Mantic and Semantic

Wolfram Hogrebe

1.1. Mantics inferences

Generally, one differentiates between two forms of mantics. In so far as knowledge of the future is obtained in a dream, in a state of intoxication or in ecstasy, one speaks of natural mantic as opposed to a technical form of mantic, by means of which-provided we are equipped with a certain intuitive talent-we can gain knowledge of the future by interpreting natural signs (the flight of a bird, or signs of an approaching storm etc.) or by artificially produced combinations of signs (the casting of die. Rutenlegen; cf. I Ching etc.)

In the following I will Iimit myself to technical mantics as they are especially suited to clarify the probable reasons for the development of mantics in the context of life.

It goes without saying that the observation and interpretation of natural events as an indication of the future or of the (still) obscure present is still-even today-at the service of an elementary security- interest. The hasty inference from observing moving  branches to the (possible) presence of a predator lurking in the bushes is not, for the observer in the proper surroundings, a hasty thing. To jump to such hasty conclusions, that is to say, to make inferences made from meagre premises, in particular situations undoubtedly benefits survival. And nothing is better suited to explain the development of mantics than the awareness of such risky scenes in the already short biography of our earliest ancestors. As such conclusions can also be shown to be significant even without conpletely satisfactory theories of the specified intentions and moods of the gods, and since on the other hand, they also comstitute the basis of every mantic theory. I should like to call them protomantic inferences.

In today’s terms, such reasoning is simply a matter of reaching conclusions with regard to what exists by way of modus ponens. However, this term does not as yet throw any light on the peculiar features of this inference, because today’s understanding  disregards the conditions of the inferences. The function of such protomantic inferences in the service of the struggle for life consists in the continuation and substitution of observations. For the continuation of our observations we need- and I will come back to this-even today, a head-start on the information concerning that which we are about to perceive, even before we perceive it. This head-start is guaranteed by these same protomantic inferences. And by this very fact, such inferences also have the function of replacing observation. In cases of doubt, the distance of space from whatever we could possibly observe on the strength of a protomantic inference, is too small to escape, for instance, from the predator. And thus in specific situations it is better that we forego certain observations, that is to say that we also forego the epistemological reliability of our inferences for the sake of securing our existence. Such renunciation characterizes a certain difference between protomantic inferences and our customary understanding of inferences with “inductive components”. In induction, the “inductive component” has its origin in the uncertainty of the law which is always an unverifiable generalization. However, one fact is not uncertain, namely that the given? use (the so-called “condition”) is within the range of the law. Now it is exactly this last feature which is additionally uncertain in protomantic inferences, because it is sometimes too risky to examine whether a certain fact falls within the range of a law. Epistemic certainty can sometimes only be obtained at the cost of risking the presence of evil, indeed, if necessary at the cost of one’s own life,[1] and this is why the evolution of organisms that process information saw to it that the species are supplied with previously in-born programs of inference that do not need to be acquired by individuals. These safety programs of the species foundation.

1.2. Mantics and the sense of danger

The stoic theory has already drawn attention to mantics based on natural history and thus, it has even supplied the building bricks for its naturalized conception. In his De Divinatione, Cicero uses the Latin word “sagire”(=’to foresee) to signify mantic prognostication. The word is related to the same root in Greek: hgetaqai, in Gothic: sokjan, in Old High German:suohhan, in New High German: suchen, in English: to seek, and in swedish: soka, all of which derives from the Indo-Germanic root sag-“to follow a scent”.[2] Cicero too illustrates the meaning of the mantic “sagire”, so as to clearly reveal the naturalized style of mantics and its biological substructure: “Now sagire means “to have a keen perception”. Accordingly certain old women are called sagae, because they are assumed to know a great deal, and dogs are said to be “sagacious”. And so, one who has knowledge of a thing before it happens is said to “presage”, that is to perceive the future in advance.[3] And thus, one might say that, strictly speaking, mantics are a further development of the sense of danger, of scenting out, as we know it from the animals.[4] On the other hand, this connection allows us to interpret mantically the in born safety instinct of aminals as a source of information with regard to the future. Whereas the behaviour of aminals sometimes refers to events in the future, our instincts have to a great extent been silenced. As the quack of a duck warns of storms, so the croak of the frogs might possibly have its own meaning . Not that these animals themselves have an idea of what will happen, but, as Cicero the stoic opinion, there is “a sign” for them.[5]  In an elementary sense such as this, all nations originally practiced the art of mantic interpretation of their natural surroundings. This was done in specialized ways, depending on the environment: in the interest of survival, different natural events m?needs be interpreted in different ways for different living spaces. Thus even Cicero refers to the fact that the Arabs, the Phrygians and the Cilicians “being chiefly engaged in the rearing of cattle, are constantly wandering over the plains and mountains in winter and summer and, on that account, have found it quite easy to study the songs and flights of birds”.[6] This may be applied analogously to peoples living in river valleys, for whom the prediction of floods is essential and who therefore are able to interpret signs pertinent  to their needs.

