The philosophy of πάθει μάθος (pathei-mathos) is my own weltanschauung, and may be said to represent both the essence and the substance of what I have retained after refining and reflecting upon that Way I termed ‘the numinous way’ and which Way I developed between the years 2006 and 2011.

This year-long process of refinement and reflexion [2011-2012] led me to not only discard most of that ‘numinous way’ but also to re-express, in a more philosophical manner, the basic insights and the personal pathei-mathos that initially inspired me to develope that ‘numinous way’, a re-expression contained in the following four texts: (1) The Way of Pathei-Mathos; (2) Some Personal Musings On Empathy; (3) Enantiodromia and The Reformation of The Individual; (4) Society, Politics, Social Reform, and Pathei-Mathos. The whole philosophy of πάθει μάθος is contained in those four texts [collected together in Recuyle of Pathei-Mathos], although three additional (and older) texts – namely, (i) Pathei-Mathos, A Way To Humility; (ii) In Pursuit of Wisdom and (iii) The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic – might profitably be perused, as they deal with topics germane to my philosophy of pathei-mathos.

The philosophy of πάθει μάθος, however, is not a conventional, an academic, one where a person intellectually posits or constructs a coherent theory – involving ontology, epistemology, ethics, and so on – often as a result of an extensive dispassionate study, review, or a criticism of the philosophies or views, past and present, advanced by other individuals involved in the pursuit of philosophy as an academic discipline or otherwise. Instead, the philosophy of pathei-mathos is the result of my own pathei-mathos, my own learning from diverse – sometimes outré, sometimes radical and often practical – ways of life and experiences over some four decades; of my subsequent reasoned analysis, over a period of several years, of those ways and those experiences; of certain personal intuitions, spread over several decades, regarding the numinous; of an interior process of personal and moral reflexion, lasting several years and deriving from a personal tragedy; and of my life-long study and appreciation of Hellenic culture, an appreciation that led me to translate works by Sappho, Sophocles, Aeschylus and Homer, and involved me in a detailed consideration of the weltanschauung of individuals such as Heraclitus (insofar as such weltanschauungen are known from recorded sayings and surviving books).

Given this appreciation, and as the name suggests, the philosophy of πάθει μάθος has certain connexions to Hellenic culture and I tend therefore to use certain Greek words in order to try and elucidate my meaning and/or to express certain philosophical principles regarded as important in – and for an understanding of – this philosophy; a usage of words which I have endeavoured to explain as and where necessary, sometimes by quoting passages from Hellenic literature or other works and by providing translations of such passages. For it would be correct to assume that the ethos of this philosophy is somewhat indebted to and yet – and importantly – is also a development of the ethos of Hellenic culture; an indebtedness obvious in notions such as δίκη, πάθει μάθος, avoidance of ὕβρις, and references to Heraclitus, Aeschylus, and others, and a development manifest in notions such as empathy and the importance attached to the virtue of compassion.

David Myatt
2012