Unveiling the Grail on Human Nature and Mental Disorder
Section I: Metaphysics, Essences and Sexes
13 CHAPTER 1: Philosophy and its Discontents Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering. (Epicurus) This book presents a theoretical argument and empirical support for the seem- ingly counterintuitive proposition that our philosophy is making us sick; or, more specifically, that our metaphysics is making us mentally ill. While I might like to claim this as a totally new and original idea, the possibility was in fact mooted around two and a half thousand years ago by the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, who believed that our metaphysics determines our state of mind: a correct view of the nature of human and cosmic existence brings inner peace and contentment, an incorrect one, inner turmoil and discontent (cited in Dio- genes, Bk.10, §24). For the ancient Greeks, an avid curiosity about (and desire to know and un- derstand) the nature of things was fuelled by a more pressing need to know what in the world was real and enduring (and why), and what was not. According to skeptics such as Pyrrho, only if philosophers could correctly identify and sepa- rate the real from the illusory, and then correctly identify and define real things that have a definite, stable, knowable existence, could they ever hope to achieve an accurate and lasting knowledge of the nature of that reality. Therefore, for philosophers such as Plato who were wishing to counter the skeptics’ claim that reality is indefinite, immeasurable, undecidable, and therefore unknowable, it was necessary to produce a...
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