It is interesting to note that the mantic view of nature that all nations had originally, has in several cultures remained the dominant natural science. For instance, Chinese natural science has in essence remained to this day a reccord of significant natural signs in the context of an impressive wealth of narratively explicative interpretations.[7] Of coures this was a vary mild form of natural science because of its mainly qualitative character; yet, such mildness has its own natural value which, in spite of Needham, one should not ignore.

1.3. Mantics and madness

Having brought to mind several perspectives with regard to the contents of naturalized mantics, we must now endeavor to find the limits of mantics, that is to say, the zone in which mantic knowledge passes over into empirical knowledge; otherwise we run the risk of “manticizing” the complete body of the content of empirical knowledge, and thus, of losing the distinctness of the mantic phenomenon.

The Stoic theory gives us some help in answreing this undoubtedly difficult question. According to this Stoic theory a prognosis based on observations and experiences can only be mantic if the intuitive component is the determining factor in drawing inferences about the future. Our experiences might be well-founded and our observations exact but, according to the Stoic theory, the conclusions drawn from these premises can only be of a mantic nature if they contain vital information intuitively acquired. In order to differentiate between this intuitive component which is essential for every mantic inference and other mental abilities, especially memory, the Stoics postulate a specific sensus, namely the praesensio. This is effective, so the criterion, if the soul feels stimulated without intellect and science (sine ratione et scientia) by its own free self-movement (motu ipsi suo soluto et libero).[8]  The Greeks undrstood this sensus to be a specific non-pathological[9] form of madness, a povia, or in plain German: wahnen.[10] Wherever this imaginative component in the inferences to the future is repressed by a wealth of information, mantics come to an end. This happens when experience and knowledge complete the classes of premises of our inferences referring to the future to the extent that the praesensio, as a bridge of information, becomes useless. With regard to its content. Accordingly, the Stoic theory states: “there are many things foreseen by physicians, pilots, and also by farmers,but I do not call the predictions of any of them divination”.[11] Thus, anywhere the seer (divinus) has already been replaced by the expert of nature (physicus),[12]  the praesensio  loses its material worth as an organ of information sui generis.

The question as yet unanswered is whether it thereby also loses its formal worth as an organ which relates given information to the future?

2. Perception and time

Now that we finally come to speak of the signs of the time, the naturalized concept of mantics should throw some light on how we can posibly make reference to the future. The ambition of this statement of the problem coincides charmingly with the vagueness of its formulation. But I do not want-especially at the beginning of this study-to put myself under the strain of precision, which in view of the extremely subtle subject-matter would only lead to premature silence.

Again I will start from the Stoic explanation of the facts: how indeed can one obtain information on future events if-and this is again expressed rather vaguely-they do not yet “exist” following that , I will take a closer look at what it means to perceive something. For the latter point, I will not refer to the Stoic theory of mantics, but here I must fall back on ideas borrowed from the empirical psychology of perception. Should we be able to obtain vital information regarding our leading question which concerns our epistemic relation to time, in particular to the future, then I will forthwith interpret this speculatively, which in turn will contribute to philosophical insight.

