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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Two Distinct Philosophies

"Nor were there, indeed, any more than two real distinct philosophies, the one derived from Socrates, and passing into the old Academic, the Peripatetic, and Stoic; the other derived from Democritus, and passing into the Cyrenaic and Epicurean... The first, therefore, of these two philosophies recommended action, concernment in civil affairs, religion. The second derided all, and advised inaction and retreat, and with good reason. For the first maintained that society, right and wrong was founded in Nature, and that Nature had a meaning, and was herself, that is to say in her wits, well governed and administered by one simple and perfect intelligence. The second again derided this, and made Providence and Dame Nature not so sensible as a doting old woman." -- Third Earl of Shaftesbury

Of course, Shaftesbury did not live to see the day when the adherents of the second philosophy, such as Marx, would launch massive assaults on the civic and religious realm of the first!

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