Eric Voegelin 1901-1985

batchquonochontaugUrban and Civil

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis

Eric
Voegelin

1901
-
1985

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis

“There is no history other than the history constituted in the
Metaxy

of
differentiating consciousness…and if any event in the
Metaxy

has
constituted meaning in history, it is Paul’s vision of the Resurrected. To
invent a ‘critical history’ that will allow us to decide whether Incarnation
and Redemption are ‘historically real’ turns the structure of reality upside
-
down; it flies in the face of all our empirical knowledge about history and
its constitution of meaning….In its
metaleptic

context, Incarnation is the
reality of divine presence in Jesus as experienced by the men who were
his disciples and expressed their experience by the symbol ‘Son of God’
and its equivalents; while Resurrection refers to the Pauline vision of the
Resurrected, as well as to the other visions which Paul, who knew
something about visions, classified as of the same type as his own (1 Cor.
15:3
-
8).”

Order and History, Vol. IV:

The
Ecumenic

Age

pp. 243
-
244

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis



“To accept the process of differentiation as the exclusive source of
knowledge means, negatively, to renounce all pretense to an
observer’s position outside the process. Positively, it means to enter
the process and to participate both in its formal structure and the
concrete tasks imposed on the thinker by his situation in it.”


Order and History, Vol. IV:

The
Ecumenic

Age

p. 314

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“All philosophizing about consciousness is an event in the consciousness of
philosophizing and presupposes this consciousness itself with its structures.
Inasmuch as the consciousness of philosophizing is no ‘pure’ consciousness but
rather the consciousness of a human being, all philosophizing is an event in the
philosopher’s life history

further an event in the history of the community with its
symbolic language; further in the history of mankind, and further in the history of
the cosmos. No ‘human’ in his reflection on consciousness and its nature can make
consciousness an ‘object’ over against him; the reflection rather is an orientation
within the space of consciousness by which he can push to the limit of consciousness
but never cross those limits….The philosopher always lives in the context of his
own history, the history of a human existence in the community and in the world.”


“On the Theory of Consciousness”

Anamnesis
, p.33

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“…it could be useful to make
anamnetic

experiments, i.e., to recall those experiences that
have opened sources of excitement, from which
issue the urge to further philosophical reflection.
Obviously such anamnesis is a complicated process
that is only partially transparent, so that its results
are not at all sure….”



Anamnetic

Experiments”

Anamnesis
, pp. 36
-
37

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“The tension in political reality, which historically produces the phenomenon of the
noetic

interpretation, is not a thing about which objective propositions could be
formed. Rather, it must be traced back to its origin in the consciousness of men
who desire true knowledge of order. The consciousness of concrete men is the
place where order is experienced. From this center of experience radiate the
interpretations of social order, both the
noetic

and the non
-
noetic
….
Noetic

as well
as non
-
noetic

interpretations expound the experience of order for society. Both
types, and also their variants, claim that their interpretation is the only true one.
As far as the content of the experience is concerned, all interpretations conceive
order in terms of their ground. The various modes of the experience, with their
corresponding multiplicity of symbolic expression, all revolve around the founding
of the right order through insight in the ground of order.”


“The Consciousness of the Ground”

Anamnesis
, pp. 147
-
148

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis

“The All is neither being nor not
-
being because it is both, the order between the
opposites being persuasively mediated by the process of the psychic reality
‘between’ (
en
meso
) being and genesis. The ‘between’ existence of consciousness,
then, is part of the
Metaxic

structure of the Cosmos. And, the
Metaxic

structure of
the Cosmos, finally, reveals itself as its truth through the analysis of the quest for
the truth of order in the ‘philosopher’s’ personal existence that is an event in the
Cosmos. There is no truth of reality other than the reality of the truth manifesting
itself in the quest. We are close to the differentiation of consciousness that we
discerned as the background of the symbolism of the biblical book of Genesis.
While in the biblical story the structure of consciousness remains in the
background, it moves into the foreground of exploration in the ‘philosopher’s’
analysis. The pneumatic, irruptive experiences, which speak the language of the
gods, are taken for granted; the primary concern is with the
noetic
, searching
experiences which, as they are moving toward a critically balanced language of
reality, lead to more suitable symbolizations of divinity.”


Order & History
,
Vol. 5: In Search of Order

pp. 89
-
90

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“…since the discovery of the
nous

and the symbolization of the
metaxy

are facts in the history of humanity, they can
psychologize

the symbols engendered by the tension into projections of an
immanent psyche. Moreover, the authors of the misconstructions can
make their purpose explicit through one of the direct attacks on the
noetic

structure of existence of which I have given representative
examples. Whatever the degree of elaboration or consciousness of
purpose, the deformations of the human pole of the tension into a
world
-
immanent entity are attacks on the life of reason….They are
psychopathological phenomena.”


“Reason: The Classic Experience”

Anamnesis
, 104

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“Though reason is the constituent of humanity at all times, its differentiation and
articulation through language symbols is a historical event. The genius of the
Hellenic philosophers discovered reason as the source of order in the
psyche

of
man….I shall not deal with the ‘idea’ or a
nominalist

‘definition’ of reason, but
with the process in reality in which concrete human beings, the ‘lovers of wisdom,’
the philosophers as they have styled themselves, were engaged in an act of
resistance against the personal and social disorder of their age. From this act
there emerged the
nous

as the cognitively luminous force that inspired the
philosophers to resist and, at the same time, enabled them to recognize the
phenomena of disorder in the light of a humanity ordered by the
nous
. Thus,
reason in the
noetic

sense was discovered both as the force and the criterion of
order….The central symbol was the ‘philosopher’ in whose psyche humanity had
become luminous for its
noetic

order; parallel symbols were Plato’s ‘spiritual man’
(
daimonios

aner
) and Aristotle’s ‘mature man’ (
spoudaios
).”


“Reason: The Classic Experience”

Anamnesis
, 89

Eric
Voegelin
: Ideology and Political Violence

IV. Anamnesis


“If today it is so difficult to realize that the questions, “what is political science?”
and “what is political reality?” require clarification, the reason must be found in
the conceptual confusion characteristic of the era of ideologies. In the ideological
climate of our time, the term
science

has become a
topos

designed to lend
prestige to a variety of non
-
noetic

interpretations of social order. Whether we
consider the older ideologies

the progressivism of Enlightenment, the Positivism
and Marxism of the nineteenth century

or the more recent ones, German
historism
, American behaviorism, and the newest production, post
-
Stalinist
“scientific Communism” of the Soviet empire, all have doubtlessly the character of
non
-
noetic

self
-
interpretation. Their representatives would indignantly reject the
suspicion that they are engaged in a
noetic

interpretation in the sense of classical
philosophy, but they still claim the character of a ‘science.’”


“Science and Reality”

Anamnesis
, pp. 145
-
146