Habermas has totally misunderstood the Axial Age…??? Importance of studying the ‘eonic model’

Basically, during the Axial Age (800-300 BCE) some break-through thinkers (like Isaiah or Buddha) oriented us toward a “new, transcendent principle (God, Logos, Nirvana) that was the telos of human life. We might say, then, that they all had in common a certain affirmation of metaphysics.” The idea of history having (or carrying an inherent purpose (or direction) is immensely controversial in theological and philosophical thought. For strong-minded secularists, teleological thinking reeks of Christian ideas of a providential God working out his purposes in history behind our backs. Secularists do not like the idea of providence; and they sense that a philosopher like Kant sneaks a “weak form of providence” into his writings.

Source: A Final Word or Two From the Wise Old Philosopher – CounterPunch.org

I haven’t read Habermas’ book and will stay wary of dealing with it but this account seems clear enough on one point. The next question is, how does Habermas stand with respect to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, a pseudo-science stuck in the midst of academic grandeur, undermining the life work of all too many captured in the paradigm based the ridiculous claims for random evolution? It might be counterproductive to be impolite but if the entire sphere of academic/scientific thought, in the US at least, is stuck on a theory as silly as natural selection, then the chance of sane discussion is close to nil.
One enters here an interesting philosophical woods, and here is a link that appears to show the link between Darwinism, and the philosophies of social evolution in the world of the Habermas milieu. But I fear that assumptions about Darwinism lurk to wreak havoc with such grandes ouevres.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301222654_SOCIOCULTURAL_EVOLUTION_OR_THE_SOCIAL_EVOLUTION_OF_PRACTICAL_REASON_KLAUS_EDER%27S_CRITIQUE_OF_JURGEN_HABERMAS
It is hard to tell just what this world of discourse is about. But to be stuck in Darwinism is a fatal mistake.
I will try below, no doubt in vain, given the arrogance and delusive ignorance of most professors, to clarify Habermas’ confusion over the ‘Axial Age’ but recommend a careful study of the eonic effect and model. The text Decoding World History is free online:
decoding-world-history-ed-1_6dcdx

I will be short, first, and then create a longer commentary, or thread: the Axial Age was discovered by Karl Jaspers but he misunderstood it: the dates he gives, 800 to 200 (here 300) BCE suggest an interval that is too long, and thus misses the real point. The eonic model often refers to the Axial Age, but the reference is mostly a nickname corrected to the idea of transitions in parallel in the second era, or epoch of the eonic effect, 900 to 600 BCE, with a divide point ca. 600 BCE. A close look shows that the main effect of the larger eonic sequence occurs, roughly, in this period, but in some ways ‘overflows’ somewhat up to around 400 BCE, but as far as we can tell as the first implications of material in the three-century interval, which is not an exact interval but a range of effects. The point is clear from the ‘Israelite’ instance which closely follows the 900 to 600 interval as a new form of monotheism comes into existence, and suddenly shows a break just around the divide, ca 600 BCE. The Greek case is similar but the classical period is already outside the transition (the Archaic Age, roughly).  The eonic model seems hard, but is actually a simple chronology, and not a theory, so descriptive method is all we have. The model suggestes the nature of a real theory of evolution which is a teleological process connected we suspect with the issues of cosmological fine-tuning. The evolution of civilization is thus only difficult because we must read thousands of books, equally divided over all times and periods. !