2.1. On what there is

Problems of existence are sometimes a matter of ontology. Conceived from a logical point of view, the problem is swiftly volatized. Thus W.V.O.Quine is able to inform a somewhat puzzled audience: “A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity”. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: “What is there?” It can be answered,moreover in a word Everything, and everyone will accept this answer as true[13]   Naturally, everyone will accept this answer as being true, everyone, that is, who knows that from the definition of the universal validity of predicate-logic formulas for non-empty sets, the sentence follows: to everything there is something that is identical[14] And that means: everything exists.

However, the absence of logical problems does not in any case  coincide with the absence of epistenic problems. Within the framework of our study it is nevertheless in exactly this way that the Stoics use a variant of this theorem in order to explain how seers can overcome the temporal dependece of our empirical knowledge. As a result of this, and in the framework of their strictly deterministic system, everything exists.Every event is causally determined in a timeless way by natural laws, so that knowledge of these laws means omniscience, as later in the case of Leibniz.

Yet this universal pool of information can be called on by human seers only indirectly, i.e. by sign-interpretation and intuition. This is possible because, according to Stoic theory, “it is not strange”, as Cicero reports, “that diviners have a presentiment of things that exist nowhere in the material world: for all things “are”, though from the standpoint of time, they are not present”.[15] Here Cicero uses two terms for “to exist”, namely “esse” in the sense of “to be predestined” and “exsistere” in the sense of ‘to come to pass in time”.[16] What existed, exists and will exist is, according to this, exactly that which, in a timeless sense, merely is. Hence the timeless validity of natural laws is a sufficient condition for the fact that something does exist in the temporal sense. What must be, will exist. Time is the executor of validity and does not itself produce anything new[17] Thus, under this umbrella, this roof of validity, everything that exists temporally has, as Cicero has his brother Quintus say so beautlifully, a communal house (domus…omnium una, eadem communis).[18]

This is the Stoic house of Being.

However, such ontological poetry will not help us further, if we ask the question what value naturalized mantics can possibly still have for us, and if, without falling into Stoic dualism, we do not want to leave unexplained our epistemic relation to the future. Here the Stoic theory will no, help us one little bit.

2.2. The continuation of perception

Following the psychological studies made by Ulric Neisser one can diferentiate between three phases of transitorial perception: it is guided by anticipatory patterns, it explores within the famework of these patterns and, finally, it registers new information. The result is “a modified pattern which guides the following exploration and the further intake of information, and so on.  The anticipations guiding the perceptions are the informational advantage which makes the continuation of perception possible in the first place. Thus these anticipations are naturally not themselves perceptions. They resemble far more, as Neisser explains, the genotype in genetics”: A genotype offers the possibility of a particular line of development, but the phenotype, which does actually develop, will rely on the interaction with a real world. Perception is just an intelaction. There is no one  moment where it appears, and no one product that remains independent from the perceived object. Perception is… constructive. But what is constructed is no inner replica that could be admied by an inner eye but it is much more a succession of exploratory documents supplying information.

These “genotypal” anticipations yield as it were perception-advantages: “One has and uses information on every new subject even before one sees it, because it is related to an anticipated pattern, a cognitive map of the surrounding world.” Thus anticipations or rather perception-patterns are at all times embedded in others that, especially when movement is involved, allows for a certain consistency of the perception expectation, although no “final” anticipation seems to be incorrigible in principle.Thus all “mobile creatures”, as Neisser say, “must be equipped with cognitive maps, if they want to move though their environment succesfully. Children also possess cognitive maps and that prior to their being able to verbally describe their environment or the routes they have taken.”  These “maps” are not something like “mental entities that the traveller must consult before his departure just as a pattern is not something that one views instead of the object itself. A cognitive map is rather an anticipation of that which becomes perceptibly accessible if one adopts one or the other course.”

