philosophical critique of philosophy

The Philosophers by Masters of the Judgment of Solomon
The Philosophers by Masters of the Judgment of Solomon

Philosophy is notorious for subjecting itself to withering criticism, and that is precisely where philosophy progresses. For some philosophers, the critique of philosophy is also the very essence of philosophy. Jean Hyppolite interprets Hegel by saying “philosophical discourse contains its own criticism within itself.” Then, philosophical critique is inescapable, or, the discourse of philosophy cannot be isolated and insulated from a critique of any kind.

Jacques Derrida, in his seminal Of Grammatology: “Operating necessarily from the inside, borrowing all the strategic and economic resources from the old structure, borrowing them structurally, that is to say without being able to isolate their elements and atoms, the enterprise of deconstruction always in a certain way falls prey to its own work.” (P. 24) The deconstruction of philosophy merely unpacks the methods and logic and propositions employed by philosophers, yet this unpacking is always already unpacking, that is, rearrange the methods and reformat the logic and re-institute the propositions.

Since philosophy is self-referential, then the effort to define the founding conditions of philosophical truth from a purely objective position outsie of philosophical discourse is necessarily doomed to fail. Derrida inspects what the structures of philosophical texts contains in order to trace the hidden/excluded/repressed history/folks/concepts of western philosophical discourse as its founding conditions of possibility.

The mythology of Gnosticism

 

The Ancient of Days by William Blake
The Ancient of Days by William Blake

Among the early Christians in the second century AD, a number of rival churches emerged and developed their theologies. One of the groups called themselves the gnostikoi – the Knowing Ones – people who turned from philosophy to mythology in order to placate their sense of anxiety, a feeling of alienation from the divine. Continue reading The mythology of Gnosticism

Some comments on Nietzschean Politics in light of liberal thought

“My philosophy aims at an ordering of rank, not at an individualistic morality” Will to Power, 287

Nietzsche’s political thinking remains a source of confusion as well as embarrassment for most scholars seeking to appropriate conceptual tools, largely because they tend to be incongruous with the standard liberal ways of thinking about politics, which have prevailed for the past 200 years. In political thought, Nietzsche departs from liberalism in a number of ways:

  • He does not regard the human being as inviolable, that human life is sacrosanct.
  • Neither does he believe that all persons should be treated with equal respect as moral beings.

Much like liberalism, Nietzsche’s conception of politics is instrumental, but it differs radically from the liberal in his valuation of human life. Whereas for liberalism politics is a means towards peaceful coexistence of individual agents, for Fritz it is a means for human greatness. Fritz is committed to ‘perpetual self overcoming’ and the ‘enhancement of man.’ This enhancement does not consist of improving of the conditions of life for the majority of people, but in the generation of few striking superlatively vital ‘highest exemplars’ of the human species. The production of magnificent specimens is possible only in a society politically organized along strict hierarchical lines.

Gone fishing…

Dear folks, everybody’s favorite heretic will be taking a leave of absence for the next 3 weeks. Do not fear, for i have packed thick books with me (Essence of Christianity, The Ego and Its Own, World as Will and Representation, and Quicksilver) for amusement if my relatives fail to meet standards. Once i return i plan to start a study on Heidegger’s Being and Time. Have a great summer!

Plato’s Parmenides

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

Hayden White and History

hayden-white

Hayden White is renown for publishing two books that has changed the discipline of history forever: Metahistory: the Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe and The Content of the Form which boils down to the demonstration how the claim of a precise distinction between history (the narrative form which describes what happened in history) and the philosophy of history (the schema that legitimizes the narrative) is naught but a methodological blunder. Continue reading Hayden White and History

Reconstructing philosophy

This blog is a summary of Rorty’s salient points in his essay, The Historiography of Philosophy.

There are several ways to reconstruct the writings of philosophers: the rational, the historical, and the holistic. The paradigmatic examples are, respectively; P. F. Strawson of Kant, John Dunn‘s of Locke, and Heidegger’s Question of Being. Continue reading Reconstructing philosophy

Camus and Kirilov

I will discuss Kirilov’s dilemma within the context of Albert Camus’ attempt to solve the problem of suicide.

http://savagehenrymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/20130826102049774.jpg

The Myth of Sisyphus was Camus’ philosophical attempt at a solution for suicide. We all already know the un-philosophical refutation of suicide – that is to keep on living, keep on kickin’ n breathin.’ Death will come for us all, eventually. Well, like a good existentialist, Camus notes that people get in the habit of living before they acquire the habit of thinking. Continue reading Camus and Kirilov