A Guide for the Perplexed by E. F. Schumacher

By E. F. Schumacher

E F Schumacher asserts that it's the job of philosophy to supply a map of existence and information which shows crucial positive factors of lifestyles of their right prominence. The questions: How am I to behavior my lifestyles? what's the nature of paintings and nature? what's the which means of faith? are restored are restored to sunlight on Schumacher's map of lifestyles through his maxim 'if unsure express it prominently. ' technological know-how is for this reason restored to its domestic territory and its transforming into imperialism over the fields is reserved.

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Naturally, since man, as it were, contains the three lower Levels of Being, certain things about him can be elucidated by studying minerals, plants, and animals - in fact, everything can be learned about him except that which makes him human. All the four constituent elements of the human person -m, x, y and z deserve study; but there can be little doubt about their relative importance in terms of knowledge for the conduct of our lives. This importance increases in the order given above, and so does the difficulty and uncertainty experienced by modern humanity.

For our present purposes it is necessary simply to recognise that sense data alone do not produce insight or understanding of any kind. Ideas produce insight and understanding, and the world of ideas lies within us. The truth of ideas cannot be seen by the senses but only by that special instrument sometimes referred to as 'the eye of the heart' which, in a mysterious way, has the power of recognising truth when confronted with it.

It is not essential for us to have theories about their origin, provided we recognise their quality and, in recognising their quality, never fail to remember that they are beyond anything our own intelligence enables us to create. It is not unduly difficult to appreciate the difference between 'alive' and 'lifeless'; it is more difficult to distinguish consciousness from life; to realise, ex- perience and appreciate the difference between selfawareness and consciousness (that is, between y and z) is hard indeed.

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