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Catholicism

By Peter Case, Heather Höpfl, Hugo Letiche (eds.)

ISBN-10: 1349329924

ISBN-13: 9781349329922

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Sample text

But even though ancient philosophers wrote to have an effect on their auditors and their texts are rhetorical, and understanding them requires trying to grasp what influence they were trying to have, Hadot does not acknowledge any such goal or task for himself: I have never pretended to have a message for my occidental contemporaries. Whatever it entails, I have tried to understand ancient philosophy. I realize that ancient philosophy intends the theologicalexistential development of the reader.

When we recognize the evident authenticity and sincerity of the works of this art brut, and the authenticity of their makers, we will say that, unlike the celebrity professional artists who do not believe in the paintings they make to flatter their patrons and flatter the tastes of their clients, the makers of art brut believe in themselves, believe in their vehement passions, and believe in the metaphysical habitat they visualize and materialize for themselves. Theirs is not the aesthetic perspective as Geertz defined it: a perspective that ignores what things really are and is absorbed and fascinated by just their appearances, indifferent to any practical uses of what it views.

First, there is the inability to explain things such as the ravages of nature, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and plagues; the origin and place of humans in the world; the portentous visions of dreams. But more widely, the inability to understand or explain certain aspects of nature, self and society with the explanations of common sense, science or philosophical speculation does make people chronically uneasy. A quite trivial empirical event may bring us up against the limits of our ability to understand and raise the suspicion that we may be adrift in an absurd world.

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