Saturday, March 02, 2013
In American Thinker, Bart Wilburn on agrarian pragmatism.
Agrarian pragmatism is altogether different from urban idealism. Whereas urban idealism teaches that we are objective spectators of the world, agrarian pragmatism teaches that we are embedded in the world. Agrarian pragmatism is more nearly an explanation of how we understand our place in the world based on our purposeful experience in it. It was an unarticulated philosophy in the 18th century, yet predominated as public philosophy outside the halls of academia. It was formerly, and independently, developed by Martin Heidegger in 1931 as hermeneutic phenomenology. (See: Dreyfus, H. L.: 1995, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Heidegger's philosophy will be referred to here as agrarian pragmatism.) Heidegger accepted the success of the physical sciences, but rejected the notion that rationalism could account for the complete reality of conscious, human experience. In other words, he believed that there was more to reality than understanding the world by reason and deduction independently of experience. He rejected the idea that consciousness was describable by any explicit, objective theory. Instead, he maintained that it was simply the way we live embedded in the world.
It's interesting observing considerations of Heidegger's way of thinking changing from denial ("All rubbish."), through anger ("Bloody Nazi!"), bargaining ("that's what I've meant all along"; "an unarticulated philosophy in the 18th century"), to depression ("fine mess we're in"). Can acceptance be far ("Let's event some new meanings!")?
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