Neisser suggests the term “image” for someanticipations, whereby he stresses that it has not been introduced introspectively. On the other hand, it does not stand for something like stimulus-information. Because “although the image is some sort of stored “information” in the technical sense of the word, it is not used in the same way as stimulus-information (meaning a physical stimulus that comes from the outside).  In short: “An image is not a picture of the environment but a plan which allows information to be obtained about parts of it that were previously not obtained. The image is the inner aspect of a spatial anticipation. If some one reflects an image in words then he reports literally what he expects to see. That which the speech refers to (that is to say, the comments on the image) exists in the world and not in the head of the speaker,” These few fragments of Neisser’s theory of perception may suffice as instruments in order to press the vital question of the commection between perception and its relation to the future.

2.3. Anticipation and time

In general, perception-anticipations are something like spatial orientation designs. They are empirical in character. Because every design is constructed with the help of information delivered by perception. But what exactly is it that is “constructed” here and how is this “construction” made possible? Now, information of any kind originates from perceptions and obviously is thus “converted” so that it becomes an anticipatory pattern. As I do not see how we can reconstruct a processing of information in any other way than through the process of inference, I therefore suggest, in memory of Helmholtz, that perception-anticipations be regarded as a conclusion of inferences with an “inductive component”. Anticipations, cognitive maps or images in the style  of Neisser are thus conclusions of inferences from perceptual information that are meaningextending and are not truth-conserving. And so it is that these inferences, or rather the premises from which they are obtained, can be corrected through new perceptions. Strictly speaking, things on the perceptual level are very much the same as on the level of scientific hypotheses in the Popperian sense: our perceptual activities are also determined by conjectures and refutations.

So far, however, we have gained but a starting point for our question as to the relation between perception and time. If the anticipations of perceptions are really conclusions of inferences in the light of which we acquire information which in turn leads to a revision of the premises from which these anticipations were obtained, then we must, in order to deal with the specifically anticipatory character, throw light upon the process of inference especially from a psychological point of view, since the logical structure of these inferences is indifferent with regard to their embeddedness in any cognitive activity. Now it is clear that every inference also has its psychological aspect. However, ever since Frege, it has been considered bad form to speak of this, although Russell emphatically did stress that “There is always unavoidable something psychological about inference: inference is a method by which we arrive at new knowledge, and what is not psychological about it is the relation which allows us to infer correctly; but the actual passage from the assertion p to the assertion of q is a psychological process, and we must not seek to represent it in purely logical terms.” With this licence we will tackle the question regarding the psychic component that is effective in a meaning-extending inference, The main psychological problem here is the status of the conluusion or rather: the transition from the (incomplete) premises to just this one. Under the assumption that the conclusion should at least make future facts felt, there must obviously be something like a psychic transposition beyond the level of information given by the premises, to the future. We know such “transpositions” only as “expectations”.

Because they are in the service of safety-interest, such expectations have , as a rule, a linge that we know as a mood of fear or terror. In any case, anticipations are fearful to the extent by which their informational state decreases; i.e. the more indefinite the information, the more fearful the anticipation. There fore, in strange surroundings or at night, the anxiety of the perception-anticipation increases. Thus the level of information of the perception-anticipation is a matter of degree, depending on the experience and the situation. If this is the case, then we can minimize them in a mind-experiment and so obtain a totally undetermined anticipation, meaning an anticipatory pattern of a formal nature almost free of special informaion, which is merely actualized by informed expectations.

How is this formal anticipatory pattern to be understood? Psychologically, it is a sort of undetermined perception-preparedness. But that is as yet an incomplete description. For built in to this perception preparedness is the important undetermined assumption of existence. Anticipations rely on something actually happening; perception-anticipations however, rely on something actually being perceivable. This assumption of existence is a projection of existence. It projects a formal pattern upon the existing, which, in the conclusions of the meaning-extending infercnces of perception- anticipations, seems to be more or less determined as to the content according to the wealth of the premises.

