The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 6 May 2018 - Page 23

stretch over the domains of Metaphysics, Ethics, Epistemology Political Philosophy and Philosophical Psychology: those domains Kant tried to characterize in terms of his 4 questions: “What ought I do?”, “What can I know?”, “What can I hope for?” and “What is a man?” Paul Ricoeur also explores the function of symbolic language in his work “The Symbolism of Evil”. When we avow the evil we ourselves or others have done this is not done in terms of what he calls “direct discourse”. Symbolic terms, such as “stain” or “spot” are taken from the realm of everyday experience but they are put to different uses in which the everyday experience refers further in a chain of referral to another more universal experience of the subject's situation in the realm of the sacred or the divine. Ricoeur points out that this is demonstrated by the fact that engaging in the action of spot or stain removal will not solve the existential problem of our relation to evil. Symbols, Ricoeur points out are constituents of literary mythical texts. Some of these myths also contain a reference to poetic experiences of the beautiful and the sublime which range over the domains of the finite(beautiful objects are finitely formed) and the infinite(powers of nature like the power of the sea and powerful waterfalls). Poetry places itself squarely in the language of desire in virtue of the fact that its medium is the language of images. Poetry, Ricoeur maintains, places the imagination at the stage of the expression process where language is at the point of emerging to express desire. Images of the boundless space of the universe, the expansive waters of the oceans whose magnitude is beyond our comprehension and the immense power of huge volumes of water rushing over a precipice in a waterfall may even be beyond the power of language to express and may therefore force a reflective return of the mind attempting to understand such phenomena to its situation in the realm of the infinite. It is patently obvious that we are, here transcending the polarized logic of modern epistemology and logic which require that Being can only be said in one way with a univocal meaning. Aristotle, as we pointed out earlier, questioned this and opened the horizon of Philosophy up to extend far beyond what we can perceive and know. This is, as Kant was able to prove, not merely a rationalistic objection to the empirical worshipping of the idols of perception and method, it is a wider metaphysical iconoclastic project exploring with Socratic and Aristotelian humility the domains of the 4 Kantian questions referred to above. According to the testimony in “The Symposium” Socrates was loved by many. He was not a physically attractive man, so the desire to be in his presence or be his friend must have transcended the physical. According to Pausania’s speech in this work, love can be both common love for the body or the divine love responding to the character of someone's mind. The body is a transient phenomenon and will decay with age or illness in front of our eyes over a relatively short period of time but the mind of a good man like Socrates will