The ideas inhabiting our minds are fragments of a lost totality

by Charles Stirton October. 08, 2007 5094 views

The ideas inhabiting our minds are fragments of a lost totality

My posting today is inspired by a paragraph that I read today in a modern history of Korea. My daughter is studying Korean at University and I wanted to learn more about the country she is interested in.

In his masterful book After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre persuades readers in the twentieth century to understand that the ideas inhabiting their minds are fragments of a lost totality, whether they fancy themselves Lockean liberals, Augustinian Catholics, or Aristotelian rationalists. There is simply no possibility of recapturing the disappeared whole, a world where such systems of thought were the only ideas, structuring the totality of human interaction and inhaled like the air we breathe. It is the same with Korea, where a world view suffused with Confucian, Buddhist, and nativist ideas defined what it meant to be Korean for millennia, only to be lost with a poof in our time. Still, there are the remnant fragments of this world in Korean minds, which help to explain why many Koreans do the things they do, and how they have adapted themselves to modern life. Quotation (p.20) from Bruce Cumming's book Korea's Place in the sunNorton Press, New York & London.542 pp.2005.

I am intrigued by the notion that the perceptual realities that we bathe ourselves in are but fragments of the total reality. It would do us well in this complex modern world to remember this whenever we feel righteous about any particular issue.


Video Everyone has a disability definition of perfection []

“The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you, but what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say.”

Kahlil Gibran

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Charles Stirton 12 years, 9 months ago

Don't worry Eidea. It a case of [b]£^%4(*$ baffles brains[/b].

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Stormfish 12 years, 9 months ago flipado a new mr. frankenstein? ;-)

i regret now setting up this comment, because honestly i don't understand the ongoing discussion anymore... being outsmarted by so much brain work! ;-)

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Magpy 12 years, 9 months ago

I really like this shot. The text and the lichen go so well together!

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Charles Stirton 12 years, 9 months ago

Flipado you have excelled yourself. I like the idea of a cheraxadeian cerebral universe. I now know where the expression "Life is a tightrope" comes from. It all in the inbetween spaces. Eidea does have a valid point though. Perhaps reality is like a point on an infinite circle. No mater where it posits it will have the same totality to its left and right. We then all differ because we occupy different points on this infinite circle. Fascinating stuff Cherax.

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Cherax 12 years, 9 months ago

The corpus callosum is the connecting tissue between the two hemispheres of the brain that if cut, interrupts communication between the left and right sides.

In experiments such a person can be shown a message, say "pick up that bottle" visible to only one side (the right eye for the left side of the brain).
If the person is asked via the other side of their brain (the left ear or eye for the right hemisphere) why they did it, they are likely to [i]invent[/i] an explanation.

The ignorant (right) side of the brain cannot tolerate lack of explanation, and therefore makes up some reason to compensate.

Our minds abhor lack of reason for things, hence our tendency to attribute reason where there is non, and we end up with miracles and messages in tea leaves. Our visual system seamlessly eliminates the blind spot where the optic nerve joins the retina.

Our perception of reality is wallpaper on chaos.

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Stormfish 12 years, 9 months ago

p.s. more or less not my thoughts, but what i make out of platonic philosophy.

12 years, 9 months ago Edited
Stormfish 12 years, 9 months ago

if this were true, then the idea of a "lost totality" is equally just a fragment - thus leading to a self sustaining circle conclusion and, in consequence, to a fractal concept of truth.

although your thought is intriguing, from a logical perspective i refuse to accept it. i rather believe (although can't and won't prove it) that there IS no lost totality, but only overlapping fragments of view points and visions of an existing "cloud" of ideas... which has never been in our possession nor will it ever be.

however, i very much support the conclusion that there is no way of relying on this "total reality" in our complex world. we have to define ourselves and what is real on just the limited means that are available to us.

12 years, 9 months ago Edited