The object of the undetermined projection of existence is therefore, on a level of perception, that which on a logical level is a variable bound by the existential quantifier, and is therefore a sort of variable for objects of perception-anticipations, a sort of perception- variable. This “runs” so to speak over the set of not yet perceived but very soon to be perceived objects i.e that which is commonly called the set of space-time-entities.But that is not necessarily the case. There are definitely situations in which the projection of existence relies on an object that is not perceivable, for instance on an invisible object. Some would be prone to call this paranoid. But we must not forget that it is only after this quasiparanoid  transcending of the perceivable to a non- spatio-temporal object which is nevertheless effective in the spatio-temporal sense, that  strict independence of percepts from perceptions is established, which is indispensable for the understanding  of objectivity. Furthermore, the transcending power of the undetermined projection of existence most certainly possesses a high value of survival, as was observed by Paul O.Maclean, since the original function of paranoid feelings” makes the organism vigilant against the unknown. Finally, this conception also contributes to an understanding of the development of an animistic view of the world, and of the genealogy of spirits, Gods and the Absolute in metaphysics.

Schelling’s “Positive Philosophy” from his late period obviously foresaw these connections. He developed an ecstatic concept of existence analogous to the sense of an undetermied projection of existence, which was the foundation of his ‘progressive empiricism’. I do not want to pursue this in any great detail.

What is important for us is the perception-reference to that which will be, yields a reference, in itself temporal (perception-anticipation), to a pattern of existence for intities that are not necessarily spatio-temporal. I presume that our relation to the ultra-temporal pattern of existence only permits a differentiation of time-relations, because the relationship to this pattern allows for a free determination of temporal reference points without which the use of the predicates “earlier than”, at the same time and “Later than” is meaningless. The possibility of a fixation of such temporal reference-paints implies that we are not chained to points in time but can revert back to them. But where were we, if we revert back in this way?

3. Naturalized seers

I am sure it does not need to be mentioned expressly that the projected mechanism of perception-anticipation, which we have sketched here, is basically nothing but a theory of that which we earlier have called protomantic inferences. Thus it is shown that, strictly speaking, in all perceptions, precisely that praesensio or uovia is effective which had postulated mantics as an organ of information. Every perception is therefore “praesensional” in the sense of formal perception-anticipation. Thus, finally the connection of our representation reveals its identity in the form of a plain inference:

i. Perceptions are based on meaning-extending inferences.

ii. Meaning-extending inferences are not possible without mantic praesensio.

iii. Thus perceptions without mantic praesensio are not possible.

Naturalized mantics therefore also deal with seers; all seers are perceivers. Thus naturalized mantics must do without prophecies. Yet, as all seeing is foreseeing, mantic still offers providence, even though its radius of action is not particularly large.

Concluding, I do not want to fail to mention the fact that, strictly speaking, this perception-theoretical version of naturalized mantics had its origin in Porphyry. As we have gathered from Jamblich’s criticism, Porphyty, in a lost work, (letter to Anebo) obviously not only represented a naturalized conception of mantics, but also mantically interpreted the perception of the present and the feeling for the future. Jamblich criticizes this conception and makes it obvious by saying: thus “one must not”, if we have preserved from nature itself a comprehension of the present and a feeling for the future, estimate it as a mantic prophecy, for although that is very much like mantics, it lacks reliability or truth. We need not discuss this counter-argument in the Platonic  tradition here. The opinion  against which he argues is witness thereof. Thus Porphyry must already have represented the opinion that mantics are of human origin. Thus even from classical sources, mantics suggest themselves as a supplement to semantics geared to word-meanings which, without the perception-theoretical version of mantics, are without foundation.

As in the following I do not intend to go into the importance of mantics in the (European) history of science, I would like to submit the following brief comments:

For us the two most important, because preserved, works in mantics are Cicero’s De divimatione from the first century B.C. (about 44 B.C.) and Jamblich’s De mysteriis (beginning of the forth centrury A.D.). Both works show in their own way the theory and criticism of mantics. Cicero developed a sharp-witted criticism of the Stoic theory of mantics, Jamblich showed a neo-Platonic defence of mantics against Porphyry. Between Cicero and Jamblich there is a work by ptolemy from the middle of the second century A.D., the so-calle Tetrabibios, which stands for a scientifi cally justifiable version of astrology. Jamblich’s defence of mantics is not just reactionary but a strategic work against the Christian rejection of the “pagan” science. The diagnosis made from this Pro and Conrta produced the following result:     

