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Wouter Hanegraaff
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Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam
Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam

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Imaginary Homelands: Stefan Zweig, Gershom Scholem, and George Prochnik
George Prochnik Two great Jewish writers and intellectuals of the twentieth
century, Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) and Gershom Scholem (1897-1982): on one side we have the
cosmopolitan advocate of humanistic tolerance, mutual understanding, and peaceful
European...
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Broken Dreams: Stefan Zweig, Gershom Scholem, and George Prochnik
George Prochnik Two great Jewish writers and intellectuals of the twentieth
century, Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) and Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) – a
cosmopolitan advocate of humanistic tolerance, mutual understanding, and peaceful
European integration who was ...
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Evola in Middle Earth
As part of my Western Culture & Counter Culture project I’m studying the various “grand narratives” that have been told about the
history, meaning, and direction of Western civilization – from optimistic
stories of evolution and progress to their darker and...
Evola in Middle Earth
Evola in Middle Earth
wouterjhanegraaff.blogspot.com
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Evola in Middle Earth
As part of my Western Culture & Counter Culture project I’m studying the various “grand narratives” that have been told about the
history, meaning, and direction of Western civilization – from optimistic
stories of evolution and progress to their darker and...
Evola in Middle Earth
Evola in Middle Earth
wouterjhanegraaff.blogspot.com
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Why the European New Right Doesn't Get It Right
I've been making an attempt to educate myself a bit about the European
New Right, and decided to read Tomislav Sunic's 1988 dissertation Against Democracy and Equality republished by Arktos and much praised
in rightwing milieus as a reliable introduction....
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Wouter Hanegraaff commented on a post on Blogger.
These are good questions. (1) I should have been slightly more precise about what my first chapter is about: actually it is not just about the so-called Presocratics but about Greek culture before Socrates, which means that Homer will indeed be part of it. I should point out though that my project does not consist in writing a "history" in the strict sense but, rather, tries to write new kind of "story" about Western Culture and Counter Culture. The difference is important to me: I do not claim to offer a more or less complete overview (if such a thing is possible at all) but hope to present a new way of approaching and looking at Western culture. For instance, in discussing the so-called Presocratics I will not feel obliged to cover all of them one by one; rather, I will try to pick "representative" examples of what I propose are essential stages and developments in the narrative.  (2) Yes, of course, the adjective "Western" and its legitimacy (or lack of it) will be a major issue indeed. But following the same principle I try to use with respect to e.g. "philosophy", "shamanism" etc., I'll start discussing it only at that stage of history where it actually begins to become a topic in emic discourse, i.e. when distinctions between "East & West" begin to be drawn in some manner. At this early stage that is not yet the case. Needless to add, of course what we now tend to see as "Western" culture begins pretty much in the South and (middle) East. I take global history perspectives very seriously indeed, but I will argue that there is something like a flexible, fluid, and organically developing cultural Gestalt that will eventually become recognizable as something that, for better of worse, we refer to as "Western culture" and that can be identified as sufficiently different from e.g. Chinese or Indian culture in terms of language, ideas, religious practice etc.etc. You're perfectly right that if I want to avoid anachronism altogether then I cannot even use the term "Western" at all, and certainly not for this early period. But as you may remember (see e.g. my observations about Zeno's paradox in my 2012 book), I believe that strict formal logical consistency may consist in the human mind but is not ultimately real. (3) As for the definition and demarcation of "philosophy", perhaps there is some misunderstanding here. My point is not that I'm eager to admit those folks who entered caves into the category of "philosophers" next to Plotinus or Nietzsche, so at to broaden the definition of "philosophy". My point is that the application of our modern conceptions of what "a philosopher" is make it very hard for us to see those cavemen for what they really were and what they were really doing. It's only with Socrates that somebody begins describing himself as a "lover of wisdom", and what he meant by it was still a far shot from how the term has later come to be understood. Peter Kingsley is not wrong when he writes that what began as the love of wisdom became the love of talking about wisdom. In fact, normative valuations apart, that change is a very important one indeed.
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The Cure (or: Confessions of a Liberal Anti-Neoliberal, with Recommendations)
Make Holland Great Again...? Who am I? What do I stand for? What is it that unites
me with those who are like me? What is it that divides
me from those who are unlike me?     The current wave of
rightwing populism answers these questions along lines of nati...
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The Cure (or: Confessions of a Liberal Anti-Neoliberal, with Recommendations)
Make Holland Great Again...? Who am I? What do I stand for? What is it that unites
me with those who are like me? What is it that divides
me from those who are unlike me?     The current wave of
rightwing populism answers these questions along lines of nati...
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Terminological Anachronism: moving beyond philosophy and shamanism
While conceptualizing and beginning to write my first chapter on the "presocratics", I've been giving quite some thought to a theoretical question with crucial implications for historical writing: that of terminological anachronism. I begin by invoking a wo...
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Wouter Hanegraaff commented on a post on Blogger.
I discovered two further highly interesting reviews/discussion of Kingsley by John Bussanich. In 1997 he published a highy positive review with incisive critiques of Kingsley's weaker points: https://www.academia.edu/247791/Review_of_Peter_Kingsley_Ancient_Philosophy_Mystery_and_Magic_Empedocles_and_Pythagorean_Tradition._Oxford_Oxford_University_Press_1995. Even more interesting is a more recent talk (unpublished?) based on Kingsley's first three books. Excellent stuff, and I think that Bussanich is perfectly right in his critiques of how Kingsley interprets Plato.
Peter Kingsley
Peter Kingsley
westernculturecounterculture.blogspot.be
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