Important: If you reached this web page via a link, other than to the Home page, you must go to the Home page to acknowledge the rules of the domain.

Back to Unedited Philosophy Quotes and Ramblings about Intequinism.

Title: The Penguin Dictionary of PHILOSOPHY

Author: Thomas Mautner

Year: 2005

Edition: 2nd edition

Place: London

Publisher: Penguin


Reader: Mr. M.D. Pienaar


22 September 2012


Page 48


'Arminianism a theological outlook, named after the Reformed Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609). It was semi-Pelagian, and rejected the doctrines of pre-destination. At the important synod of Dort (Dordrecht) 1618-19, the Arminian remonstrances were condemned in favour of a more rigorous Calvinism; a prominent member of the defeated party was GROTIUS. In effect, though not in name, it has prevailed in Methodist, Baptist, and many established Protestant churches. '


Page 457


Pelagianism n. the doctrine that man's will is free too choose between good and evil, and that there is a natural human capacity for good. This implies a denial of the dogma of original sin, and reduces or eliminates the need for incarnation. It was proposed by the British monk Pelagius (c. 354-c. 418), in opposition to the theology of St Paul with its emphasis on justification through divine grace, which in the opinion of Pelagius discouraged believers from making a moral effort and resulted in moral slackness. Augustine, a contemporary of Pelagius, vehemently opposed Pelagianism, and in the early fifth century it was condemned by the Church and has been rejected in mainstream theology since then, although it has attracted many Christian thinkers. '


26 September 2012


Bergson /bεʀɡsↄ [ↄ should have a tilde] (Fr.)/,Henri (1859-1941) professor at Collège de France . . . In Les Deux sources de la morale et de la religion 1932 (Two sources of Morality and Religion 1935), history is presented as a struggle between two types of society: the open society is free, expansive, creative – it has a place for reformers and innovators; the closed society is hidebound, dominated by established customs, conservative and unfree. Bergson's thought, with its emphasis on intuition and human freedom, exercised a major influence in France, but also internationally, which only began to wane to-wards the mid-century. '


27 September 2012


' Berlin /bᴈ׃'lɪn/, Sir Isaiah (1909-97) A philosophical self-portrait: . . . In mid-life, influenced especially by the Russian radical Alexander Herzen, I abandoned philosophy for the history of ideas: I believe in the dominant influence of ideas, which seems to me at least as powerful as that of impersonal forces. . . Yet I have never departed from an empirical viewpoint, derived mainly from Kant and Hume, nor sought light in metaphysics.


My published lectures attacking historical determinism and on the distinction between negative and positive liberty, the contrast between negative and positive liberty, the contrast between the empirical and the 'true' or 'real' selves, and their ethical and political distortions, have led to very widespread comment and controversy, which still continued. . . 


The first thinker, in my view, who truly distinguishes between values that are equally ultimate, but incompatible, is Machiavelli, who thought that successful statesmanship conflicted with Christian values. '


27 October 2013


In the definition of "future contingents" Mautner wrote that according to Ockham, Aristotle raised a question about truths of statements about the future. "There will be a sea battle tomorrow." Is the statement about tomorrow true or false? In his opinions and solutions to the problem Aristotle accepted the principle of the excluded middle and rejected the principle of bivalence. (Mautner. 2005: 237-238)

            Aristotle's 'golden mean'[1] was the preferred position of Scholastic Christianity. Tarnas opines that Aristotle was an ancient empiricist[2]. I opine that Aristotle was not objective due to him choosing the mean[3] as politically correct communication. The mean does not exist in words and can therefore not be explained objectively. Contradictions are a necessity to explain a mean. Some postmodernists[4] have the same inclinations with regard to metaphorical language as during the Middle Ages and Scholastic Christianity. A good example of this influence is Thomas Aquinas[5] via Aristotle. (Copied from: MDPienaar-23990163-FILM878-Prof.Goudzwaard-3.doc)

            Today i think it is not possible to generalize with regard to bivalence and excluded middles because the truth value of a sentence depends on the sentence structure, the timing and the territory (space) for example, of a specific sentence.


