From Logos to Logoi: The idea of the world’s rationality in the history of European thought

  1. Lemma
  2. From Logos to Logoi: The idea of the world’s rationality in the history of European thought
  3. English
  4. Tampakis, Kostas
  5. Philosophy of science/epistemology - Westernism and anti-westernism
  6. 2011
  7. From Logos to Logoi: The idea of the world’s rationality in the history of European thought
  8. Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science
  9. Plato - Heidegger - Stăniloae - rationality - Logos
  10. Click Here
    1. This paper aims at evaluating the significance of the concepts of reality and world`s rationality from the perspective of the main periods of the history of European thought. The premise of the paper is that these paradigms of thought are still present today in various shapes, with important consequences on the understanding of the world, both at the level of macrocosm and microcosm. After a brief introduction of scientific ideology and language as a pre-scientific dimension, the article discusses the pre-Socratic era as the first paradigm of thought. It underscores how philosophy was a contemplative activity and discusses Heidegger’s interpretation of ancient Greek philosophy. It shows how alitheia had a component of exit from hiding. It then draws parallels with some of Roger Penrose’s recent proposals and then discusses the importance of the concept of Logos for ancient Greek thought. The paper then discusses Heraclitus’ definition of the term, and shows that logos was both of the cosmos and of the human being. Thus, human rationality and cosmic rationality acquire a correspondence. The paper the discusses how the Stoics integrated the idea of Logos in their Physics as the divine power through which the universe acquires unity, coherence and meaning. Then, the focus shifts to the cultural fusion achieved in Alexandria, when Greek thought encountered the Scriptures. The paper shows how logos appeared within Christianity at the dawn of its emergence. Christianity is shown to affect a break within the concept, where Logos of the divine and logos of the human are not conceptually symmetrical. However, Christianity created another paradigm for understanding, where knowledge is not a personal act, but in which the Person is an essential component in understanding a world which is created. In the next and final part of the paper, the author discusses current Eastern Christian visions of rationality, heavily influenced by Father Dumitru Stăniloae. The world as nature, characterized by rational unity, exists for inter-human dialogue, as a condition for human spiritual growth. The notion of logos is invoked also with reference to grasping the objective reason of things. One can then talk about the progress of both human spirit and of the world via relationships among things. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these views for contemporary discussions between science and theology. The author suggests that it would be more appropriate to talk of the rationality of creation, rather than about natural laws. For Christians, the world, cannot have, under any circumstances, a purpose and a meaning in itself, or could simply exist. If there are limits in Creation, and if they are not due to man’s Fall, then the understanding of the limit must be positive: it is a limit that creates the possibility of communion, of the encounter, and that proves to engender an infinity of possibilities.