Category Archives: Phenomenology

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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Protected: The truth next door

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Fighting words from Latour

From Reassembling the Social: …Sociology has been embarrassed … by the prejudice that there exists a privileged locus in the social domain where action is ‘concrete’: ‘parole’ more than ‘langue’, ‘event’ more than ‘structure’, ‘micro’ more than ‘macro’, ‘individual’ more … Continue reading

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Iridescent irritants

Some random notes on the inner topology of oysters… * A pearl is an inside-out oyster shell. * An oyster coats the ocean with mother-of-pearl. Outside the shell is ocean, inside the pearl is ocean. Between inner-shell and outer-pearl is … Continue reading

Posted in Fables, myths & parables, Metaphysics, Phenomenology | 1 Comment


Our minds grasp only that which is objective in form. What concerns us most, though, is subjective in form. This fundamental agony of being is the root of the best and worst religion. * An object is that which exists … Continue reading

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Chord: Nietzsche’s practical metaphysics

The circle must be closed. — He who has followed a philosophy or a species of thought to the end of its course and then around the end will grasp from his inner experience why the masters and teachers who … Continue reading

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The modern confusion of objective knowledge with knowledge in general causes us to reject knowledge we cannot account for in objective terms. Or worse, it leads us to reject knowledge in general in order to legitimize our non-objective sense of … Continue reading

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Hegel on practical transcendence

Hegel’s introduction to Phenomenology of Mind contains a description of what I have been calling practical transcendence: This dialectic process which consciousness executes on itself — on its knowledge as well as on its object — in the sense that … Continue reading

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Notes on emic versus etic

In “‘From the Native’s Point of View’: On the Nature of Anthropological Understanding” Clifford Geertz outlines a fundamental concept of anthropology: The formulations have been various: “inside” versus “outside,” or “first person” versus “third person” descriptions; “phenomenological” versus “objectivist,” or … Continue reading

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Compare and contrast

Have you ever been in a deep, inspired conversion with a friend and noticed that you were waiting with your friend to hear what you would say next? Did the world change for you? Did it wear off? Have you … Continue reading

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Christian cred

Think about these statements: “Bear with me.” “Please hear me out.” “It will all make sense in the end.” Why are these requests necessary? When are they made? To what feeling in the listener is the speaker responding? What kind … Continue reading

Posted in Etymology, Hermeneutics, Judaism, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Pragmatism, Symbols and diagrams, Synesis, Taoism | 4 Comments

Parallax and intentionality

I had been using the metaphor of parallax for a couple of years before Zizek’s Parallax View came out. The entire book turned out to be structured around the parallax metaphor and he used it essentially the same way. At … Continue reading

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“Metaphysics Precedes Ontology”

If you’re curious about what’s wrong with me here’s a clue: I’ve been struggling with the same passage from Levinas’s Totality and Infinity since the middle of last week. A sample: The primacy of ontology for Heidegger’ does not rest … Continue reading

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Moral anxieties

Some catch-all mystical categories seal what is beyond I in glass, where it glows silently and harmlessly and provides evocative mood-lighting to an undisturbed world. In regard to one another, we are beyond. * It is hard to tell if … Continue reading

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Pearls are inside-out oyster shells. Or are oyster shells inside-out pearls? The oyster coats its world with layers of iridescent calcium. With the same substance it protects itself from the dangers concaving in from the outside and the irritants convexing … Continue reading

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Reading plans

I finally finished Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology late last night. Thinkers like Kant, Guenon, Hursserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Bernstein and (to some extent) Voegelin tend to clarify and articulate things I’ve already tacitly practically grasped. Reading … Continue reading

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Practice precedes theory

Practice precedes theory. Practice is wordlessly active. Theory is the verbal ensurfacing of practice. Hermeneutics is the practice of performing the ensurfacing practice in reverseĀ  (most obvious when performed in the intellectual realm). It is the reconsititution of wordless intellectual … Continue reading

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Pragmatist inkling?

I’m beginning to suspect praxis is knowledge viewed from the inside… the essential counterpart to what is apparent when knowledge self-reflects or presents itself as knowledge. Consider this possible developmental process: 1) knowledge begins as an instinctive response to a … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Hermeneutics, Holism, Metaphysics, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Pragmatism | 1 Comment