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Re: Affective measures in the social sciences produce more ideologic agitprop...
by Nemonemini
17 September 2002 02:26 UTC
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If you are not in the mood for Rousseau, let it rest. But the issue is at least historical
His influence on subsequent thinkers, whatever we think of him, is fundamental, and often unseen. Marx, for example, in what he takes from  Feuerbach, where is Rousseau there?
I was also reading, if you worry about Rousseau, Isaiah Berlin's book on Six Who Betrayed Liberty, Rousseau one of the villains (the totalitarian stuff from the braindead takes on 'the general will'.
Rousseau senses what Kant makes explicit, and in any case, it is interesting.

Don't forget that the British Empire was raking in profits of slavery at this point, and Rousseau had the courage to discourse on inequality. It is one of the most powerful gestures of the eighteenth century. Rousseau was a philosopher, he was also a celebrity monger and crack publicist. He got results like a landside, one of the great forces in the early emergence of abolition. That was the generation that finally did it, and Rousseau is one of its heroes.

As to the Steinerians, I am amused at the question. Their cycles are 2100 years and  I would suppose pegged to the Myth of the Great Year.

My approach simply bypasses that and one reason I fixed on 2400 years is to save myself from all of that.

Keep in mind that the eonic effect is STRICTLY an empirical gesture of a crippled data sequence, with two, perhaps three beats. There are no mystical interpretations possible or intended, as such.
It is like economic cycles. We look backward and see cyclical behavior. There is nothing mystical in that.
After setting this up I simply set it aside. I can't take it any further. The point is to consider that we do see a fragment of some kind of cyclical system. It has many of the properties of self-organization, but it is something more complex.

In a message dated 9/16/2002 10:07:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, larondin@yahoo.com writes:

In Response to John Landon: Interesting stuff on Rousseau.  I’ll have to take a closer look into his material to see how it fits in terms of your own work.  Even at the outset, however, I’d still be cautious about his philosophic system from what I’ve read so far.  There’s something in his ideas I’m a little bit squeamish about.  Maybe he still has very good ideas; but his notions, his personality as it connects into his philosophy -> it’s all too unstable; seems to me we’re on much more solid ground with Kant and Hegel when it comes to modern thinkers.  Rousseau at times seems like a nutcase.  But then again maybe that nutcase had a stroke of genius I’ve failed to recognize before this point.  I’ll take a look and see what comes of such.

I expect, though, that I’d find better material in working around R’s theoretic shortcomings by my continual probings and reexaminations into thinkers like Aristotle, Heraclitus, and Parmenides.  I think a second best bet would also be with Lao Tse for getting around any other glaring pitfalls in R’s thought.  (Maybe Confucius and Gautama can also be helpful to me in this regard.)

Good Review of “Being After Rousseau.”  He may well have sensed the problems of the emerging modern world & rightly defined/identified the elements of the historic paradox at play in developing modernity and human [historical-evolutionary-civilizational] development.  I just don’t know really if he really succeeds in his attempts to bridge – or even correctly intuit the nature of - this gap between free action and historical inevitability.  Yet, perhaps he does … Have you ever thought of considering the historiography of Acton & his ideas (scientific history as well as ethical theory) within the parameters of your eonic model?  You might just find some interesting results there also for your own researches.

I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been more of this “Aeonic”-style interpretation of the Eonic Effect.  There are a lot of these mystical-evolutionary approaches out there & their founders/students are always on the look out for overarching intellectual theories to tie them all together and in with each other.  So the Steinerians have taken an interest in the Eonic model?  This is interesting!  I’m just a little bit amazed by this, though.  I would have thought the followers of Teilhard de Chardin would have been the ones to naturally gravitate towards this model given its evolutionary approach.  But on the whole, I think your Eonic Effect already has the tools it needs for escaping the mystical “aeons” trap.  The teleology involved allows it, even as the geist-pushers move in on the territory and claim it as their own, to round-about and push in on their domain.  I expect the very dynamics that they see as constituting the “fingerprints” of mystical/spiritual forces are themselves actually a function of eonic evolution and historic-natural teleology.  If the Steinerians and other proponents of “aeonic” interpretations in history and the natural world are catching a glimpse of “aeons” in the Eonic Effect in world history, then perhaps the natural teleology of Eonic evolution can help to better explain the kinds of phenomena in our world that the aeon pushers consider to be soley the playground of mystical and spiritual forces in our world.  Think about it.  Can the Eonic Effect and its dynamics move in on Steinerian “aeonic” territory even as the Steinerians, et al are trying to use it to advance their own spiritual-mystical ideas?  In other words, if there are similarities between “aeonic”-mystical maps of reality and the Eonic Effect, can the Eonic Effect be used to push in on and re-explain those kinds of phenomena that the students of “aeonic” interpretations see as being the exclusive domain of spiritual and mystical forces acting in the human/natural worlds?  … If you can do this, then it seems to me that the Eonic model will have an advantage over and against the Steinerians in their attempt to re-cast it in a mystical geist-centered mold.  At least that’s how I would handle this matter.

Responding to both Landon and Alexander:

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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