On my (now defunct) boards, a Hyperborean asked the following: Do you see it as a critique of Plato’s theory of forms where Plato gives up the theory, or a critique that causes Plato to revise his theory in The Sophist?
I answered: I doubt Plato gave up his theory, and instead he took the more difficult path of self-criticism. Something most philosophers lack the gumption to do: subject their earlier theories to severe critique and getting over the critique as well. Continue reading Plato’s Parmenides
Man is an animal whose primary function is to strive for the affirmation of its life. Not only is the principle of this teleological nature biological, it is also psychological. In this context, the principle of affirmation is codified or reified as desire. Continue reading Sublimation as Discourse
Some comments on Jean-Paul Sartre’s stance on God (or lack of). Sartre never meets the problem of God’s existence. Nowhere does he discuss the traditional arguments from religious epistemology. Interestingly, Sartre does not arrive at atheism after undergoing a philosophical expedition, in the rationalist fashion of the thinker who presumes every position he holds must be the solution to a philosophical problem. Continue reading Sartrean atheism
Interlocutor #1: I hate philosophy! It never gets to the point, because it is a bunch of talk stuck in a perpetual circle! If philosophy ever truly got to the point, then we can use it and apply it in life, and hopefully become better people.
Interlocutor #2: Well, this may come as a shock to you, but there is a point in philosophy. It is to articulate reasons, examine how our thinking works, and account for the beliefs we hold. Philosophy does not preoccupy itself with “what” questions, because that is being engaged with the immediacy of experience. A philosophical frame of mind requires a contemplative state at the level of reflection. Within reflection, “why” questions emerges and philosophy ensues. Pending culture, philosophy employs many different types of languages – metaphysical, religious, logical, or even aesthetics – to talk about the point.
By the way… “the point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” — Bertrand Russell
Questions that are framed by the word “what” are formally essentialist, because they presuppose the possibility of an essence that satisfies the question. Ergo, asking questions like “what is art” predisposes the subject matter of art into an essentialist framework. Continue reading Aesthetic of Art