Neither Greeks nor Romans ever had the idea of a universal history, grasping as a whole all times and all spaces. It is thanks to its contact with Jewish tradition that the Roman world, once Christianized, discovered that all mankind shared an inclusive interdependent history: Nevertheless, neither the Talmud nor contemporary Jewish scholarship enables us to write the history of the Jewish contribution to the progress of mankind as a whole. Isolated exceptions aside, only in the lateth and 19th centuries did Jewish historians begin to adopt new academic standards in conformity with the latest European fashions of scholarship.
Meaning and the Problem of Universals, A Kant-Friesian Approach One of the most durable and intractable issues in the history of philosophy has been the problem of universals. Closely related to this, and a major subject of debate in 20th Meaning of history essay philosophy, has been the problem of the nature of the meaning.
The problem of universals goes back to Plato and Aristotle. The matter at issue is that, on the one hand, the objects of experience are individual, particular, and concrete, while, on the other hand, the objects of thought, or most of the kinds of things that we know even about individuals, are general and abstract, i.
Thus, a house may be red, but there are many other red things, so redness is a general property, a universal. There are also many houses, and even kinds of houses, so the nature of being a house is general and universal also.
Redness can also be conceived in the abstract, separate from any particular thing, but it cannot exist in experience except as a property of some particular thing and it cannot even be imagined except with some other minimal properties, e.
Abstraction is especially conspicuous in mathematics, where numbers, geometrical shapes, and equations are studied in complete separation from experience. The question that may be asked, then, is how it is that general kinds and properties or abstract objects are related to the world, how they exist in or in relation to individual objects, and how it is that we know them when experience only seems to reveal individual, concrete things.
Plato's answer to this was that universals exist in a separate reality as special objects, distinct in kind, from the things of experience. This is Plato's famous theory of "Forms.
Plato concludes that what we "look upon" as a model, and is not an object of experience, is some other kind of real object, which has an existence elsewhere. That "elsewhere" is the "World of Forms," to which we have only had access, as the Myth of Chariot in the Phaedrus says, before birth, and which we are now only remembering.
Later, the Neoplatonists decided that we have access now, immediately and intuitively, to the Forms, but while this produces a rather different kind of theory, both epistemologically and metaphysically, it still posits universals as objects at a higher level of reality than the objects of experience which partake of matter and evil.
Plato himself realized, as recounted in the Parmenides, that there were some problems and obscurities with his theory.
Some of these could be dismissed as misunderstandings; others were more serious. Most important, however, was the nature of the connection between the objects of experience and the Forms. Individual objects "participate" in the Forms and derive their character, even, Plato says in the Republictheir existence, from the Forms, but it is never clear how this is supposed to work if the World of Forms is entirely separate from the world of experience that we have here.
In the Timaeus, Plato has a Creator God, the "Demiurge," fashioning the world in the image of the Forms, but this cannot explain the on-going coming-into-being of subsequent objects that will "participate" themselves.
Plato's own metaphorical language in describing the relationship, that empirical objects are "shadows" of the Forms, probably suggested the Neoplatonic solution that such objects are attenuated emanations of Being, like dim rays of sunlight at some distance from the source.
Whether we take Plato's theory or the Neoplatonic version, there is no doubt that Plato's kind of theory about universals is one of Realism: Universals have real existence, just as much so, if not more so, than the individual objects of experience.
Aristotle also had a Realistic theory of universals, but he tried to avoid the problems with Plato's theory by not separating the universals, as objects, from the objects of experience. He "immanentized" the Forms. This meant, of course, that there still were Forms; it was just a matter of where they existed.
This word is more familiar to us in its Latin translation: In modern discussion, however, it is usually just called the "form" of the object. The Aristotelian "form" of an object, however, is not just what an object "looks" like. An individual object as an individual object is particular, not universal.
The "form" of the object will be the complex of all its abstract features and properties. If the object looks red or looks round or looks ugly, then those features, as abstractions, belong to the "form.
To Aristotle that was the "matter" of the object. Since everything that we can identify about an object, the kind of thing it is, what it is doing, where it is, etc. By contrast, the "matter" represents the potential or possibility of an object to have other properties.
These uses of "form" and "matter" are now rather different from what is familiar to us. Aristotelian "matter" is not something that we can see, so it is not what we usually mean by matter today.
Similarly, Aristotelian "form" is not some superficial appearance of a fundamentally material object: It is the true actuality and existence of the object. The abstract "form" of an object, the universal in it, Aristotle called "secondary substance.
Aristotle postulated a certain mental function, "abstraction," by which the universal is comprehended or thought in the particular. This is the equivalent of understanding what is perceived, which means that we get to the meaning of the perception.Essay: Influence Of Television Television is a form of media that has great ability to influence and brainwash the viewing public.
The talking box in one’s living room has assumed the overpowering role it plays today as a result of the weakness of society.
This essay reverses Yerushalmi’s concern, This is not only self-defeating; it nullifies any quest for the inner meaning of Jewish history. It is time to reclaim the field of meaning, which is to say of purport.
To complete the task, needed are historians who can reconcile collective Jewish memory with scholarly Jewish history, the sages. THE TOWER OF BABEL AND THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES.
by Lambert Dolphin. The building of the Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Tongues (languages) in ancient Babylon is mentioned rather briefly in Genesis Chapters 10 and Try Our Friends At: The Essay Store.
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IN WATCHING the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history.
In the United States, "redskin" is regarded as a racial epithet by some, but as neutral by others, including some Native Americans. The American Heritage style guide advises that "the term redskin evokes an even more objectionable stereotype" than the use of red as a racial adjective by outsiders, while others urge writers to use the term only in a historical context.