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Silence and stillness are often effective in counselling, just as they are in life, love, and death, as we will see below. Continuing our via negativa characterisation of love, for Chuang Tzu it also is not jealous, not possessive, not clinging, not selfish, and not logical.
One of the points I want to maintain is that Chuang Tzu is a mystic defined here as anyone who thinks the most important truths about the human condition cannot be derived from mere logic, nor conveyed fully in language ; hence, there is and always ought to be a certain mysteriousness about life, love, and death.
To be overly rational and analyse everything is equivalent to killing and dissecting whatever it is one is trying to trap in the net of logic and language love, for example, whether as an abstract concept or a concrete instance. Love is, for Chuang Tzu, I think, also not based on need or loneliness. So often Chuang Tzu provides us with fables showing that animals such as birds, fish, frogs, and monkeys are at least as wise as we humans. The implication would seem to be that we should couple and copulate in a natural way.
University Press of America Instead, Chuang Tzu plays literally and figuratively with various possible perspectives on death, love, etc. Chuang Tzu is hard to pin down, preferring to stimulate our imaginations rather than stifle us with dogma. Sometimes we will have to extrapolate when he does not mention love or friendship explicitly.
First of all as I said earlier, love is not selfish; in other words love is selfless, but in a metaphysical as well as in moral and psychological senses. Psychologically, this means the wise lover has the habit of not being self-conscious for one thing this would only induce self-consciousness and artificiality in others, including the loved one.
Carl Hanser Verlagespecially pp. In the case of one who loves another or wishes to befriend another, or in the case of one whose love and friendship have been rejected, often the best thing to do is let it happen, rather than make it happen.
This passive, yielding, submissive attitude of letting things happen without forcing them, or trying too hard, is not easy, especially for most Western people. None of this is possible if we struggle ambitiously and singlemindedly whether in matters of love, life, or death.
Take it easy, Chuang Tzu seems to say. We should also be imaginative and creative in loving, living, and dying. If there is any concept more fundamental to Taoist thought than wu wei, it could only be the concept of Tao itself.
Tao seems in general to signify Nature or the natural process of cyclic sometimes emergent, novel change. The Tao also connotes the unity and intimate interconnectedness of all things. As Chuang Tzu quite often repeats, life and death are one processand hence if life is good so is death. For Chuang Tzu there is no problem of evil, because there is no evil, at least no evil simpliciter, nothing which it is impossible to view from an alternative perspective as both good and evil, or better, beyond good and evil.
In the same way, love and friendship like most things in life are largely fortuitous, and working hard to achieve or maintain them is often not only useless, but positively counterproductive and harmful.
La Orientación Filosófica en la Historia del Pensamiento vol. II. Filosofía Contemporanea
Act in this way and you will be all right. One must be flexible and react not according to some fixed plan, but creatively just as Nature, or the Tao, is unpredictable in its creativity. One might go so far as to say that Chuang Tzu would agree that the sage does not know who he is, what he wants, or what he is doing.
Such goal-directed singleminded behaviour would be stifling to the sage. So, in matters of love, what counts is freedom - freedom both for the lover and the beloved. Columbia University Press, To be inflexible or rigid is to be dead yourself already, whereas to let things go and move on and adjust, adapt, is a sign of life.
Not only should one forget the past past wrongs, past sweet memories, etc. Much like Zen, Taoism is a philosophy which emphasises the here and now unlike existentialism, for example which emphasises the future, or psychoanalysis which emphasises the past. In the end, of course, one even forgets to forget, and then is able to move deftly, agilely, easily through life in the same effortless yet cautious way that Cook Ting carved oxen - without fighting the situation, without struggling against things beyond our control, or even trying too hard to manage things within our control.
Graham says, which one can perhaps do, but cannot explain how one does, and which one cannot teach others with words how to do. The same, of course, also holds true for governments and rulers. The existence of light in the corporeal realm argues for the existence of a purely incorporeal light, and indeed Patrizi construes God as the Lux Prima from which by illumination proceeds the entire realm of incorporeal entities.
