Download Epub Format ✓ Nostalgia for the Absolute PDF by ó George Steiner No es el George Steiner m s inspirado Para mi gusto, hay demasiados lugares comunes y resulta banal su cr tica a los sustitutos religiosos el marxismo, el psicoan lisis, la antropolog a estructural de Levi Strauss o lo que l denomina orientalismos.
Texte Super clairant Il a continu p tiller dans ma t te de la biblioth que jusqu chez moi Il explique tr s bien comment notre soif d absolu est l origine des mythologies et la part de mensonges qu on ait pr t tol rer pour continuer croire en quelque chose m me lorsqu on est areligieux Il ne s agit pas comme je l ai craint au d but de mettre sur un pied d galit sciences et religions, mais de savoir questionner absolument tout On comprend comment se construit une croyance absolu, une religion avec le mythe du p cher originel, le messie, les ap tres, le chantage la punition, l r thisme, l int grisme Le livre pousse la r flexion principalement autour de trois personnages figures de proue de leur discipline, Marx, Freud, L vi Strauss, mais il aborde aussi un tas de sujets tous aussi passionnants, l astrologie, la drogue, le lib ralisme, la g n tique, le langage j en oublie certainement.
L effet le plus amusant du livre, c est qu apr s l avoir referm , on se surprend questionner les choses auxquelles on croit et on d couvre la part de mensonge qu elles habitent Sans tout d truire de nos fondations, a permet de d mythifier certaines passions et de voir comment elles alt rent notre bon jugement La premi re qui me soit venue en t te apr s quelques pas dans le froid hors de la m diath que, c est la passion amoureuse, cette personne qu on id alise, de laquelle on attend tout et qui peut tout moment nous an antir, du moins, c est ce qu on croit mais bref tout a pour dire qu on cherche de l absolu dans absolument tout, des id es, des personnages politiques, une nation, une identit , m me l amour d un club de foot.
J ai bien conscience d avoir d j rencontr tous ces th mes auparavant mais je vois pas a comme un point faible du livre Toute pens e coh rente m rite d tre r crite ind finiment parce qu la lumi re d autres lectures, on la re oit diff remment, parfois mieux.
Bref, je trouve ce livre absolument mancipateur et plus digeste lire que Nietzchhehhseh.
PS J ai eu un orgasme quand il d taille l tymologie de certains mots d origine grecque, comme si je les lisais et comprenais leur sens pour la premi re fois, mais c est un d lire assez inavouable en soci t.
I bought this CBC Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago 1974 75 It was important for me in that it was only after reading it that I first framed my own deeply rooted skepticism I agreed with Steiner up to the point of his discussion of scientific truth Then I took a large piece of paper, stuck it up on the wall of my apartment and wrote, I don t believe in anything Still don t I think It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy for me Good book for those who are into a myth.
Not an uninteresting book, considering the topics it hovers upon But incomplete and incoherent.

Steiner Levi Strauss, Pursuit of Truth , Steiner.
Steiner begins by examining the impact of the death of God and the decline of Christianity as well as the emergence of various alternatives to and replacements of Christianity in the modern world As he examines these alternatives and replacements, he concludes that each is lacking in fundamental ways and fails to achieve its goal of creating a new system by which man can live and, most importantly for Steiner, each evades the truth of the matter in favor of a new mythology The conversation then shifts to a discussion of whether truth and human survival are commensurable and even compatible Steiner concludes from his discussion that truth is paramount and that man should seek truth even at the risk of his own destruction While there is much that can be said here, my own thoughts largely fall into two areas 1 While Steiner does a decent job in his exploration of the question of whether truth and human survival are coterminous and I agree with his assessment that they are not necessarily so, what Steiner fails to address is whether human beings are truth capable, that is, whether humans actually possess the requisite faculties to ascertain and understand truth This question of epistemology is, I believe, a fundamental question and on which, if the answer is negative and I believe that it must be if we adopt any sort of secular anthropology , has significant ramifications for Steiner s ideas.
2 I find myself disagreeing with Steiner s overall conclusion Steiner himself finds that the disinterested search for abstract truth is a contingent historical phenomenon it arose within a certain specific cultural milieu and flourished for certain very specific reasons within that dynamic Human survival, both personal and collective, on the other hand, is visceral, biological, and universal He provides the reader with no adequate reason for believing that truth is of importance than humanity In addition, he seems to leave us with a scenario reminiscent of the famous Zen koan if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does t make a sound If truth continues to exist and there is no one to perceive it and understand it, does it really exist Again, Steiner fails to address epistemology.
All in all, I enjoyed this book a great deal and I recommend it to anyone interested in the state of thought in the modern world.
Five lectures on the decline of Christianity, the death of God , and its effects on Western civilization.