4 November 2013


"Heraclitus .. Writing in riddling prose epigrams, he announced that he would expound the nature of things according to the Logos, the objective principle of order in the world. Although the Logos is available to all, most mortals ignore it, living like sleep-walkers, in a dream world of their own. The philosopher's task, Heraclitus implies, is to express everyday truths in such a way that their underlying meaning can leap to one's attention - like the solution of a riddle. Thus Heraclitus presents paradoxical truths: The way up and the way down are one and the same. ... This doctrine of flux is probably not that ultimate reality is change, but that change is the manner in which ultimate reality, Logos, manifests itself.

            ...For Heraclitus, the ultimate reality is not any substance, for substances are not permanent; but the process of change, the law of transformation, which is perhaps to be identified with the Logos itself." (Mautner 2005: 271-272)


"Aquinas .., Thomas (c. 1225-74) Aquinas was born into an aristocratic family at Roccasecca in the south of Italy. As a teenager, he studied Aristotle at university of Naples and then, against his family's wishes, he became a Dominican friar. After studying with Albert the Great at Cologne, Aquinas went to the university of Paris. The rest of his career was divided between Paris and Italy."[6]


"Henry of Ghent ... His theological orientation was conservative: in particular, he was opposed to the influence of Aristotle on the theology of the time, and he was one of the leading figures behind the condemnation of Aristotelian doctrines promulgated by the University of Paris in 1277."[7]


7 November 2013


"ideology .. the term was first used by Destutt de Tracy in Eléments d' idéologie 1796 to designate a projected science of ideas, which he described as a branch of zoology devoted to empirical investigation of the origins of ideas and the relations between them. The practical objective of this science was to provide a new basis for education, free from any religious and metaphysical prejudices." The word changed into other meanings inclusive of negative connotations relating to indoctrination. In "The German Ideology 1845-1846" Marx and Engels portrayed ideology with negative connotations. Marx wrote in his foreword to "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy" 'ideology' happens when " 'men become' " aware of their competing interests.[8]


I downloaded two eBooks by Destutt de Tracy from the internet, which was originally published by Thomas Jefferson.


5 March 2016

"MacPherson, Crawford Brough (1911-87) ... He attacked the fixation on the market in current political thought, and the narrow conception of human nature that goes with it. In The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism 1962 and in his introduction to the Penguin edition of Hobbes's Leviathan he argued that such an outlook is present in the classical political writings of Hobbes and Locke who, according to MacPherson, were ideologists of the rising bourgeoisie. That outlook, he urges, ought now be superseded: instead of private utility-maximisation the overriding ideal should be one of full actualization of human potentiality in cooperation with others." (Mautner 2005:369)


7 March 2016

"Miletus a Greek city-state on the Ionian west coast of Asia Minor (today's Turkey), home to the first philosophers, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, in the sixth century BC." (Mautner 2005:389)


22 March 2016

"Owen Robert (1771-1858) ... Owen rejected Malthus's theory of population. He argued that if the population were to increase as envisaged by Malthus, the increase in total needs requiring satisfaction would be more than offset by increased productivity." (Mautner 2005:446) It depends on how well societies subscribe to the ideas Truth and Love (social contract theory). If they do subscribe then Owen's philosophy applies. If they don't Malthus's applies, because then not enough creativities will exist to balance procreation and production.


6 March 2016

"social contract theory ... In ancient times Protagoras, Hippias, Lycophron and other Sophists favoured a theory of this kind. In the modern ear, it was proposed in various forms by many political thinkers including Hobbes, Pufendorf, Locke and Rousseau. Present-day philosophers, among them John Rawls and David Gauthier, have revived the tradition: a just society is one that would satisfy the clauses of a contract that rational human agents under certain specified conditions would be prepared to agree to." (Mautner 2005:577)