This is the point: each of these transitions: Greek, Israelite/Persian, Indic, and Chinese), are different and we cannot generalize about a ‘transcendent’ principle. These transitions are about a larger cultural transformation, and express relative beginnings. Each phase does something different. Greece’s invention of democracy is not based on a metaphysical unity behind the Axial Age. The sense of the transcendent was not an Axial Age discovery but already exists in stone age man, perhaps as factor of his curious consciousness/self-consciousness (?). Buddha appears just after the divide (as far as we know) but clearly expresses the strange complexity of Indian religious history: it appears as a crystallization of the path to enlightenment that is perennial, we suspect, as of the Neolithic. Buddhism is thus a clear relative beginning or restart, and a true instance of a religion as such: as a path with a doctrine in a given starting point.  The Indic transitions shows crystallization in Sanskrit some more ancient lagacy, e.g the Upanishads, and the relative restart of Jainism, etc… Buddhas thus has well tilled soil from which to create his unique religious legacy. We can hardly generalize this to a match with ideas of god in the Israelite, Hebraic, and Christian traditions, also a religion (the term is subject to vague misuse) in the original sense. Israelitism and later Judaism, Christianity are very different things, based on the mystery of the Israelite core period. Note that therefore Judaism and Christianity are outside of the eonic transition interval. We cannot equate ‘god’ and ‘nirvana’ and ‘logos’.
The issue here is not metaphysics but social transformations over a range of cultural factors: art, religion, politics, economy, etc…The idea that the three principles express the core of the axial age totally misses the point.
We must move to generalize beyond the classic period of the so-called Axial Age by considering the so-called ‘eonic sequence’, the larger pattern of evidence that moves to include the first set of visible transition in Sumer and early Dynastic Egypt, ca. 3000 BCE with a suspected set of transitions: 3300 to 3000, roughly. And next, the modern transition, from 1500 to 1800, roughly. We should at once point to the larger model and the need to follow the diffusion fields of each of our transitions, and explain why the classical period splits into parallels, while the modern transition is seemingly unique with an illusory Eurocentric bias. Nothing of the kind is the case, and the modern transition requires a careful study of the so-called frontier effect in the model. The modern transition is clustered in a very specific way and is a local version of a global sequence or phenomenon.
In fact, the correct category is ‘evolution’ as in the evolution of civilizations (the term has no real status, but is descriptive, the real core of evolution is the set of transitions). The overall eonic sequence clearly stretches backward into the Neolithic but we don’t have enough data to make the case. But clearly the rise of higher civilization is driven we suspect be earlier transitions. starting ca. 8000 BCE. And it makes sense to wonder if the evolution of early homo sapients occurred in such a process, that clearly addresses all the key issues of human being, viz. consciousness, art, religion, politics, etc,….

We have reached the threshold of the real complexity behind the totally misunderstood ‘Axial’ Age. Unfortunately, the realm of academic thinking in the US and elsewhere is so pervaded by Darwinism and its enforcement by so-called professors that any dissent is almost impossible. What is the case in Germany is not clear, although the link above shows a robust range of thought. But the challenge to Darwinism is absolutely essential to get clear at the start that evolution is visible in history (by its own empirical definition) and what we see in history probably gives us a hint as to the earlier evolution of organisms. Since we don’t have evidence at close range we don’t know, but the idea that natural selection produces the evolution of organisms is a delusion, and we have no evidence in any relevant case (beyond, say, RNA evolution) that new species arise by chance random evolution. The real puzzle is how this paradigm ever got off the ground and passed into academic/scientific dogma.
Because of this situation, the eonic model will get no hearing and must proceed from outsiders to the august realm of academic idiocy, sorry, but it must be said, and perhaps insulting remarks could conceivably penetrate the mental closure of modern science. A good start here is the warning of Fred Hoyle, who clearly pointed to the statistical fallacy of natural selection.

So, Habermas’ philosophic generalization doesn’t really work. The Axial Age is not about philosophy as such, although with the pre-Socractics we see the birth of philosophy in one strain, etc…Let us note that the modern transition shows Kant just before, and Hegel/Marx just after the ‘divide’, a point requiring careful study of the model. But’s Kant critique of metaphysics and transcendental idealism is a mysterious innovation of the modern transition (although the transcendental deduction shows a strange distant kinship with a principle of Advaita yoga, ????)

Basically, during the Axial Age (800-300 BCE) some break-through thinkers (like Isaiah or Buddha) oriented us toward a “new, transcendent principle (God, Logos, Nirvana) that was the telos of human life. We might say, then, that they all had in common a certain affirmation of metaphysics.” The idea of history having (or carrying an inherent purpose (or direction) is immensely controversial in theological and philosophical thought. For strong-minded secularists, teleological thinking reeks of Christian ideas of a providential God working out his purposes in history behind our backs. Secularists do not like the idea of providence; and they sense that a philosopher like Kant sneaks a “weak form of providence” into his writings.

Source: A Final Word or Two From the Wise Old Philosopher – CounterPunch.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s