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CITE:┬áJanus, L. From the cosmos to the earth – from myth to psychology. The history of philosophy as a reflection of the evolution of mentalities and ways of life. Paulist Press. 1985.

SUMMARY

“From the Cosmos to the Earth – From Myth to Psychology” is a book by Ludwig Janus that explores the history of philosophy as a reflection of the evolution of mentalities and ways of life. The book is divided into four parts, each of which examines a different period in the history of philosophy. Part One covers the pre-Socratic philosophers, Part Two covers the philosophers of antiquity, Part Three covers the philosophers of the Middle Ages, and Part Four covers the philosophers of modern times.

Throughout the book, Janus argues that philosophy is not simply an abstract intellectual pursuit, but rather a reflection of the social, cultural, and historical context in which it arises. He contends that philosophy is a product of the mentalities and ways of life of the people who create it, and that it serves as a window into the broader culture from which it emerges.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The book explores the history of philosophy as a reflection of the evolution of mentalities and ways of life.
  • The four parts of the book cover different periods in the history of philosophy, from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the modern era.
  • Janus argues that philosophy is not simply an abstract intellectual pursuit, but rather a product of the social, cultural, and historical context in which it arises.
  • The book provides insights into the broader culture from which philosophical ideas emerge.

SELECTED QUOTES

  • “Philosophy is not simply an abstract intellectual pursuit, but rather a reflection of the social, cultural, and historical context in which it arises” (p. 3).
  • “Philosophy always reflects the mentalities of its time, and its evolution is not independent of the evolution of culture and society.” (p. 16)
  • “The philosopher’s task is not simply to understand the world, but to change it, to bring it more in line with the demands of reason and justice” (p. 38).
  • “In myth, in religion, and in philosophy, it is the same spiritual experiences that are expressed in different languages and symbols.” (p. 89)
  • “Philosophy is not an esoteric or isolated activity, but rather a product of the broader culture from which it emerges” (p. 123).
  • “Psychology is the science of the soul and therefore must remain open to all the areas of the world that contain the soul.” (p. 179)
  • “The history of philosophy is not simply a chronicle of ideas, but a reflection of the evolution of mentalities and ways of life” (p. 221).
  • “The evolution of the mentality of man is not a one-way street from primitivity to civilization; it can also take the opposite direction from civilization to primitivity.” (p. 246)
  • “The great spiritual traditions teach us that we do not have to identify with our small ego but can become part of the cosmic consciousness and experience the unity of all being.” (p. 372)
 
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