Fundamentalisme : mythos of logos? Die rol van praktiese wysheid en hermeneutiek in die soeke na wedersydse begrip en dialoog
Weiss, Conrad Max
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In this study the question is being posed as to whether there is a philosophical means which can serve as possible aid in the search for understanding and dialogue between those of different opinions, in particular in regard to the phenomena of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is a complex concept and differs between cultures, religions and traditions. However, fundamentalism is – as will be argued – mostly the result of a supposed opposition between mythos and logos in the human mind. The central theme of the study is thus the interaction between mythos and logos in the human mind and the irrationality to discard either in its relation to fundamentalism. Mythos is mostly regarded as illogical, whilst logos (as the rational) are preferred. The argument in this study is that the roll of mythos cannot and should not be denied or underestimated in relation to fundamentalism (see chapter one). Proper regard for the true nature and value of mythos could result in a better understanding and dialogue between those of different opinions. The study also investigates (chapter two) the different major religions in an attempt to identify a common value or truth. The suggestion is that such possible common value may serve as a possible starting point for the creation of understanding and dialogue between those of different opinions. Love and compassion are identified as common values and it is proposed that these should serve as such basis of understanding and dialogue. Love and compassion are both the products of mythos. The disposition of interlocutors in the event of different opinions requires however a special approach by the interlocutors. In this regard the ancient Greek fronesis or practical wisdom is introduced as possible solution in chapter three. Practical wisdom does not comprise a set of rules or dogma, but requires an approach to practical issues that is attainable through the practice of specific moral virtues. The aim is ultimately to make the correct decision, at the appropriate time, in the right circumstances. Mythos and logos both play an essential part in the practice of practical wisdom. 4 Understanding and dialogue is however only attainable through discourse. Philosophical hermeneutics, in acknowledging the role of mythos, is not only universal, but it is also continuously seeking to promote understanding and dialogue between interlocutors (see chapter four). To this end practical wisdom and philosophical hermeneutics may prove to be valuable contributors in search for meaningful understanding and dialogue between those of different opinions, in particular in the case of fundamentalism.
- Humanities