Archive for November, 2008

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Absence From Those We Love Is Self From Self – A Deadly Banishment.

November 20, 2008

People, despite the desire of the misanthrope, are defined and made individual precisely because of others. Independence, as we come to find through age, means depending more and more on a select group of others. This selection must be more narrow than everyone but more than nobody but, besides that, we know little about the best possible form of communication with each other. We are born into relationships, flourish in relationships, are educated in relationships, grow old in relationships, and everyone wishes to die in the arms of those who love them. That group of lovers might be small or large, but everyone wants someone to love them.

This may seem relatively obvious and I hope it does. You see, like most foolhardy scholars I aim toward developing an ontology that I can live my life by but more importantly I hope to show others a better ontology (preferably my own) in hopes to contribute back to the web of relationships that brings me here. The above paragraph can be considered a thesis – the thesis of human relations as the core of individuality. It seems obvious to most humans but has certainly taken heavy criticism throughout the years. Both the adherence and the rejection of such a thesis finds its roots in the natural contradiction of the human person – a contradiction I have alluded to over the past year in this blog and hope to elucidate here.

Man desires to be with others but also desires to be chosen from the group as an essential component. That is to say that every person identifies themselves with a group but desires that from among that group they are special, perhaps talented, gifted, or great. Every person desires to be more than simply a member of any group and often this desire turns against the group. The easiest way for man to ascend is to force other people under their foot. Hence we arrive at the struggle of history. It is the tension between individual and group that drives history.

Yet another exception with undoubtedly more to follow. Not only to we expect ourselves to be special and among the horde an exception but we also think such (or at least desire or even expect such) from our lovers and beloved. An example, no matter how childish, is the “my dad could kick your dad’s ass” playground argument. Though neither boy has knowledge of each other’s father, nor do they most likely understand the level of kick-ass-ness of their own, they have set forth a parameter that they hold to be other parameters and above all others in that category they have placed their father. This complex doesn’t stop at childhood physically speaking, though one could make the argument that this particular trait of humanity might only exist in the childish in spirit. This same principle arises in culture in nationalism, patriotism, and even racism (but that is a whole different can of worms).

The question at stake behind all of this is… what is selfhood? Such a question escapes every form of investigation except introspection and finds most of its answer tied to the question “who am I” or even “what am I”. Such investigation eventually leads one to the idea of a self and also the idea of what a human is writ large. Yet, since our self is very affected by our history, introspection takes us to a point wherein we begin to make assumptions based on personal experience about other people that we identify as human beings. The question then asserts itself that maybe there is rather little that actually binds us at all – perhaps we are unique and that is actually very horrifying.

The truly unique are without companion, without understanding and cannot be understood, they have neither contrast nor compliment, and are completely alone. In our case, if we are unique, we are unique individuals with physical symmetry. That is to say our bodies do not reinforce this assertion and in fact forces the opposite conclusion very often. Our bodies are not unique; they are different, but not unique. They have contrast and compliment, we all understand those physical processes, and bodies are not alone. In fact they come from two other bodies and usually join to other bodies as life goes on. Bodies are what we hold in common.

Thus we arrive again to the question. Introspection leads one to discover the ways in which we are particular, unique, and special (perhaps only for ego’s sake) while our bodies drive us toward neediness for others. So what is individuality? What are we? In what ratio do we find true humanness – whatever that means. Very often our resources are divided between goods of the body and goods of the soul – which do we tend to and when? Why do we feel alone? Why don’t we love everyone automatically? These are questions without answer and constitute the entrance to a highway of my theory. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

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What is a table without material or purpose?

November 7, 2008

All things are composed of two things which aren’t things composed of anything really. To say, for instance, that a table can be so without legs, or surface, or color would be preposterous. To say, about that same table, that it could be so without a name, or eyes to see it, or something we call a “purpose” would be preposterous. Yet material and purpose aren’t simply things but rather sets of things and as such are not things themselves but rather categories. To say that material is composed of material or that purpose has a purpose other than to give of itself to others is equally as preposterous.

So what then? Everything is the union of two nothings into something that is categorized into two groups known as material and purpose. These two things provide no concrete definition of a thing for as we know some tables have 4 legs, some 3, some two, or one even. Some use them to put plants on, others eat off it, and still others build them only to sell them to others. Yet what is a table without any material or any purpose?

