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Last modified 05/25/2008

 

 Introduction

As we move to study the eonic effect and construct the eonic model we make a strange discovery: the relationship to the philosophy of history. And we also uncover a curious and elegant secret behind the enigma of the eonic effect itself. The idea of a model is to bring home the project of science applied to history, but on the way we are forced to consider the issue of freedom in the context of causality and this summons up the classic discourse of the philosophers of history, most especially that of the philosopher Kant whose sudden, almost mysterious, appearance at the climax of the Enlightenment both fulfilled and challenged or deepened that movement. The irony, and strange secret uncovered, is that the philosophy of history shows strong correlation with the eonic sequence itself. This point is elusive and will dawn on one gradually, to show an extraordinarily deep side to the pattern of universal history the eonic sequence uncovers.

The question of a science of history is paradoxical, it won't go away, and yet we can't resolve its basic contradiction. There must be such a science, since we attempt to apply causal analysis to the whole of reality, and have the spectacular successes of physics to show for this, and yet there can't be such a science, since the issue of freedom must except itself from causal analysis. Standard scientism is either oblivious or indifferent to this eternal paradox and wishes to produce a causal account of the factor of freedom. That's a bold step, but success has proven elusive. As has the effort to model the idea of freedom within science. In many ways the latter is precisely what Kant did, with brilliant, if controversial, and still debatable, effects. The result is the discovery of so-called 'transcendental idealism' which is a dubious candidate for an idealism and not 'transcendental' in the usual sense (i.e. transcendent). Be that as it may as to the misleading character of the terminology the apparatus of transcendental idealism is a uniquely powerful way to model our basic philosophical perplexities.

The remarkable thing is that as we stumble on the eonic effect, we discover in the process nature's way of resolving the paradox, in the context of 'universal history'. And in the process we are able to harmonize our concepts of historical dynamics with those of evolution, an elegant solution to our demand for a science of history.

This series of mini-essays will be an introduction to the treatment in World History And The Eonic Effect, and will try to survey the pieces of the puzzle without too much detail. The result will be a useful tool for understanding the eonic model in a deeper way. We will see the dilemma behind evolutionary theories if these attempt to describe the 'evolution of freedom', and the way in which the eonic model, with a touch of Kant, can elucidate the mystery.

We should also point out that Kant's own formulation should demand a critique, and his theme of asocial sociability is a limited or problematical attempt by Kant to solve a problem that his philosophy raises, in the context of history. We will note the way Kant is really asking a question, and correctly formulating the requirement for a philosophy/science of history, but that his attempted solution needs revision in light of the findings of the eonic effect. Thus, strangely, our eonic model is more 'Kantian' than Kant at a certain point.

There have been essentially two discoveries and examinations of transcendental idealism, that of Kant, and then Schopenhauer. The discovery of the eonic effect and its model gives us a third, a fast and elegant backdoor entrance, and it does this by indirection, in a streamlined fashion that can bypass the complexities of Kantian discourse to show us the whole issue in a unified gestalt.