Philosophy can be compared to some powders that are so corrosive that, after they have eaten away the infected flesh of a wound, they then devour the living flesh, rot the bones, and penetrate to the very marrow. Philosophy at first refutes errors. But if it is not stopped at this point, it goes on to attack truths. And when it is left on its own, it goes so far that it no longer knows where it is and can find no stopping place.
Ethics occupies a central place in philosophy because it is concerned with sin, with the origin of good and evil and with moral valuations. And since these problems have a universal significance, the sphere of ethics is wider than is generally supposed. It deals with meaning and value and its province is the world in which the distinction between good and evil is drawn, evaluations are made and meaning is sought.
Science has equipped man in less than fifty years with more tools than he had made during the thousands of years he had lived on earth. Each new machine being for man a new organ — an artificial organ — his body became suddenly and prodigiously increased in size, without his soul being at the same time able to dilate to the dimensions of his body.
Assigning central importance to the aesthetic in human experience may seem to be a radical inversion, placing what is usually considered secondary and peripheral at the center of the human world as its nourishing source. Isn't this an ingenuous simplification of the vast range and complexity of experience?
The most passionate, consistent, extreme and implacable enemy of the Enlightenment and... all forms of rationalism... was Johann Georg Hamann. His influence, direct and indirect, upon the romantic revolt against universalism and scientific method... was considerable and perhaps crucial.
Therefore we should not try to alter circumstances but to adapt ourselves to them as they really are, just as sailors do. They don't try to change the winds or the sea but ensure that they are always ready to adapt themselves to conditions. In a flat calm they use the oars; with a following breeze they hoist full sail; in a head wind they shorten sail or heave to. Adapt yourself to circumstances in the same way.
Wittgenstein imagined that the philosopher was like a therapist whose task was to put problems finally to rest, and to cure us ofbeing bewitched by them. So we are told to stop, to shut off lines of inquiry, not to find things puzzling nor to seek explanations. This is intellectual suicide.
Evil does not approach us as pride any more, but on the contrary as slumber, lassitude, concealment of the "I." … It may make us so quickly contented, that any definitive fire will die down. The venomous, breathtaking frigid mist seems able … to harden hearts and fill them with envy, obduracy and resentment, with bloody scorn for the divine image and light, with all the causes of the only true original sin, which is not wanting to be like God.
I have been hearing for years and years about how the financial services sector pays such exorbitant wages because the people who work there are so immensely talented that they are cheap at $50 million a year. I never particularly bought that line before. But I never imagined that all those Masters of the Universe would do quite this badly. If we had paid them $50 million a year to go far, far away and leave our financial system alone, it would have been a bargain.
What solidarity we do find exists despite the society, against all its realities, as an unending struggle between the innate decency of man and the innate indecency of the society. Can we imagine how men would behave if this decency could find full release, if society earned the respect, even the love of the individual?
The cognitive functioning of a human brain depends on a delicate orchestration of many factors, especially during the critical stages of embryo development-and it is much more likely that this self-organizing structure, to be enhanced, needs to be carefully balanced, tuned, and cultivated rather than simply flooded with some extraneous potion.