Tuesday, February 22, 2011

理性秩序:客观的理论基础 Rational Order: The Theoretical Basis for Objectivity

In the Western tradition, rational order lies in the assumption of the world as ‘a single-ordered whole’ and in order to achieve social stability in their surroundings, the Westerners favour harmony, cosmos (order) and unity rather the discord, chaos and anarchy.
For them, thinking about the order of things begins with questions such as ‘What kinds of things are there?’ and ‘What is the nature of things?’ In providing the means of explaining the way things are, logos meaning rational account begin to play a significant role. In rational way of thinking, logos seeks permanent truth in the way things are.
As far as it is true that the nature of things is in flux, it is also true that all events in the world must be guided by necessary laws. And as far as the laws can be said to be objective, permanent and unchanging, reason itself should be regarded as transcendent. Here, it is the two-world worldview of classical Greece that gives the Western tradition a theoretical basis for objectivity – the possibility of standing outside and talking a wholly external view of things.
For the classical Greece philosophers, knowledge entails the discovery and grasping of defining essence, forms, or functions behind elusively changing appearance. Hence the language of knowing includes ‘concept’, ‘conceive’, and ‘comprehend’. Reality is what is permanent, and hence its natural state is inertia. The paradigm for knowledge, then, is mathematics, and more specifically, geometry. Over the door of Plato’s Academy was written: ‘Let none who have studied geometry entered here.’ Knowledge tends to be understood in representational terms that are isomorphic and unambiguous – a true impressed on the mind of that which exists externally and objectively.
However, the preference for permanence over flux has produced many kinds of dualism in order to organise their experience of the world: reality/appearance, knowledge/opinion, truth/falsity, Being/Non-being, Creator/creature, soul/body, and so on.

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