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Friday, October 30, 2020


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Very well put, Bill. I will pass this on to a couple of acquaintances that will also benefit from it.

In general, religious folks feel that they have in some manner been 'addressed', so that in prayer are entering into an "I-Thou' relationship. They feel that being so addressed is a form of knowledge. It is not the attenuated form of knowledge championed by the Logical Positivists - but the LP's had their day and were found wanting decades ago. Michael Polanyi gave them a good working over in the his books, particularly "Personal Knowledge".

Thank you, Dave, for reminding me of Polanyi's book. I have it in my library, but it has been years since I have looked at it.

A lot comes down to whether one (a) has religious/paranormal/mystical experiences and (b) is prepared to take them at face value and not dismiss them out of hand as 'brain farts.'

I was introduced to philosophy by Magee's Men of Ideas interviews on the BBC in the mid 1970s and his little book on Popper (for which I am grateful); and followed his work after that. His autobiography was a very depressing read. A lifetime of philosophical reflection leading to a miserable, meaningless dead-end - painted into a corner but unwilling to address any of the metaphysical assumptions which had led him there. In a sense, I feel Magee was paralysed by his deep need for Establishment approval - a trait that has led almost the entirety of the Western leadership class into the arms of Global Evil...

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