Being & Time: Introduction

No self-respecting student of Continental philosophy can speak with any credibility unless they’ve studied the juggernaut of the 20th century¬†Being & Time! I am about to set out on a journey but I may not return the same, if at all. Continue reading Being & Time: Introduction

the Book of Truth

The Book of Truth

(a classic from my heydays on IIDB, 6 years ago)

One day in heaven, the philosopher was walking with God, waxing philosophical.
God: Everything you ever wanted is here.
Philosopher: Everything? Do you mean the Truth, too?
God: Why, yes. If its true, its in the Book of the Truth.
Philosopher: What’s that?
God: Come follow me.

They walk towards the Official Library of Heaven, where all the books that have ever existed, or will exist, are located. In the center there’s a tall podium with the biggest book ever lying atop of it, and open. The golden letters are printed in type 6 font, new roman times style, on the finest paper.

God: Every single truth is in this book.
Philosopher: Indeed? All true sentences?
God: But of course. I am essentially omniscient and I also know this to be true. That’s also in there!
Philosopher: Au contraire, mon deux.
God: What?
Philosopher: I can think of at least one true sentence that cannot be in there.
God: Surely thou jest!
Philosopher: Not at all, your eminence.
God: Alright, what is this sentence? I warn you it cannot be meaningless. I am wise to the art of sophistry!

The philosopher takes a piece of a paper and writes “This statement is not in the Book of Truth.” God’s eyes bulge, and He begins to stammer.

Philosopher: Is this sentence in there? If so the book contains a falsehood. If not, then the book does not have all true sentences. Therefore it is not the Book of Truth.
God: Oh, dear. I hadn’t thought of that. I should have never made that Cretean….

On philosophy and rhetoric

My initial thoughts about this distinction is that it centers around the role of rhetoric in language, and its relation to philosophy, or philosophical language. Typically, rhetoric is considered as the speech that acts on the emotions. This is what preachers, politicians are adroit at in order to manipulate emotions, and they develop a technique of persuasion. Continue reading On philosophy and rhetoric

Is Hinduism self-contradictory?

Hindu gods & goddesses, by Awet Moges
Hindu gods & goddesses, by Awet Moges

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).