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
This blog is an attempt at dialectical thinking with respect to Hinduism.
If Hinduism relies on the thesis that all sensory experiences are illusory, why doesn’t this affect the experience of “enlightenment,” where the realization that experiences are merely illusory? At least one experience should not be an illusion in order to determine that all other experiences are illusory.
The polemic forces the Hindu on either horns of a dilemma. Either the thesis of illusion is false or enlightenment is impossible – or the Hindu can admit that he is inconsistent. The only way to defeat the argument is to admit that the experience of enlightenment is itself not an experience. Regrettably that defeater is little more than ‘moving the goalposts…’ Of course the Hindu may assert that the only way is to “experience” it yourself. Then my experience is not necessarily illusory.
If all my experience are illusory then I cannot look forward to experiencing enlightenment on my own to determine that my experiences are illusory. By the by, dialectic operates on either/or reasoning, while other methods work differently (dialogic involves Both/And).
This is a spic and span summary of a tortured thinker who cast a long shadow in Vienna at the dawn of the 20th century. During those days of ironic prosperity in Austro-Hungary, Weininger identified the decay of modernity as the ‘triumph of pettiness over greatness.’Continue reading Sex and Character