1. The advanced theory of mantics itself developed a criticism of its superstitious version (Panaitios, Cicero, Porphyry). In this way, whatever remains of mantics is natural science in the modern conjectural sense. Ptolemy:” For in general, every science that deals with the quality of its subject-matter is conjectural and not to be absolutely affirmed … (Tetrabibios I, 2; ed. and trans. by F.E.Robbins, Loeb Class. Libr, London/Cambridge, Mass, repr, 1964,p.15.) Therefore Thorndike is right when he writes against Bouche-Leclerq: ”The Tetrabibios has been called “Science’s surrender:”, but was it not more truly divinations purified and made scientific: (A History of Magic and Experimental science, vol. I, New york 1923, p, 113). The conjectural component is also the nucleus of a naturalized mantic, Cicero: “Bene qui coincidet,vatem hunc perhibebo optimum” (De div II,12; ed, A.St. Pease, Darmstadt 1977. p.369; cf. annot.5 by Pease the Greek version which has been ascribed to Euripides. He is the best seer, who infers best)

2. Christianity rejects the teaching of the Stoics, especially the idea of mantics as superstition. However, herewith they also reject the modern idea of natural sciences as emanating from the inner criticism of mantics. Christianity replaces mantics with hermeneutics, that is the interpretation of nature in the light of the revealed word. Herewith, the 26th of June 363-the death of Julian- marks the date when the light was extinguisbed for the next millenium.

3. The Renaissance developed the positive conception of natural sciences characteristically as a recourse to the classical theories of magic and mantics. Cf. The magnum opus by Lynn Thorndike!

4. Conclusion: Not classical mantics but Christian hermeneutics prevented the development of science, what Christianity called superstition was in truth the cocoon of natural science generating itself.

Because that is so, Oskar Becker is ablc in his book Mathematische Existenz (Jahrbuch für philosophie und phanomenologische forschung Vlll 1927, quoted text) to refer to the mathematized natural science as legilimate heirs of mantics and magic; cthe human ra? with its claim to the eternal validity of its findings, is obviously not temporal in the historical sense, but-though this might sound paradoxical-temporal in the natural sense. The “over temporal reason is therefore an archaic heirloom Mathematics and natural science develop historically from the arts of archaic mantics and magic. This development is not, as is commonly supposed, an historical curiosity but the external expression of a deep ontological state of affairs. The “exact” sciences replace mantics and magic in a completely legitimate manner”. (p.321/22). Considerations of this sort stimulate Becker’s option for a mantic and not a hermeneutical (=explicative) or transcendental (=analyzing the constitution) phenomenology (p.327), whose function is the “interpretation of a transcendent “ground of Being” in a transphenomenal dimension”, in contrast to the hermeneutical phenomenology (e.g. of Heidegger), which explicatively cannot possibly escape from the immanence of the historical, the historical sense of Being (cf. P. 328) for this conception of phenomenology, ef. O.Pöggeler, “Hermeneutische und mantische Existenz” in: Philosophische Rundschau 13 (1965) 1-39; extended version printed in: Heidegger, ed.O.Pöggeler, Koln/Berlin 1969, 321-357, esp-pp. 323, 327 sqq.




1. The enemy lurking in darkness,whose presence we infer in the grounds of various signs, is a first sign of what today we would call “cause”. To rely on such enemy-causes was essential to survival; on the other hand, these signs from darkness did not actually reveal themelves. And so, if,in accordance with Schelling and Freud, one calls that which should have remained obscure and did  then reveal itself, “das Unheimliche”, the primary idea of the cause is equivalent to that of the “Unheimliche”. As all natural events were originally understood to be actions (=animistic view of the world), one rilied on causes whose presence would scare us whereas their mere effect could become dangerous, as for instance the ocean that Poseidon churns up or the lightning hurled by Zeus.

