The philosophical work by Swedenborg, which will now for a short period of time occupy our attention, is commonly known only as The Infinite. A somewhat fuller indication of the contents of the work, however, is suggested by the title which I have used as heading for my address: The Infinite and Final Cause of Creation. But even this longer name of the book is incomplete, for it excludes the book’s second part, which deals with the commerce of the soul and the body. We supply, therefore, the full and descriptive title that Swedenborg gave it, as rendered in our current translation by James John Garth Wilkinson: Outlines of a Philosophical Argument on the INFINITE and the Final Cause of Creation, and on the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body.
In looking towards the East, economic issues take the foreground. It is important, however, to fully take into account the underlying assumptions about reality itself, which are implied and widely taken for granted, avoiding the promotion of capitalism as only a different aspect of materialism. I am also deeply concerned by some opinions expressed some time ago in The New Philosophy in an article that seemed to me in some parts to come close to an unrecognized materialistic bias,1 where I fear dangerous consequences.
The challenge accepted for this paper is to compare philosophies and religions in terms other than their own.