Philosophy and the Crisis of the Modern World

Philosophy and the Crisis of the Modern World is my contribution to a symposium on the topic of identity published at the Sydney Traditionalist Forum. René Guenon criticizes philosophy for generating this crisis. He argues that removing or ignoring the esoteric content of Platonic philosophy resulted in exoteric rationalism which has dominated Western philosophy, certainly since the scientific revolution. Since rationality is not itself generative, but merely analytic, philosophers find themselves with a vacuum where God should be and inevitably head in the direction of nihilism – the unavoidable consequence of postulating a Godless universe.

It is hard to see how a nihilistic culture could sustain itself in the long term. My argument is consistent with these comments by Scott Weidner concerning T. S. Eliot:

Eliot formulated the most basic tenet of his cultural theory, that religion and culture are essentially “related.” <4>  In fact, Eliot argued that “no culture has appeared or developed except together with a religion: according to the point of view of the observer, the culture [appears] to be the product of the religion, or the religion the product of the culture.” <5>   They might be thought of as different aspects of the same thing; culture was “the incarnation of the religion of a people.” <6>   Civilizations which appeared to be secular or humanistic, such as ancient Greece and Rome, were actually religious cultures in decline. <7>   Culture could not be preserved, extended, or developed in the absence of religion, nor could religion be preserved and maintained if culture was not. <8>

3 thoughts on “Philosophy and the Crisis of the Modern World

  1. Pingback: Philosophy and the Crisis of the Modern World | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: Philosophy and the Crisis of the Modern World | Reaction Times

  3. I guess the problem I see is that certain things take the place of religion. Then they are treated as such. Hearing of news headlines about making the day after the Super Bowl is just one example. A commentator I follow makes a good point about listening to a sports call in show and hearing very well reasoned argument attempting to prove our point. Yet, the many people fail to even understand or know what happens in the world. I understand people cannot be uptight all the time sports provides an escape. When that escape seems to supercede in importance what actually matters in the world a big problem develops in our society’s collective intelligence.

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