The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 32 July 2020 - Page 6

Kantian Philosophy put Cosmoplitanism on the Philosophical and Political map for the first time: These philosophical discussions were to rage for over 150 years before materialist Empiricism and Cartesian dualistic rationalism was synthesised and transcended by the Philosophy of Kant. Kant's Philosophy embraced a number of Aristotelian assumptions relating to philosophical psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics in order to produce what many commentators called "a brilliant synthesis of empiricism and rationalism". Kant. we should also recall was a citizen of Königsberg, a bustling cosmopolitan centre, and it is not particularly surprising to find Kant arguing on both ethical and political grounds for a global cosmopolitanism regulated by an institution similar to the UN that was to be formed after the second world war. We cannot go into the arguments in detail here but suffice it to say that Kant embraced a number of concepts and principles from the Aristotelian theory of change and hylomorphic theory thus continuing a tradition of thinking about the world born in the bustling cosmopolitan centre of Athens. Alexandria was also a bustling cosmopolitan centre of activity. The times that Clements of Alexandria lived through were also times of questioning, in particular, with respect to the issue of the relation of knowledge and faith. The second century AD must have been experienced by both intellectuals and the populace as "Renaissance-like", ie. they must have witnessed, for example, an intensification of all forms of Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Judaism, Christianity and last but not least the various flourishing sects of Gnosticism. Clement responded to this cultural chaos as a synthesiser. Professor Brett characterises the man and his work in the following way: "Some regard him as Platonic: others emphasise the Stoicism of his attitude. To some, he appears an amorphous collection of doctrines. The evidence seems to support none of these views: for while the language of Plato, the ideas of Stoic writers, and the vagaries of Philo, jostle each other in every passage: there is an independence which rules them all--he has the disregard of a true believer for the niceties of expression: his eagerness to state his belief seems to break out into each and all of the possible types of formula: salvation and resurrection are the themes that make the language of philosophy seem meagre and elementary." Gnosticism was one of the influences Clement was considering in the formulation of his ideas: We should remember that the above words were published in the 1920s, during a period when both Gnostic and Aristotelian academic scholarship was in its infancy. Indeed Gnostic Scholarship at the time of Brett's writings appeared to focus upon principally the Christian critical view of Gnosticism that was, in fact, emerging during the time of Clement. Gnosticism regarded the God of the Old Testament(OT) as the equivalent of the Platonic demiurge. The demiurge was supposedly the designer of the forms matter would take in a process of creation begun by a higher God. Matter had no form or principle of organization and was therefore chaotic in its nature. The Demiurge was provided with the principles or forms to be used in this design process by the higher