Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Am An Impure Thinker

... and damn proud of it.

Giles Fraser writes a fine essay about how he traded in his ideology for relationships with people 25 years ago.

He includes a marvelous quotation from Kierkegaard in which the Danish philosopher  describes the philosophy of his nemesis, Hegel, as a huge magnificent palace in which no one could possibly live.

My friend David Kaplan once said that the left-wing Hegelians and the right-wing Hegelians met at Stalingrad.

Hannah Arendt said at the conclusion of The Origins of Totalitarianism that totalitarianism is not the creation of any particular ideology over any other. Totalitarianism comes out of the very nature of ideology itself. Arendt used the Greek myth of Procrustes and his bed, mutilating people who didn't fit in it, to illustrate her point. It is in the nature of ideological thinking to mutilate living reality to fit an abstraction.

Theseus kills Procrustes in the same way he killed others.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Kirkegaard the philosopher wasn't a pastor.

Pastor Johannes Kirkegaard, of the famous hymn beloved of so many, particularily Gays, in these lands (Swedish Hymn Book Nr 90), is someone else who was The philosopher ícar of Sortegaard (not related?).

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Sorry, don't know what happened here, it's supposed to read "the Vicar of Sortegaard".

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

BTW it's Søren Kierkegaard, the Philosopher.

Counterlight said...

noted and corrections made.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I had never actually noticed or thought of the extra "i" Kierke-

I doubt most Swedes do ;=)