Category Archives: Philosophy

Personality and civility

I haven’t tracked this alleged Hannah Arendt quote, so it probably isn’t her: “Every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians — we call them ‘children’.” Barbarians, how? I would say half of the children enter the world as me-less I’s, … Continue reading

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First, second, third people

First-person thought is perspectival, understood when it is inhabited, seen-from, felt-from, known-from, experienced from. Understanding first-person thought is about finding the from, from which the thought understands whatever is presented. It is “where you’re coming from” as hippies say. First-person … Continue reading

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Drops away into blindness

This passage from Voegelin’s Anamnesis sparked the insight I diagram as an asterisk. In the illuminatory dimensions of past and future, one becomes aware not of empty spaces but of the structures of a finite process between birth and death. … Continue reading

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Whitehead, Levinas, Schuon

Reading Whitehead’s Modes of Thought I’m reminded of Levinas’s dichotomy of totality versus infinity, and Schuon’s similar indefinite versus infinite. The former term (totality/indefinitude) is some particular conception of all possibilities, against which all particulars are defined; the latter term … Continue reading

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Public shaming as cruel and unusual punishment

Fron Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed: The common assumption is that public punishments died out in the new great metropolises because they’d been judged useless. Everyone was too busy being industrious to bother to trail some transgressor through … Continue reading

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From The Gay Science

From The Gay Science: What makes one heroic? — Going out to meet at the same time one’s highest suffering and one’s highest hope. In what do you believe? — In this: that the weights of all things must be … Continue reading

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Geometric Parables TOC

The four chapters of Geometric Parables could be: Ipsegraph Altergraph Genegraph Ethograph

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Less toxic ideology, more human-centered design

Yesterday, I opened a can of Johnny Letter on Fast Company, for running what I saw as an uninformed and blatantly bigoted opinion piece, “Design needs more feminism, less toxic masculinity”. Rather than complain about the bigotry, though, I chose … Continue reading

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Hammers, nails, arguments

If the only tool you have is argumentation, everything looks like an argument. That is, the means to resolve disagreements is assumed to be argument. * Prior to modernity, even science was a matter of argument. Show me an antimodern, … Continue reading

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Speaking as an existentialist…

To existentialist ears, the identitarian preface “speaking as a…” sounds like an announcement of inauthenticity. It is hard to be an individual. It is even harder when one does not know from where individuality comes, and it is impossible when … Continue reading

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Making conversational space

A post I put on Facebook just now: This morning I was reading a pdf book (using the Notability app on my iPad) about the relationships people have with the things in their lives. As always, I was writing all … Continue reading

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Symptom, diagnosis, treatment

A good doctor must respectfully trust a patient’s descriptions of symptoms — for the patient has privileged access to this reality — but respectfully mistrust all self-diagnoses and treatment suggestions, requests and demands. Any doctor who will not listen to … Continue reading

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Establishing the conditions for the possibility of establishing the conditions of possibilities

This morning I’m kicking Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics to the curb and starting Peter-Paul Verbeek’s What Things Do. It’s funny, but not entirely a coincidence, that this books starts out attacking Heidegger’s anti-technological views. I suppose I’ll mark my book … Continue reading

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A bad case of apotheosis

Yes, apperception involves awareness of one’s own experience of perception and conception — but it also requires adopting other modes of perception/conception, for only these alternate modes of perceiving help us detect the difference between our own immediate perceptions of … Continue reading

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Approval or love?

When I was in my early 20s I made a sharp distinction between what I loved and what met my approval, and I noticed my music taste split along those lines, and the best of both tastes conflicted with the … Continue reading

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Political test

When you were a kid, who did you hate more: A) the school bully who gave you a wedgie on the playground? or B) the teacher’s pet who took your name and made you stay in for recess? If you … Continue reading

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Ex nihilo, omnia

If you’ve known a being to emerge from nothing to change everything you’ll be converted from illusion to truth. If it happens again — God forbid — a different order of conversion should occur.

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OOO inventory

A hammer, two walking sticks, a thermos that got dented in and eventually discarded, a house across the street that was torn down years ago, Lily’s absence.

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A few moments ago, I was looking back through a book for a passage, but I started to think about something else, and I mostly forgot what I was looking for. …mostly… But I had a lingering wordless feeling about … Continue reading

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Reason is situated midway between bloodless logic and bloody passion.

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