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Re: [ontolog-forum] Hermeneutics and semiotics

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:13:39 -0400
Message-id: <533C5353.5060802@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Bruce and Ed,    (01)

On these issues, I agree more with Ed.    (02)

>> I tend to see the growth of philosophy as an evolutionary process
>> that takes place in sequential stages.  In a specific historical
>> context and body of philosophical/cultural assumptions -- some new
>> perspective emerges, partly informed by the context, partly in
>> reaction to some perceived weakness in it.    (03)

> So far so good.  The process is partly sequential in time; I think
> it tends to be more of a helical spiral in content    (04)

A spiral is better.  But I'd emphasize that later versions are not
always better.  Sometimes the new versions lose as much as they add.    (05)

>> Putting it very simply, science emerged in the renaissance in
>> response to ideological religious claims...    (06)

> I would argue that it is vastly oversimplified...  The emergence
> is a consequence of many factors...    (07)

I agree with all six of Ed's points, but I'd emphasize that the
innovations began in the 11th and 12th centuries.  I'd also like
to add a few more points:    (08)

> the growth of universities, which, in spite of their often
> ecclesiastical foundations, taught students to think and made
> them familiar with much of the classical literature;    (09)

They were *always* ecclesiastical, not just often.    (010)

But the critical innovation was the distinction between a Bachelor's
degree based on the seven liberal arts (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric,
Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy) and the graduate schools
of Medicine, Law, and Theology.    (011)

Because of that division, theology was absent from the BA curriculum.    (012)

> the spread of scientific and mathematical knowledge into Europe
> from China, India and the Islamic intellectual centers;    (013)

The primary flow was through Islamic Spain. That led to the
rediscovery of Aristotle and Galen (from Arabic to Latin
translations) as well as Hindu-Arabic numerals, mathematics,
technology, and lots of words beginning with 'al-':  alcohol,
alcove, alembic, alfalfa, alkali, algebra, Algol (the star),
algorithm, almanac, Altair (another star).    (014)

Other Arabic borrowings don't begin with al-.  For example,
'guitar' comes from Arabic 'qitar' from Greek 'kithara'.    (015)

> Gutenberg’s movable type, which made possible the broad
> dissemination  of new ideas faster than the Church and State
> powers could rein them in;    (016)

And that was a major reason why Europe progressed much faster.
In the 11th century, the Islamic countries (which included Spain)
were far more advanced.  But the Arabic script was harder to print,
and the schools did not have a theology-free BA degree.    (017)

John    (018)

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