Sunday, January 31, 2010
Scientism & The Myth of Progress
Scientism is defined as the fundamentalist pseudoscientific and pseudoskeptic belief that contemporary science is infallible.
I take the exact opposite view -- namely Prisca Sapientia i.e. the heresy of ancient wisdom.
"There is no teaching, but only recollection." -- Plato, philosopher, Meno, 380 B.C.
"Your favorite doctrine, Socrates, that knowledge is simply recollection, if true, also necessarily implies a previous time in which we learned that which we now recollect." -- Plato, philosopher, Phaedo, 360 B.C.
"... all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed on the past. I need not mention the Renaissance, the very word proves my case. The originality of Michael Angelo and Shakespeare began with digging up old vases and manuscripts." -- G. K. Chesterton, writer, What's Wrong With the World, Chapter IV: The Fear of the Past, 1910
"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." -- Alfred N. Whitehead, mathematician/philosopher, 1929
"During the past three or four hundred years science has been rediscovered rather than discovered." -- Andrew Tomas, author, We Are Not the First, 1971
"Our science has only rediscovered and perfected old ideas." -- Andrew Tomas, author, We Are Not the First, 1971
"...the Corpus Hermeticum -- Greek and Latin translations of supposedly ancient Egyptian concepts -- Newton regarded the stream of such writings as an expression of the prisca sapientia, as it was called in Renaissance times, i.e., the wisdom of the ancients." -- I.M. Oderberg, writer, 1986
"There's a tradition of scholarship that was very popular in the Renaissance called the prisca sapientia, the primal wisdom. It claimed that there was a secret wisdom that was first trasmitted by an archetypal figure--say, for example, Moses--and then passed down through the line of successors, usually including Pythagoras, Plato, and so forth, and that this wisdom was really the ultimate tool for understanding the universe. Newton clearly believed that." -- Bill Newman, historian, November 15th 2005
"If you look at practically any of the writings of ancient civilizations, the ancient Sanskrit writings of India are the ones I'm most familiar with, speak of spaceships, of weapons resembling our modern weapons, they had, apparently, the ability to look inside the human embryo and see what was going on, so, it appears, yes, ancient peoples did have quite a bit of knowledge that perhaps, some of it that we're rediscovering." -- Michael A. Cremo, author, August 2006
"Personally I believe that when we really understand this Mill and how it works we will find out where we are in time and that's something that's very precious that I think has been lost by this linear view that anything that came before us must be more primitive. With that view, there's really nothing that we can learn in ancient history." -- Walter Cruttenden, author, October 2008