Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context

Authors with different backgrounds in technology, background, anthropology, and extra, examine tradition within the context of the cosmos.

• How does our wisdom of cosmic evolution have an effect on terrestrial tradition?
• Conversely, how does our wisdom of cultural evolution have an effect on our wondering attainable cultures within the cosmos?
• Are lifestyles, brain, and tradition of basic importance to the grand tale of the cosmos that has generated its personal self-understanding via technological know-how, rational reasoning, and arithmetic?

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Sample text

It has not been a condition of selection of the theory discussed here that the individual authors referred to might or might not have, hypothetically, proved positive (or negative) for certain substances. Obviously, every one of them would have proved either positive or negative as far as such a crude testing for the presence or absence of drugs is concerned. However, having made a statement which appears like a disclaimer – that this book is not about cultural theorists who themselves experimented with drugs by actually imbibing them – it is, none the less, true that this condition applies in some cases.

The decision (of philosophy/to philosophise) does not culminate in the accomplishment of transcendence. Nancy reminds us that any re-deciding which philosophical thought undertakes, of ‘drugs’ or anything else, never leaves the everyday world of the ‘they’ in which Dasein lives. Any attempt to think and articulate a ‘higher form of the drug’, as Ronell puts it, begins from within a meditation on ‘the drug’ as it is already thought and experienced. This leads us to the conclusion that drugs have a role to play in the rethinking of ‘drugs’.

What is required’, says Ronell, ‘is a genuine ethics of decision. But this in turn requires a still higher form of the drug’ (Ronell, 1992: 64). Derrida is ‘the supplier’ Ronell is dealing with when she makes this remark. The compulsion to philosophise in Derrida’s text and what draws him into Plato’s ‘pharmacy’ is the habit of returning to the aporetics of decision, a way of thinking which results from his own use of the pharmakon. The aporetic logic of the unthinkable and unsayable ‘beyond the decision’ circulates everywhere in Derrida’s corpus.

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