By Frithjof Schuon
During this re-creation of his most vital philosophical paintings, Frithjof Schuon confronts the pitfalls of rationalism and relativism inside of sleek philosophy. This new version includes an absolutely revised translation from the French unique and comprises an in depth Appendix with formerly unpublished letters and different inner most writings.
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Extra resources for Logic and Transcendence: A New Translation with Selected Letters (Writings of Frithjof Schuon)
For if their superiority is not overwhelming, if it is not proportionate to the value their systems claim, which must be measured by the greatness of what they set out to destroy, then their systems are all the more false; and the flagrant character of the disproportion, along with the gravity of the attempted destruction, redounds upon their own heads. * * * It is impossible to stress the following point too much: what completely escapes the notice of the critical philosophy is that reason requires data if it is to function at all—data which it cannot extract from itself and without which its activity is illusory; here is the source of all the differences and misunderstandings between Greek rationalism and “Oriental dogmatism”: this dogmatism, far from being a product of imagination, credulity, and illogicality, proceeds essentially from suprarational knowledge, which it no doubt clothes in symbolic imagery but which nonetheless provides it with data that are strictly objective.
4 The Western mind has always lived to a large extent on alternatives: either it has imprisoned thought and life within real but fragmentary and therefore destabilizing alternatives—pleasure and pain, for example—or else it has erected false alternatives in the course of its philosophical “researches” or in its destructive pursuit of originality and change. One of the most typical examples in fact is Kierkegaard’s criticism of the “abstract thinker”, who is guilty—or so it is made to appear—of “the contradiction of wishing to demonstrate his existence by means of his thought”: “To the extent that he thinks abstractly he makes an abstraction of the fact that he exists,” this philosopher concludes.
Kierkegaardian “existence” nullifies itself because it lacks a sufficient reason; how is it possible to conceive of an “existential” morality, one “lived and not thought”—hence free from “abstraction”—at the level of terrestrial man, who is by definition a thinking being? This 3 Errare humanum est, said Saint Jerome, and according to Saint Augustine, Humanum fuit errare, diabolicum est per animositatem in errore manere. 4 The Western mind has always lived to a large extent on alternatives: either it has imprisoned thought and life within real but fragmentary and therefore destabilizing alternatives—pleasure and pain, for example—or else it has erected false alternatives in the course of its philosophical “researches” or in its destructive pursuit of originality and change.