The Stratagem Philosophical Society
The home site of Common Sense
The Stratagem Philosophical Society provides a platform for the examination of the concept and philosophy of Common Sense
The Society.’s postal address is The Stratagem Philosophical Society BM Unifaculty London WC1N 3XX
The Internet address is -
http://www.stratagem.org.uk General enquiry email address is enquiries@stratagem.org.uk
the Stratagem Philosophical Society is part of the
Unifaculty Foundation

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Western Philosophy is rather better recorded in libraries and popular teachings in the West. The range of ideas which has been spread over 3,000 years or so is extensive. The destruction of the ancient library in Alexandra would have extended our knowledge even further back.

According to the earliest source of information, the pseudepigraphic [id est Jewish writings] Letter of Aristeas composed between c180 and 145 BCE, the library was initially organized by Demetrius of Phaleron, a student of Aristotle, in the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (c.367 BCE - c.283 BCE). Some sources claim it was instead created under the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283–246 BCE). The Library was built in the Brucheion (Royal Quarter) in the style of Aristotle's Lyceum, adjacent to and in service of the Musæum (a Greek Temple or "House of Muses", whence the term "museum").

Gaius Julius Cæsar

For what it may be worth, Julius Cæsar attracted some blame for the destruction of the library in the 4th century AD. It had been reported shortly after the event, that during Cæsar’s civil war, he had had his ships set on fire in some defensive ploy and that they had arrived aflame at Alexandra destroying the library. Maybe that was so and maybe it was not so.

After all we do know that it is the victors who write history and the losers who acquire a bad press. However, little snippets of accounts also reveal that the library which in part was a glorification of Greater Ægypt had suffered several attacks over the years prior to the Roman civil war, most of which involved the use of fire.

We will feature Western philosophy and philosophers’ work from time to time on this page. Please visit the web-site for regular updates.

Alfred W. Adler [February 7, 1870 – May 28, 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. His emphasis on the importance of feelings of inferiority —the inferiority complex— is recognized as an isolating element which plays a key role in personality development. Alfred Adler considered human beings as an individual whole, therefore he called his psychology "Individual Psychology”.

In a late work, Social Interest: A Challenge to Mankind (1938), Adler turns to the subject of metaphysics, where he integrates Jan Smuts' evolutionary holism with the ideas of teleology and community: "sub specie aeternitatis". Unabashedly, he argues his vision of society: "Social feeling means above all a struggle for a communal form that must be thought of as eternally applicable... when humanity has attained its goal of perfection... an ideal society amongst all mankind, the ultimate fulfillment of evolution." Adler follows this pronouncement with a defense of metaphysics:

I see no reason to be afraid of metaphysics; it has had a great influence on human life and development. We are not blessed with the possession of absolute truth; on that account we are compelled to form theories for ourselves about our future, about the results of our actions, etc. Our idea of social feeling as the final form of humanity - of an imagined state in which all the problems of life are solved and all our relations to the external world rightly adjusted - is a regulative ideal, a goal that gives our direction. This goal of perfection must bear within it the goal of an ideal community, because all that we value in life, all that endures and continues to endure, is eternally the product of this social feeling.

This social feeling for Adler is Gemeinschaftsgefühl, a community feeling whereby one feels he or she belongs with others and has also developed an ecological connection with nature (plants, animals, the crust of this earth) and the cosmos as a whole, sub specie aeternitatis. Clearly, Adler himself had little problem with adopting a metaphysical and spiritual point of view to support his theories. Yet his overall theoretical yield provides ample room for the dialectical humanist (modernist) and the postmodernist to explain the significance of community and ecology through differing lenses (even if Adlerians have not fully considered how deeply divisive and contradictory these three threads of metaphysics, modernism, and post modernism are).

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