Last night’s episode of Westworld went out with a bang. But besides the science fiction elements, the most interesting thing about the show was the bicameral mind reference – first name dropped back in Episode three, and the season finale’s title. It was a provocative theory proposed by Julian Jaynes in his 1977 masterpiece, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Continue reading The Bicameral Mind in Westworld
Psychopaths: Moral Deviants or Harbingers?
I first learned of the idea of a psychopath in Thomas Harris’ thriller, the Silence of Lambs. Hannibal Lecter was a deeply fascinating character, and all the more frightening because he didn’t look like a grotesque monster, a violent & bloodthirsty beast. Instead, Lecter was a charming and intelligent character with a doctorate in psychology, but utterly conscience-free. His hypothetical existence forced me to reflect and sound the depths of darkness within. However, psychopaths remained only a curiosity until this quarter, when I came across the idea of psychopaths again in the works of moral philosophers. In this essay, I shall summarize the main arguments of Nichols and Kenneth regarding the danger that psychopaths pose to moral reasoning. Then I shall argue why neither passes muster, for they remain trapped within the tradition of philosophy as a meta-psychology, and why psychopaths are potential harbingers of the future. Continue reading Psychopaths: Moral Deviants or Harbingers?
A former Hindu goddess of fortune (health, beauty, wealth), Lakshmi is a Censor at Teotihuacan these days. Her materialistic ideals has made her a favorite of mortals and her idealistic tendencies has made her a favorite of immortals – both Daevas and demons. Lakshmi was the consort of Vishnu in all his incarnations. Fortuna and Tyche were her avatars in rival pantheons, but she is neither an implacable force of nature nor a whimsical mistress. Continue reading Lakshmi
Reading philosophy as confession
I agree that devil’s advocacy in no way indicates the position they hold, but this misunderstands the philosophy as autobiography maxim. That one may take positions one doesn’t actually hold does not militate against the confession thesis, for the reasons of their advocacy remains the same as if they were advocating their own beliefs. If one were to be an incorrigible devil’s advocate, he would be an anarchic epistemologist who thinks all positions deserve advocacy, and that would be a position of its own open to the confession charge about his own beliefs regarding positions and ideas. Continue reading Reading philosophy as confession
Sublimation as Discourse
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
Theoretical weakness of Freudian psychoanalysis
This is a brief summary of existential psychoanalysis. Admittedly, Sigmund Freud was ahead of the times, and quite possibly the greatest psychologist of all time (discounting Nietzsche). However, since he was a philosopher of sorts, its only fair to rip his theory philosophically and attempt to demonstrate its absurdity without invoking a strawman. Continue reading Theoretical weakness of Freudian psychoanalysis
Brief exposition of existential psychoanalysis
The essential goal of existential psychoanalysis (EPA) is its emphasis on a person’s fundamental project. This project is not to be confused with Sigmund Freud‘s libidinal cathexis, nor is it Martin Heidegger‘s sein zum tode. Nonetheless, the method of EPA is quite similar to Freud’s, where there is an attempt to look past the complementary or secondary aspects of the person’s personality, and towards the primary project. Continue reading Brief exposition of existential psychoanalysis
Sex and Character
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