Category Archives: Hermeneutics

An autobibliobiography

Well, I tried to write about my books and how I want to prune my library, and ended up writing a history of my interests. I know there are loose ends, but I am tired of writing, so blat, here … Continue reading

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Drawing on every side of the brain

In high school, all my art teachers taught us to draw and paint the shapes our eyes “really” saw. We were discouraged from drawing the things we believed we were depicting — eyes, noses, vases, cow skulls, gourds, drapes — … Continue reading

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Four sides to every conflict

In conflicts, there are four sides to every story: there is my side, there is your side, there is what I think your side is, and there is what you think my side is. If you want to know a … Continue reading

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Why our ideas diverge

What are the personal differences that produce pluralism? Here’s a list off the top of my head: What is our stock of life experiences, which serve as points of reference and call for explanation? What is our schema of relevance … Continue reading

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Slurpy, mergy, touchy-feely notions of interpersonal being

Wow, this post really sprawled out. It hits a lot of my enduring interests. I’m not sure it is suitable for reading. It might just be a personal journal entry written to myself. Feel free to eavesdrop if you wish, … Continue reading

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Ancestors and siblings of process thought

While I’m scanning passages from C. Robert Mesle’s Process-Relational Philosophy, here are two more that inspired me. The first passage appeals to my designer consciousness: Descartes was wrong in his basic dualism. The world is not composed of substances or of … Continue reading

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Process Theology

I’ve been poking around in several books on Process Philosophy/Theology to see if my own homegrown theology isn’t in fact some version of Process Theology. So far I’m finding some closely matching concepts. (Two big ones: Panentheism and “the lure”.) … Continue reading

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Reading together

Intimacy is made possible by shared experience. Some tangible forms of shared experience are: shared language, shared history, shared spaces, shared relationships, shared institutions, shared customs, shared beliefs. Less tangible, but perhaps even more crucial forms of shared experience are: … Continue reading

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Secular mystic

I told a rabbi that I am a “secular mystic”. What do I mean by that? I see the transcendent realm as inexhaustibly understandable. The act of understanding incomprehensible phenomena increases our capacity to understand. The very increase that makes the understanding possible makes … Continue reading

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Pluritarian Pluriversalism

To someone born into an autistic universe controlled by a single set of strictly logical natural laws, the experience of empathy and the subsequent revelation of an empathic pluriverse redefines the meaning of miracle, and of transcendence, and of religion. … Continue reading

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Symmetrical egalitarianism

Can egalitarianism be disrespectful? In some social contexts strict egalitarianism is the very embodiment of respect. An example of such a context is a gathering of equal peers deliberating on a shared problem. Each is understood by the others to … Continue reading

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Life on the complex plane

The image of the Mandelbrot set is a map — a 3rd person perspective survey — of Julia sets. But each image of the Julia Set is a 1st person perspective on the same space as that described by the … Continue reading

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Beyond fundamentalism and mysticism

Fundamentalism is not religious extremism. It is not religion gone too far. Fundamentalism is religion failing to happen. It is relationship to transcendent reality reduced to a set of defined things: facts, techniques, emblems, objects and social groups. Of course, … Continue reading

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The intrinsic conservatism of language

I starred the hell out of this footnote from Richard Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature: Such unconscious sleight-of-hand, when practiced by men of Descartes’s boldness of imagination, is an occasion for gratitude rather than censure. No great philosopher … Continue reading

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Hermeneutical/rhetorical bow

This is a redrawing of a diagram I played with in 2009. It is meant to show the relationship of making and understanding and how it weaves between thinking top-down in wholes, and then bottom-up in terms of parts. It … Continue reading

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The intolerable span

If something is lacking in an organization, the deficit rarely persists from simple unavailability of whatever is missing. More often the deficit is actively maintained, either from a direct allergy or an indirect displacement. * People and organizations selectively include … Continue reading

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Rethinking totalities

The problem with totalities is not that they are total — it is that totalities are so often reductive or aggressive. * The worst totalities are excessively inclusionary and exclusionary at the same time: kill and eat it, or get … Continue reading

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Law of Reason

To neither lose one’s receptivity nor to lose oneself in it: uncompromising enforcement of the law of reason on all, most of all oneself. * “Reason? Why?” Because it is reasonable. “But that’s circular.” It is the greatest circle. It … Continue reading

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Latour on false religion

Finally, someone says it: Fundamentalism is not “religion gone too far”, but the betrayal of religion. Until now, I’ve been arguing against characterizing Fundamentalism as “extremist” forms of various religions (for instance, Christianity taken to extremes of strictness and intensity … Continue reading

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The pace of interpretation

Here is Nietzsche’s advice to readers who want to interpret the fuller meaning of his work: “It is a goldsmith’s art and connoisseurship of the word which has nothing but delicate, cautious work to do and achieves nothing if it … Continue reading

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