Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Aristotle Was Not A Pagan Philosopher...
Because he was not a pagan.
Pagan: from late Latin paganus, meaning villager; rustic/noun use of adjective meaning “of the country, of a village,” from pagus “country people: province, rural district”.
“Pagans” were non-urban people.
They had neither organized society nor centralized governing. And they certainly had no categorized or articulated cosmology or philosophy.
Did they have cosmology and philosophy?
Not in the way we think of them.
Because Pagan also means “district limited by markers” thus related to pangere “to fix, fasten,” from PIE root *pag -”to fix”.
A fixed place, in other words. Something rooted.
As opposed to cosmopolitan, which implies either implicitly or explicitly, rootlessness and universal.
The world of the Pagan does not extend beyond the country of their particular, specific, people. Their rivers, forests, lakes and mountains are all solid boundaries of their existence, physically and spiritually. Which is why they can never be truly universal, cosmopolitan or civilized.
Pagans have also been called (condescendingly by the urbanized) Provincial -having a provincial worldview, notion of culture, music, art and so on.
Provincial of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded
You can see how all this might make defining pagan cosmology and philosophy-there-of, difficult.
In other words, an outsider might observe the pagan’s culture, society, organization, religion and philosophy, and describe it.....but the Pagans themselves do not observe or reflect on those things and thus do not contemplate them, let alone describe them. Because the pagan world is not planned.
Again, the problem there should be obvious for a cosmopolitan (a civilized man) attempting to assign urban categorization to people who have no such self-aware categories.
Aristotle was a city boy espousing an urban world view and ideology.
Just like monotheists.
Thus Aristotle (and Plato, et al) was not a pagan.