The answer is that at the point a table has no material or purpose it becomes a human being. Well not exactly I suppose – what I am trying to convey is the meaning of freedom. Freedom? Yes freedom. Human beings are composed of two things that aren’t things either. A human being without a body is absurd – perhaps even dangerous. Yet, that same human being without the relationship between his parts is no human in my book. I guess the question is that of the whole versus the part rather than freedom. Freedom? Yes freedom.

So it seems that all things (especially humans) are more than the parts that compose them – which explains a great deal of why we can’t explain them. For instance the history of the thing that makes it different than identical things. You say I lie? So I suppose you think the pyramids are the same thing as the dirt around them? You may be right, but at what cost, what toll does such a thought take on your body – itself no different than the dirt in Egypt.

How do we understand such a relationship? How can we know the two separate yet unionized parts of everything rooted in such unknowable truths. Such unknowable truths, as a matter of fact, that most don’t think they are true. Which leaves me, and perhaps you, to confront this terrible problem: What is a table without material or purpose?

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A Call For Philosophic Responsibility

November 3, 2008

Deconstructionists are just the thinkers who didn’t take the last step of post-modernism. We deconstruct to construct – not to simply leave everything a mess once we have found it. The brilliant mind of the deconstructionist is wasted the moment they fail to describe common every day experiences (which they all fail to). They are philosophic vacuum cleaners who simply suck. Worst of all they claim to be the ultimate Socratic thinkers (so proud of their questioning ability) but these folks probably haven’t read any of Socrates’ works.

Why the sudden attack you ask. Why target these people over any other philosophic disaster in the past 100 years? Because they have become the group most associated with philosophy and they have made people hate it. It is the deconstructionist who isolates the philosopher with his own language (jargon) to make philosophy exclusive and to push others out. Then, once he is on the outside, to validate his own mental superiority he casts stones at the common man trying to deconstruct his house. Meanwhile he validates his vicious action with self-supporting pseudo philosophic arguments on “seeking truth” and “not being ignorant” while he, all the while, never devotes himself to any meaning, truth, or wisdom.

Thus people yell at me, having a degree in philosophy, and say that I am one of these arrogant pricks who can’t even relate to the common man. I’m Aristotelian for Christ’s sake! My philosophy is so routed in common day phenomena that it is mostly useless in any theoretical sense. I enjoy active and lively debate with people – not tearing their world asunder. So why do I get this label? Because questions have become weapons and it’s the fault of the deconstructionist; every 16 year old who saw the Matrix and decided to become a philosophy major. Questions, rather than being a useful tool for self discovery, have become a weapon aimed outward to cause doubt and the only purpose of philosophy becomes to ask these questions while dodging others. The easiest and simplest of all ways to achieve this is to become a man without a philosophy, believing in nothing except whatever you choose and then tearing down other people’s universal dogma’s because you’re so wise as to simply create your own dogmas rather than accept others.

I have no problem with people believing what they want – including deconstructionists – but do they have to be so aggressive and in other people’s faces. Some of my close friends have been deconstructionists – but quiet ones. This is no longer fashionable however, because it means a life of pain, searching, and inward questioning – not exactly what most people like to sign themselves up for. Deconstructionists, for the most part, become these self-righteous assholes who go around destroying people’s philosophic, religious, and political beliefs for fun and amusements as well as to make themselves feel better.

So I have a point… believe it or not. It has nothing to do with deconstructionists because I have lost all hope in reasoning with them. It has everything to do with other people interested in philosophy. Don’t listen to them. Have beliefs, strong ones, ones about truth and beauty, ones that are above reason and logic but rooted in everyday life. Hold those beliefs and defend those beliefs on your own terms. Don’t let people define the meaning of reason and logic to pin you into an argument you weren’t even trying to have. Be firm under stupid questioning and most of all believe in philosophy the LOVE of WISDOM. If philosophers have to hide behind jargon to win an argument they aren’t worth having conversations with. These are not Socratic thinkers despite their masks. These are misologists – the haters of reason. Go forth and construct something new. If you must deconstruct then do so but only as a transition – only to build something new. And eventually together we will build a new hopeful philosophy.