Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Pure reason again

Caputo account of the 'common account' of philosophy: "Doing philosophy is a matter of being a keen observer and having a bit of a head for logic... and anybody from San Francisco to Singapore is welcome to try it." (Philosophy and Theology, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006, 5.)

He goes on to point out: "Western philosphers tend to say very Western things about death and individuality that are of interest mainly to Western people and that differ markedly from non-Western traditions." (Ibid.)

Is that Rorty's point when he talks about the inevitable 'ethnocentrism' of whatever might today be called philosophy?

I am remind of - was it Croce or Gentile? - who said famously: We are not Catholics. But we can hardly call ourselves non-Catholic.

And see Caputo again:

Indeed, religious ideas sink down so far into the roots of a culture that they persist even after a person or a group or a culture disavows the religious faith that spawned these thoughts to begin with. That is what is behind much of the 'church and state' debates we have today. What we take to be public consensus and secular common sense, that each individual has inalienable rights, are ideas with biblical roots held in the secrecy of our hearts, e.g., that God knows and loves each one of us. That is an idea that holds on even if faith in God does not. (Caputo, 75 n. 2.)

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