7 March 2016

"Stoicism ... Their physics is a materialist, though not atomistic or atheistic system. ... The whole universe is formed and guided by a logos, or reason, which is itself composed of matter in its finest degree of tension. This logos can be understood as God, as nature, as fate and as providence. The individual human mind is a 'seed' of the logos, and the purpose of an individual life is a progressive grasp of, and adaptation to, the overall purposes of the universe. The Stoics believed that the regularity of the natural world provided evidence for these purposes, and in this way they formulated an argument from design for the existence of gods, or God. Their way of arguing is presented in Cicero's De natura deorum (On the nature of the gods). ... The ideal of conformity with logos implied an ethical cosmopolitanism: all human beings are by nature fellow-citizens of one world, divided only by artificial convention." (Mautner 2005:595)


16 April 2016

"volonté générale; volenté de tous .. general will; will of all. Two concepts contrasted in Rousseau's Contrat Social 1762 (Social contract). The general will, distilled from the particular wills of the citizens, is always right. The will of all, in contrast, can be wrong and when it is it ought to be disregarded. The general will is always directed towards that which is truly in the citizens' interest. The will of all, in contrast, is directed towards that which the citizens may favour even if it is not really in their interest." (Mautner 2005:648) Rousseau's social contract theory did not have the ideas Truth and Love above the general will.


17 April 2016

"Walloston .. William (1660-1724) ... He gave a special slant to his ethical rationalism - the view that our reason gives us direct insight into the rightness or wrongness of kinds of actions - by assimilating wrongdoing to the telling of a falsehood. This was criticized by Hutcheson in section 3 of Illustrations on the Moral Sense 1728 and by Hume in Treatise of Human Nature 1740, 3,I,I." (Mautner 2005:659)


"Wyclif .. John (c. 1328-84) ... Wyclif also attracted hostility from the orthodox establishment because of his implicit rejection of the doctrine of transubstantiation. He was led to this view through his philosophical realism, inspired by his reading of Plato and Augustine: universals exist prior to, and independently of, particulars. In Bohemia, Johan Hus adopted many of Wyclif's theological and political ideas." (Mautner 2005:660)


"Xenophanes .. (c. 570-c. 475BC) ... 'But mortals think the gods are born, ... Africans say the gods are snub-nosed and black, Thracians say they are blue-eyed and red-haired. (fr. 16)' But in reality there is one God, unlike humans in body and mind, who, remaining motionless, causes change by thought alone. And all of him sees, thinks and hears." (Mautner 2005:661)

List of references

ARISTOTLE.  Gamma 7  (In The metaphysics.  Translated by Hugh Lawson-Tancred, 107-108.  London, England: Penguin.  2004)

MAUTNER, T.  2005.  The Penguin dictionary of philosophy.  (London, England: Penguin, 2nd edition)

TARNAS, R.  V: the modern world view, VI: the transformation of the modern era.  (In The passion of the western mind, 223 – 415.  London, England: Pimlico.  1996.)

VENTER, J.J.  Nature versus culture.  (In North-West University. Geskiedenis van die filosofie: studiegids vir PHIL221 PAC, p. 99 - 138. Potchefstroom, South Africa.  2012a.)

VENTER, J.J.  The idea of order.  (In North-West University. Geskiedenis van die filosofie: studiegids vir PHIL221 PAC, p. 139 - 182. Potchefstroom, South Africa.  2012b.)

[1]           Venter, J.J. The ide, 156.; Venter, J.J. Nat, 107.

[2]           Tarnas, R. The pas, 291-292.

[3]          Aristotle did not convincingly defend the law of the excluded middle according to me (Aristotle. Gam, 107). Venter opined that Hume's critique of art was influenced by Aristotle's 'golden mean' (Venter, J.J. Nat, 107.)

[4]           Tarnas, R. The pas, 405.

[5]           Tarnas, R. The pas, 252.

[6]          Mautner, T. 2005. The Penguin dictionary of philosophy, 37.

[7]          Mautner, T. 2005. The Penguin dictionary of philosophy, 271.

[8]          Mautner, T. 2005. The Penguin dictionary of philosophy, 294.