Terms and Topics from Chapter 17 of Voegelin’s Autobiographical Reflections

(page number references in parentheses)

“history of ideas” as ideological deformity (63)

Distinctions between ideas, symbols, concepts, experiences (Ernst Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Forms) (63ff.)

the Walgreen Lectures he refers to are The New Science of Politics (64)

Gnosticism (65)

Note the “revision” in his position (66-67)

metastatic apocalypse=magic=esoteric tradition (68)

reductionism (67)

neo-Platonism (67)

egophantic (egophany) (v. epiphany, hierophany, theophany) (67)


You will note that Voegelin uses the term “ideology” much more freely than he did in The New Science.

A lot of the readings of my first semester POL 210 are keyed toward Voegelin’s argument. Here is a list of other readings, some of which Voegelin mentions or alludes to, some of which are simply useful to know. Can’t do them all justice this summer, though!

·         George Sabine, A History of Political Theory Good, useful introduction to the main political theories

·         Aristotle, Politics, Nicomachean Ethics With Plato’s early aporetic dialogues, examples of beginning philosophy in common discourse.

·         Henri Frankfort, et al, Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (also published in a Penguin paperback as Before Philosophy), especially the opening essay “Myth and Reality,” which I use in almost all of my classes as an introduction to mythopoeic thought, an important element in Voegelin’s philosophy

·         John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding Philosophy sometimes makes strange bedfellows.

·         Hermes Trismagistus, Poemandres and Asclepius Key documents by the mythical sage that are founding documents of the esoteric or magical tradition.