Are You Mad as Hell Yet?

Pepe the Frog, Triggered

It seems domestic politics always end in hostile impasses and international politics are charged with menacing acts of terror and revenge. These sociopolitical phenomena are symptoms of a fundamental rage, and revenge is the project of rage. If we cannot understand and address our rage, our age is doomed. It is odd that we haven’t really analyzed the emotion of rage to the extent that we’ve paid heed to others like love, sympathy, anguish or guilt. I find this odd, because rage is the most obvious driving force in psychopolitical realm – be it at the personal or national or international level. Perhaps we ignore the vengeful aspect of the political life because it is by definition anti-rational and anti-egalitarian. Whenever we are angry about something, we will not care for equal treatment or reasoning towards mutual understanding. Therefore, rage undermines any attempt at a normative political theory. Continue reading Are You Mad as Hell Yet?

Plato on Trump

According to Plato, political regimes evolved consistently, from oligarchy to democracy to tyranny. When the elites become self-indulgent, lazy or promiscuous, and develop interests apart from the masses, they fall, oligarchies give way to democracies. And in turn, when mob passion overpowers political wisdom and a populist despot seizes the moment, democracies yield to tyranny. However, the despot is not quite a tyrant just yet. In a democracy, the would-be tyrant always offers himself as the champion of the masses. He simplifies everything, and make everything whole again.

In Donald Trump, this evolution is pretty straightforward: a vulgar right-wing populism coalesces in the midst of an anti-establishment hysteria and a strongman fascist declares that he will stick it to the elites and make the country great again, and presents a familiar scapegoat, an alien Other the masses can redirect their poisonous resentment. For a fragmented and bitter populace, this is rhetorical palliative, and just like Plato predicted, the very sort of thing that pushes a country over the edge. Continue reading Plato on Trump

Antinatalism & Gnosticism in Cioran

THE GREAT ARCHITECT

The Great Architect, by William Blake

This blog focuses on the relationship between Gnosticism and antinatalism, and whether the philosopher E.M. Cioran endorses either one in his works. Thanks to ControversialPhilosophy from the Anti-Natalist and Anti-Antinatalist Debate blog, I was motivated to present a case that looked beyond cherry-picking quotes and guilt of association rhetoric, towards the historical and theological context of the writings. Continue reading Antinatalism & Gnosticism in Cioran

Skepticism of the transcendence of language

I view the transcendent concept as the ultimate armchair philosopher’s method of condescending to natural sciences and history and it began with Kant’s conditions of possibility. Whereas physics & history find conditions for the existence of entities by locating temporally prior entities, philosophy achieves such autonomy only as long it escapes time. Continue reading Skepticism of the transcendence of language

Irony and philosophy as remedy for politics

First, go read the blog titled “Philosophy and Remedy” @ thekindlyones.org.  I originally posted the following blog in the comments section.

If this blog relies on a distinction between the public & private role of the intellectual then I think irony can serve as the secret that avoids merging them both and forcing the philosopher to act as a politician every time he speaks.

screen-shot-2014-05-12-at-12-33-26-amThe dream of a single life that fuses the private and the public sphere dates back to Plato’s efforts to answer why one should be just and Christianity’s moral imperative that one can reach self-realization through serving others. All of these relies on the assumption of a common human nature, that both private life and human solidarity are one and same. Continue reading Irony and philosophy as remedy for politics

Systematic? Edifying? You decide!

Over the years of studying philosophy, I’ve seen quite a number of classifications that categorize them. I’ve come across an interesting one in Rorty’s seminal Philosophy & the Mirror of Nature, in which he distinguishes systematic and edifying philosophers. The distinction founders on those whose work is constructive and those that are reactive. Continue reading Systematic? Edifying? You decide!

Critique of the Theory of Knowledge

The first part will cover the ontological implications and the necessary conditions of knowledge. The Limits of the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is covered in here.

The ontology of the theory of knowledge

There is a schism, a fissure in philosophy that has been widening in the past 100 years between continental (French and German) philosophy and analytic (British-American) philosophy. Hopefully, I will explain how this gap, consisting of stylistic, temperamental, as well as methodological differences, owes much to the relationship between epistemology and ontology. Continue reading Critique of the Theory of Knowledge

Erotic Love

Druuna, by Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri

Typically, the literature indicates three types of love, such as Eros (erotic, sexual, since Romantic age, “romantic”) Philia (Friendship and family relations) and Agape (Caritas, asexual, unselfish and altruistic), but the most exciting type is Eros. It has been hypercognized, meaning it has been excessively talked about, whether one is in love, looking for love, hurt in love, lost love, or just gossiping about scandals. Oddly, love isn’t a popular topic in the philosophy corpus, after Plato, notwithstanding some half-hearted attempts and concessions. Continue reading Erotic Love

Interpreting Plato

There is no doctrine to be found anywhere in the Dialogues. This means the Republic is little more than a commercial for philosophy.

The arguments are intended to be fallacious in the Republic, because this Dialogue was written in order to demonstrate the problems of a fanatical pursuit of justice. It admits philosophical Eros is unattainable, given the dilemma of the philosopher who is torn between the desire to rule and the declination to rule. Continue reading Interpreting Plato