Tag Archives: knowledge

Why people are such inherently conflicted beings

While preparing for a seminar on the roots of contemporary theory among the ancient Greeks, the Hellenistic Romans and early Christian thinkers, I was struck by the way that the different, and divergent, strands of the cultural legacy of the West (as well as of other cultures globally which share some of these roots) explain…

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The ‘uneducated’ Zuma…

The notion that a person with no formal education possesses no intellectual faculties and thus must be dismissed as a hapless intellectual zombie is so antiquated and unscientific such that even those who once held it as a basis to oppress Africans are now embarrassed when reminded of such nonsensical views. Seemingly Prince Mashele harbours…

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What ‘wisdom’?

Can humanity today show itself capable of developing a way of life that may be called, against all odds, one marked by WISDOM? This seems highly unlikely, given the state of the world economy (which has a lot to do with short-sightedness and wastefulness), and more importantly, the planetary ecology. Fact is, humans have shown…

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The ‘crystals’ of time

It seems to me undeniable that the human sciences – short for the social sciences and the humanities – are facing a crisis of perceived irrelevance in a world suffused in unreflective technophilia and, concomitantly, indifference to the potential value of the humanistic knowledge represented by, and archived in these sciences. Among the many ways…

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Pantomime of the parvenu

South Africa is a particularly fractious society. Rarely does a week pass without something stirring the country’s intellectuals from their silences. The noise generated by this fractiousness says more, perhaps, about South Africa’s collective neurosis, than it does about anything else. What is amusing to behold, though, is the theatrics of intellectuals that play out…

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Is Plato’s cave still (virtually) with us?

Every philosophical initiate knows Plato’s allegory of the cave. As some commentators have remarked, it is probably the first imagining of what we know as the film theatre. In Book 7 of The Republic, Socrates tells the parable of a community of people who live in a cave, with their necks shackled in such a…

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