The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 30 May 2020 - Page 36

psychology" that was later to become obsessed with the so-called "subjective" perspective of the individual. This notion of the self-sufficiency of the individual and his experience was, of course, a result of the notion of self- sufficiency Aristotle discussed in relation to phronesis or practical reasoning. We argued in the previous chapter that Stoicism was not a self-centred ethical philosophy given its commitment to the role of conscience and duty tied to its telos of a cosmopolitan man, but it is clear from the above discussion that the Stoics were in the throes of building an alternative skeletal frame of philosophical psychology that would later in its turn be transformed and used with a vengeance in the creation of Modern scientific Psychology. Philo's work was supposedly influenced not just by Stoic materialism(substantialism) but also by Platonic Psychology of the Spirit. Plato's influence is also encountered in Philo's hope for an enlightened(sun-like) spiritual inspiration as sometimes occurred in dreams which may symbolically represent in their images the invisible powers that hold our world and our universe together. In Philo, we see an advanced spiritualisation of our rational powers as a stage in the abandonment of rationalism but there was in this process, however, an anchor in the Ethical law of Moses that probably prevented an Epicurean drifting into the straits of relativism. We find, however, no attempt to seek to articulate in any detail the role of the will or self-consciousness in the process of replacing man's rational power. The question that arises as a consequence of this developmental process of the substitution of reason for spirit is, what the early Christian Fathers will do with this cultural inheritance. THE EARLY CHRISTIAN FATHERS St Paul and St John One could detect in the writings of Philo echoes of Aristotle even if the ideas were significantly distorted because of Stoic materialistic and deterministic assumptions and also because his doctrines were given a baptism in a cauldron of what Brett called "Lofty passions" striving to understand a God that was perfectly rational. In Philo Philosophical Psychology was illustrated with a Platonic form of allegorical thinking in "symbolic pictures". For Philo, the road to salvation is not the road taken by travellers arguing over the truth of statements but rather the road taken by travellers seeking divine signs of the invisible in the visible experience of the surrounding landscape. St Paul, we know traveled the road to Damascus and had an experience of the invisible that spiritually transformed him. Writing after such a spiritual transformation Pauls writings have very little, if any, Aristotelian content. Paul clearly distinguishes between the mind controlled by reason which for him fails to survive the death of the body and the soul as immortal spirit related to God not via knowledge but via a "moral vision" that presumably can only be explicated by "symbolic pictures". A moral telos was, of course, the theme of Plato's Republic but the constituting mechanism was not a moral vision given in symbolic pictures but