Review of Metaphysics 22 (2):389-390 (1968)

Both the essays in this short book have appeared before, but separately and both in German. Voegelin shows how certain modern intellectual movements whether political, philosophical, scientific, right or left share characteristics with ancient gnosticism in that they are salvation-oriented formulas designed to dominate and control being by conceptually reconstructing it into a manageable, man-centered packet. The gnosis is the knowledge of the particular method of altering being. Voegelin isolates two major prerequisites for the construction and marketing of such formulas: 1) The prohibition of questioning, and 2) the elimination from the formula of the essential features of being that would tend to expose the program as foolish. He picks on Nietzsche and Marx as the "intellectual swindlers" indulging in 1, and cites Moore's Utopia, Hobbe's Leviathan and Hegel's construct of history as demonstrating 2. The book is generally intriguing with occasional worthy aphoristic insights. It can be read in one enjoyable sitting.--S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1968222248
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