In the two and a half years of silence that passed since my last post, I engaged with two colleagues (Marielle Kronberg and my wife Vivian Freyre Zoakos) in a comprehensive, ongoing study of what we believe to be certain critical philosophical problems on whose eventual treatment will hinge the future evolution of Western civilization. We decided to begin with those of Plato’s dialogues that ought to be regarded, for reasons that will be elaborated in future posts, as the founding documents of western science: the Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist and Timaeus. The result of our work thus far has been a new translation of the Parmenides, to be made available on these pages as soon as the supporting footnotes and commentary are completed.
Physics not Political Philosophy drive long-term political evolution
The day to day developments in world politics during these two and a half years of silence validate the view that a colossal civilizational transition is in progress, or rather has been in progress for quite a while and has now reached a critical phase with the processes that have been unleashed in the United States since the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Contrary to the dominant views and practices of modern academia, what drives the longterm political and cultural behavior of a civilization is not the ideological narrative or the political philosophy behind it. Instead, the ultimate driver is that mental image of the physical world that the physical sciences of the civilization impart – by teaching and by osmosis – to that civilization’s general population. Populations understand their lives by situating themselves in a physical world, but they understand that physical world according to what physical science teaches about it. Their judgments and their actions are based on these understandings. Continue reading