks added).

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Posted by John Barach @ 2:51 pm | Discuss (0)