God is also the ultimate source of corporeal light as well Vasoli Dedicated to showing how the levels of reality flow from the ultimate cause, Patrizi's ontology draws upon such Platonic predecessors as Plotinus, Proclus and Marsilio Ficino to present a ten-level system.
Such a pastiche would doubtless resonate with students of the history of Platonism. The third section of the Nova … Philosophia, the Pampsychia, focuses on Soul as an intermediary between the spiritual and corporeal realms.
As has been pointed out Kristeller, Soul thus plays a role similar to that assigned to Light in the Panaugia, but the precise relationship between the two is not dealt with. The soul of an individual living being has the same connection to its body as the World Soul has to the universe as a whole; thus the Anima mundi is not simply a collection of individual souls but a separate entity which vivifies the universe as a distinct reality.
Thus Patrizi puts forward a model for the understanding of the universe which bridges the gap between philosophy and science and incorporates methodologies for explaining physical and astronomical phenomena which would resonate with thinkers seeking to establish an alternative approach to the study of nature from the largely qualitative analysis embodied in Aristotle's natural philosophy.
Use of Pre-Platonic Sources Surely one of the most interesting aspects of Patrizi's philosophical works is his ongoing dedication to the study of sources in the history of philosophy as an essential part of his developing his own philosophical views.
His systematic collection of pre-Aristotelian sources as part of his attempt to determine the Stagirite's true place in the history of philosophy put valuable textual materials in the hands of future generations of scholars in a way that anticipated the modern collections of resources in the last two centuries.
Patrizi's concern with early sources was not strictly scholarly or historical, as can readily be seen by examining his works and the ways in which those texts were employed.
An independent thinker, he was willing to consider as wide a range of views as possible on subjects of interest to him, whether they were scientific, philosophical, historical, or dealt with concrete problems in engineering or hydrology.
And he made use of them in his own way, unwilling to adhere unquestioningly to the theories and practices of contemporaries who dealt with the same works in different ways.
To cite a concrete example, Patrizi accepted the authenticity of the body of works attributed to the pseudo-Egyptian sage Hermes or Mercurius Trismegistus, as had Marsilio Ficino before him and many of his own contemporaries, such as Giordano Bruno Yates It was, ironically, within Patrizi's own lifetime that serious textual and historical arguments would finally be put forward to undermine the authority of many of these spurious works, and his own commitment to the authenticity of the Hermetica can now be seen to have played a major role in leading some of his critics and defenders to single out and publicize some of the historical and textual grounds for rejecting them as spurious Purnell ; Mulsow, ed.
Yet it is clearly no coincidence that Patrizi's own difficulties with the Church over the Nova … Philosophia would occur while Bruno was languishing in prison in Rome prior to his execution in February and that Galileo Galilei and other innovative cosmologists would face similar confrontations with the Congregation of the Index and the Inquisition. And the coupling of critical historiographical and etymological skills as developed by Renaissance humanists with the philosophical and scientific interests of thinkers like Patrizi would usher in a new age of systematic analysis of the intellectual legacy of the ancient world.
The Relation of Philosophy to Science One of the most intriguing aspects of Francesco Patrizi's heritage as a forebear of early modern science and philosophy is his ongoing attempt in his major works to incorporate a systematic account of the natural world within an overall methodological and metaphysical context, anticipating by doing so some of the defining characteristics of such thinkers as Galileo, Descartes and Leibniz.
Perhaps nowhere is this more clearly displayed than in his later writings, especially the Pancosmia section of the Nova … Philosophia and in his discussion of mathematical and physical space Brickman, tr. In the Pancosmia Patrizi is intent upon replacing the four Aristotelian elements with his own alternatives — space, light, heat and humidity.
Patrizi elevates the notion of space to make it the first principle of the corporeal world. Space is construed as prior to all bodies, even light, and constitutes two distinct realms. Mundane space is finite in extent and contains the physical cosmos. It is surrounded in turn by an infinite external space empty of all bodies.
