By Joan Stambaugh
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Additional resources for The real is not the rational
In the Phaedrus Socrates states that there are two sorts of Page 10 ruling or guiding principles within all of us, an innate desire for pleasure and an acquired judgment that aims at what is best. The first principle, if not constantly restrained by the second, is irrational, 9 and pursues the enjoyment of beauty. Socrates then talks about the immortality of the soul. It is a first principle, it neither comes into being nor does it perish, and its nature is self-motion. A body deriving its motion from a source within itself is besouled (animated).
If we can thoughtfully assimilate some elements of Eastern ideas, we can perhaps see new possibilities for philosophy, some of which are present here and there in our own tradition, but never in its mainstream. It is time, high time, for a philosophical encounter with the East. This is not to say that Eastern thinking, in this study particularly Buddhism, has the "answers" to the contemporary efforts to get beyond the present situation of philosophy or to escape the confines of metaphysics. It is only hoped that Western thinkers may attempt to come thoughtfully to grips with some of the questions of the Eastern tradition, not just to breathe them in like incense.
The method of final causes, however, is easier and can be frequently employed to find out important and useful truths which we should have to seek for a long time if we were confined to that other more physical method . . "22 In the last analysis, however, final causes win the battle, and when the principle of sufficient reason enters the fray, it is very much the garb of final causality and intelligent choice that it wears, particularly when the question of God and the creation of the world are at stake.