Steiner examines three modern mythologies which attempt to fill the gap, the hunger for absolute truth, left by the decline of religion Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Levi Straussian anthropology A mythology, in Steiner s sense of the word, has an easily recognizable beginning and development a prophetic vision preserved in canonical texts later disciples and prophets develop the teaching there is a passionate conflict between sects, each believing they present the truth, that they are the genuine heirs to the founding prophet competing with dangerous and deluded heretics The mythology presents a total explanation of history and humanity s place in the cosmos quite often it claims that the analysis is based on science, though it will tend to be unfalsifiable and so not qualify as a scientific theory The mythology has its own vocabulary, its own rituals and legends and imagery His examination of Marxism is particularly effective, eg We recognise in the history of Marxism each of the attributes We have the vision of the prophet and the canonical texts which are bequeathed to the faithful by the most important apostle We find a history of ferocious conflict between the orthodox heirs to the master and the heretics, an unbroken family of fission from the time of the Mensheviks to Trotsky and now to Mao Each time and this is the theological scenario a new group of heretics breaks away and it always says, look, we have the real message of the master listen to us, the sacred texts have been corrupted, the Gospel is in our keeping don t listen to the church at the centre How familiar all this is to students of the history of Christianity Marxism has its legends Marxism has its vocabulary Marxism has its emblems, its symbolic gestures, just like any transcendent religious faith It offers a complete explanation of man s function in biological and in social reality Above all, it offers a contract of messianic promise concerning the future The fourth lecture examines modern superstitions and irrationality astrology, UFOs, occultism, Eastern mysticism repackaged and hollowed out for Western audiences This lecture is lighthearted Steiner is having a good rant about things that clearly piss him off In the final lecture, he talks about the history of scientific truth a relatively short history and how thinkers from the Enlightenment onward hoped that the pursuit of scientific truth would replace religious myths and mysteries Alas, the pursuit of scientific truth subject to falsification, experimental proof, and logical constraints is not something that can ignites the passions of all hearts He discusses whether the truth, when discovered, will actually be beneficial to humanity I found this lecture a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion, though it does have neat closing paragraph The truth, I believe, does have a future whether man does is much less clear But I cannot help having a hunch as to which of the two is important.
I came on this book through a tweet by Marc Andreesen, where he claimed that it handily explained a lot of modern day Weltschmerz The central thesis is controversial but rings true Scientific rationalism induced the death of Christian religion in Western Europe and the popularity of aliens, communism, eastern religion, Freud, and structural anthropology can be explained as a direct replacement of the role religion used to fill.
In fact, George Steiner goes one step further and calls these movements meta religions or mythologies that share key traits with religion George Steiner doesn t go into details for why movements with these characteristics resonate so deeply with humanity A meta religion Needs to have taxonomy, a set of terms uniquely meaningful for the religion Needs a narrative arc a founding story, a mythological founder, apostasy Needs to be holistic and disprovable the mythology needs to explain everything about the world and be presented as a disprovable, logical systemOne can definitely quibble with the criteria above Is that really the complete basis set Is it the right basis set In my opinion, these criteria seem reasonable and his chosen meta religions clearly check the above boxes His chosen targets are also clearly important world movements, and are worth discussing as pseudo religions The bulk of the book is spent proving that each is a meta religion Steiner s critique mainly has to do with the pseudo scientific claims of these mythologies Each errantly claims a basis in scientific fact as a bulwark of legitimacy, and this makes these mythologies dangerous and disingenuous It s definitely clear that these movements are important to the world and that their adherents really do believe in the inevitability of their claims the communist March of Progress rings faintly It s also clear, especially w r t to Communism and Aliens, that this deep belief can truly pervert the world how else to explain the humongous amount of money poured into Astrology Steiner s larger point is to shine a light on these movements, to understand them as surrogates for religion as a means of explaining their popularity especially bolstered with pseudoscience The conclusion of the book is a quite depressing investigation of science as savior His inescapable conclusion is that science has actually driven people into the arms of pseudoscience through recent ish discoveries like the inevitable heat death of the universe and the acknowledgement that scientific advancement might come at the expense of humanity and not in service of it e.
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Writer And Scholar George Steiner S Massey Lectures Are Just As Cogent Today As When He Delivered Them In Perhaps Even So He Argues That Western Culture S Moral And Emotional Emptiness Stems From The Decay Of Formal Religion He Examines The Alternate Mythologies Marxism, Etc And Fads Of Irrationality Astrology, The Occult Steiner Argues That This Decay And The Failure Of The Mythologies Have Created A Nostalgia for the Absolute That Is Growing And Leading Us To A Massive Clash Between Truth And Human SurvivalUltimately He Suggests That We Can Only Reduce The Impact Of This Collision Course If We Continue, As Disinterestedly As Possible, To Ask Questions And Seek Answers In The Face Of Our Increasingly Complex World