The universe consists of three separate worlds: Patrizi holds that the stars and planets move freely through the aether, doing away with the fixed celestial spheres which had dominated cosmology from antiquity and had even been accepted by Copernicus.
One can easily see numerous sources in the history of science which may have influenced Patrizi's conception of the universe. The infinity of space and the existence of a vacuum were maintained by the ancient atomists, and, as noted, the centrality of light as an intermediary level between the corporeal and incorporeal has solid roots in the Platonic tradition. In some ways Patrizi's cosmology may well reveal the influence of similar attacks on the Aristotelian position put forward by his contemporary and correspondent, Bernardino Telesio of Cosenza.
But it is equally clear that his system represents his own unique blend of metaphysics and physics.
He does not embrace a Brunonian schema which couples the notion of an infinite universe with that of an infinite number of world-systems spread throughout it. Patrizi's universe is still geocentric, though it places the Earth at the center of an infinite expanse of light-filled space beyond the material realm.
And although it rejects the Sun-centered universe, it does accept the Earth's diurnal rotation. Another fundamental distinction Patrizi introduces is that between mathematical and physical space, a view which will have profound import for the main figures identified with early modern thought, such as Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Descartes and Leibniz.
In Patrizi's system, mathematical space is a pure reality, ontologically prior to all bodies; its primary unit is the geometrical point. Physical space, on the other hand, contains bodies, which are not purely three-dimensional geometrical forms, but provide the additional factor of resistance, a view which can be seen as anticipating Leibniz's addition of the notion of force to Descartes' conception of bodies as geometrically definable Kristeller Thus Patrizi can be counted among the Renaissance thinkers such as Jacopo Mazzoni, Galileo's mentor at the University of Pisa, who posited mathematics as prior to physics and quite probably opened the doors to the mathematized physics which would come to dominate early modern science Purnell ; Wallace Yet for Patrizi it is geometry which is the most valuable tool for the study of the physical world, not arithmetic.
Perhaps oddly for someone with a background so deeply rooted in Platonism, Patrizi considered numbers to be merely products of thought, not constitutive or revelatory of the ultimate character of the natural world.
Perhaps it would take the development of analytic geometry to alter such a view in due course.
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Although space was put forward as the main principle of the physical, the three derivative principles also play important roles in Patrizi's model. The primary occupant of space is light; from it in turn heat is produced, which is construed as a formal and active principle.
It is probably no coincidence that heat had been one of the three basic principles underlying his colleague Telesio's system of nature, together with cold and matter, although Telesio's was a qualitative rather than quantifiable universe, as Patrizi's would be. The final constituent of Patrizi's physics is humidity fluorwhich is passive and material and somewhat akin to the elements associated with pre-Socratic thinkers such as Empedocles. Humanist, scientist, mathematician, literary critic and poet, historian, engineer and utopian theorist, it is hard to find one category which fills the bill.
Perhaps there is a message here, not just about Francesco Patrizi of Cherso but about many Renaissance thinkers of his day. That he should be so hard to define — both looking back and looking forward — should not disturb us. Primary Sources Aguzzi-Barbagli, D. Patrizi, Della Poetica, 3 vols.
Istituto nazionale di studi sul rinascimento. Patrizi, Lettere e opuscoli inediti, Florence: Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento. Patrizi, Pagine scelte, Padua: Patrizi da Cherso — L.
Archivio di filosofia, 3. Studi in onore di Bruno Nardi, Florence: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 3: Angelutii eiusque novae sententiae, Ferrara: Aliter de spacio physico, aliter de spacio mathematico, Ferrara: Deinde propria Patricii methodo tota in contemplationem venit Divinitas.
Postremo, methodo platonica, rerum universitas a conditore Deo deducitur, Ferrara: Reprinted with variants at Venice by Meietti, retrodated toand in London in Patricii Zoroaster et eiusdem oracula chaldaica, Venice, Hamburg: Materiali per un'edizione emendata, Florence: Secondary Sources Aguzzi-Barbagli, D.
Francesco Patrizi da Cherso. La redazione delle opere filosofiche. Studi su Francesco Patrizi da Cherso, Rome: