A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED by E. F. Schumacher

A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Under Maimonides' title, Schumacher expands on the patchwork religious-philosophical elements in his earlier Small Is Beautiful. Drawing on Scholasticism, Eastern religions, and yoga, he enumerates four ""Levels of Being""--mineral, vegetable, animal, and human--and four ""Fields of Knowledge"" relating to the internal and external aspects of the self and others. Contending that modern philosophy and science, or, collectively, ""Scientism,"" deal only with the lowest Level of Being, the mineral, and with external appearances, Schumacher argues that meaningful knowledge (Wisdom) can only be attained through self-awareness, which transcends consciousness (the attribute of the highest, human Level of Being). Schumacher views human life as consisting of problems which are not amenable to the simple technical solutions of scientism, and which can only be dealt with by Wisdom (ecology is an example)--hence the title. Like all works that attempt to describe mystical experiences or knowledge, this book lacks the concrete theoretical elaboration that allows for the transfer of that knowledge--we have to take Schumacher's word for it because he cannot describe ""it."" The argument for Faith ultimately rests on Faith itself.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row