A disaster Scenario based on an interculturally comparative (or anthropological) approach to philosophy

By Nold Egenter

This disaster scenario was originally written for the German weekly DIE ZEIT. It is focussed basically on European philosophy. However, in contrast to most approaches in philosophy with their Eurocentric historical outlooks, it shows that the opening of the horizon towards an interculturally comparative (or anthropological) approach, may uncover quite surprising insights.
  1. If it is demonstrated that analytical thought which constitutes the sciences in all domains, developed from a more ancient polar substrate (like YinYang in China), then its rationalistic claims to 'objectivity' might become highly questionable. Scientific 'objectivity' would have to be considered as an anthropological problem.

  2. The comparison of the analytical Western and the polar Eastern systems of thought show two basically different ontologies which are absolutely incompatible. This has implications for the humanities: Western analytical science can only fundamentally distort facts of non-analytical societies. -> Ethnology, Folklore Studies, History of Art, History of Religion

  3. It soon becomes clear also that the polar system of thought is still vital in modern scientifically educated societies. It survives mainly in the arts, in the domain of religious and traditional 'beliefs' and also within structures of social relations. Evidently, science has never realised this existence of a second and more ancient cognitive system, mainly because - by definition - it is fundamentally different and, consequently, inaccessible to science. Science conventionally reacted with delimitations (pre-logic, mythical, mystical, irrational etc.) having no understanding at all for this type of thought. In fact, historically, the transition from a polar cognitive system to an anlytical system can be clearly demonstrated in the so called Pre-Socratic field between Heraclitus (last representant of polar system of Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian cultures) and Aristotle (analytical system). -> Two coexisting cognitive systems Evidently the processes are closely related to spatial extensions of near eastern empires (Persian) and the abstractions and idealisations this implies. -> Presocratic speculations, Parmenides, Platon.
In this sense the following text might be - beyond its negative predictions - an important contribution to a new outlook: an extension of philosophy into the temporal depths of anthropology.
See text 'Disaster Scenario' English ; German
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