2. Der grosse Duden, vol. 7 (Etymologie), Mannheim 1963, article ‘suchen’ (p.694).

3. De div.I, 65 (Pease, p 210).

4. Cf.W.Hogrebe, “Initialen prognostische Rationalital”, in: Zeitschrifi für philosophische Forchung 37(1983)21-35

5. De Div I,15 (Pease, p.88).

6. De Div I,94 (Pease, p.264).

7. Cf. the still very readable book by J.J.M.De Groot, Universismus, Berlin 1918, esp. chap. 12: Mantik des Universums. Cf. also J.Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vols. 1-5, Cambridge 1954 sqq., esp.vol.2 (Cambridge 1956), chap.13 (The Fundamental ideas of Chinese Science) and chap. 14 (The Pseudo-Sciences and the Sceptical Tradition). Needham introduces Chinese mantics is this way: Superstitious Practics flourished in China just as strongly as in all other ancient cultures. Divination of the future, astrology, geomancy, physignomy, the choice of lucky and unlucky days, and the lore of spirits and demons, were part of the common background of all Chinese thinkers, both ancient and medieval. The history of science cannot simply dismiss these theories Moreover, some of these magical practices led insensibly to important discoveries in the practical investigation of natural phenomena. Since magic and science both involve positive manual operations, the empirical element was never miszing from Chinese “proto- science”. “(vol.2,p.346). However, Needham did not develop an understanding of mantics corresponding to this meaning, in fact he is a bit embarrassed by it and thus he defends its validity by confronting it with the sceptical tradition of Wang Chung. On the other hand, he is romantically fascinated by the peculiarity of the Chinese view of the world as a positive contrast to the European view of the world. The structure of the Chinese view of the world is defined by self-Organization, indeed by a pre-established harmony in the sense of Leibniz (cf. vol.2, p.292). In contrast to this, the European view of the world is structured by an external agency. The Chinese view Of the world therefore “was a universe in which this organization came about, not because of fiats issued by a supreme creator-lawgiver, which things must obey subject to sanctions imposable by angels attendant; nor because of the physical clash of innunerable billiard-balls in which the motion of the one was the physical cause of the impulsion of the other. It was an ordered harmony without an ordainer; it was like the spontaneous yet ordered, in the sense of patterned, movements of dancers in a country dance of figures, none of whom are bound by law to do what they do, nor yet pushed by others coming behind, but cooperate in a voluntary harmony of wills. (vol.2, p.286/87). Whatever cost-and profit account one considers, one thing is certain; that exactly this peculiarity of the Chinese view of the world does not permit any other than a mantic natural science.

8. De div I,4 (Pease, p.50).

9. Cf. De  div. I, 81: Plato, Phaedrus 265a; Jamblich, De myst. III, 6 and 26;against a parhtological interpretation of schamanism cf. M.Eliade, Schamanismus und archaische Ekstasetechnik, Frankfurt/M.1975,  p. 33sqq.

10. the German word “Wahn” dates back to the Indogermanic root “uen[] umherziehen, streifen, nach etwas suchen or trachten”(cf.Der grosse Duden, op. cit., article gewinnen, p.220).

11.De div I, 112 (Peas, p.301, 02).

12. Ibid.


13. W.V.O Quine, “On what there is ‘in:idem, From a Logical Point of View”, Cambridge, Mass. 1953, p.1.

14. Formmally expressed: (x)(Jy)(x=y). I do not think I need to go into problems of identity in any great detail here. One can get rid of quite a lot of them if one uses Russell as a guide: “the identity is that of a variable, i.e., of an indefinite subject, “someone”.) B. Russell, “Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description” in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society XI (1910/11) 108-128. p.125).

15. De div I, 128 (Pease, p.324).

16. Cf. De div I, 127 and 128; “non enim illa quae futura sunt subito exsisnmt, versus “sunt enim omnia”. Wherever there are temporal aspects of being (suddenly, unforeseen etc.), Cicero uses “exsistere”, where these are not applicable, he uses “esse”.

17. Cf. De div I, 127: “traductio temporis nihil novi efficientis et primum quidque replicantis”.

18. De div I, 131 (Pease, p.332).




 Print This Document

Save This Document on Your System