Friday, July 31, 2015



My latest book, Plato’s Universe of Discourse, has just been published (e-book only).

Traditional philosophy has been pronounced dead. Humankind, under the governance of a hubristic science bereft of wisdom, is rapidly hurtling towards self-destruction. To save humanity philosophy as understood by Socrates and Plato must be revived.

Hume undermined both science and philosophy. Kant came to the rescue of science but had no comfort for philosophy; his Copernican revolution only went halfway. It’s high time to radically revolutionize current conceptions of the nature of philosophy and philosophical thinking.

We have to make philosophy once again relevant to human aspirations and once again capable of having a role in fighting the false conceptions and false values that are undermining human civilization. This book goes out as “a voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way” of Queen Philosophia to her rightful throne, to guide human life and guard the ideals and values that endow humanity with its worth, to avert the annihilation that the hubris of knowledge devoid of wisdom is fast driving us to.

Cairo, 31 July, 2015.

Monday, July 13, 2015



D. R. Khashaba

When David Hume arrived in Hades a venerable old man came forward eagerly to meet him. The old man said, “My name is Plato. I have been looking forward to seeing you.” Hume was a little baffled but answered politely, “I am honoured to meet you, sir; but what can I do for you?”

Plato said: “Let us first fin ourselves comfortable seating in this beautiful nearby grove. I apologize for my importunity in accosting you before you have even had a look at the place.”

Comfortably seated on the lush grass underneath a high plane-tree, dear to Plato’s heart, with a rippling stream sweetly murmuring close by, Plato contimued: “I have been following your philosophical writings with great enjoyment but one statement of yours gave me pause.”

Hume prickled. “What statement was that?”

“Where you say: ‘If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.’”

“Was I mistaken in that?”

“My worthy friend, in philosophy to be mistaken is nothing serious. We are all necessarily making mistakes all the time; it is in correcting our mistakes that we philosophize. No. It grieves me to have to say it: your fault is graver than a mistake; you have wronged philosophy.”

“How is that, sir?’

“You are quite right, my friend, in expecting not to find any ‘abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number’ or any ‘experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence’ in a book of metaphysical philosophy. It is not for philosophers to wade in those waters, although many foolishly think they may.”

“What good is such philosophy then?”

“Let me have recourse to another sagacious finding of yours. You have rightly perceived that in the natural world as delivered to us by the senses there is no necessary connection, no order, and no sense.”

“I still maintain that.”

“With right. My beloved master Socrates taught me that. He also taught me it is the ideas bred by the mind that confer on the experienced world connection and sequence and meanuing. A prophetic voice tells me that a wise man who is yet to be born into the world you have just left will also say it is the human mind that puts connection and order and sense in the deliverances of dumb sensation. And by the way, the prophetic voice tells me this yet-to-come wise man is a kinsman of yours, though he will be born in a different land and speak a different tongue.”

“Be that as it may. I still don’t see how I have wronged a philosophy that gives us no factual knowledge and no mathematical certainty.”

“Have patience my blessed friend. In this here world we are not hurried by time or harried by time. We enjoy the bliss of leisure. The human mind does not only put sense in the natural world on the level of ‘matter of fact and existence’ but, what is of far greater significance for humanity, the mind infuses life and the world with purpose, with ends and ideals. It was the poets who first made human existence meaningful and enriched life with the ideas of Beauty and Love and Loyalty and Freedom. The philosophers created the idea of the Whole and thereby made human beings whole.”

“Then it is all a sham.”

“You, my friend, gifted with an agile mind, are always quick to pluck a thought in the bud but do not wait for it to bloom. Rather than a sham I call it a dream. Human beings have no choice but to live in dream-worlds of their own creation. That is the one thing that distinguishes humans from the other animals. If, following your injunction, my friend, people on planet Earth commit the works of philosophers to the flames, to be consistent they should follow them with the works of all poets and artists and then perchance they may quietly live the tranquil life of their animal kin.”

“Shall humans live in the shadow a lie?”

“It is only the lie in the soul that is pernicious: a lie openly confessed a lie is not a lie. It is the salt of life.”

Cairo, 12 July 2015