Friedrich Jacobi and a Philosophy of Philosophy, and thus Counseling.

Friedrich Jacobi’s Wiki page.

Stanford’s page for Jacobi.

I find it interesting that the philosophers of the past who already dealt with some of our current philosophical problems are not commonly discussed. In fact, I have found that either their works have not been translated into English or are somewhat expensive.  Joseph Hamann  is another philosopher who I have come upon who appears to have had significant things to say about our situation but who is generally lost and silent.

It is slightly offensive.  I think there are so many philosophers who are writing today who’s ideas will be summarily set aside if some of these thinkers from hundreds of years ago were to be brought to bear. 😆

{picture of white dude: Jacobi}


Doesn’t Jacobi have an uncanny resemblance to Panic! at the Disco’s Brenden Urie?


or better yet: Micheal Stipe of REM !

Nick Cave, maybe? (Yes; he’s smoking in public.)

or, Cookie Monster and Elmo!

Specific to this phenomenon, Jacobi appears (appears, because I have only read the Wiki and Stanford pieces) to my mind to have already given us a good argument of why, basically, all the philosophy of the past 200 years is kind of pointless. lol.

I stumbled upon him because I was forgetting why I came to the conclusion (outside of popular discourses) that Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were nihilists. I am deep in my counseling studies, so I decided to check online instead of going through my K and N books again (indeed; I will at some point have to revisit those folks). And I found that Jacobi was the first to mention nihilism and that his point is that, what I call, the line of reason which develops unto the centralized subject will lead to a dissolution of the reasoned thought. Isn’t that what we found in the latter half of the 20th century at least? I think Quentin Miellassoux was correct in his question: Why DID philosophy take the way of the central subject instead of the object? We could have avoided 200 years of Bull shit! (I think I have a post somewhere about how we needed to first fully explore the phenomenon of the subject in order to be able to thus realize the truth of the object; this is to say, we had to have something else besides pure reason to show us what is true about reason by itself: reason had to prove itself insufficient. And it took about 200 years. Talk about progress!)

Well; the answer has got to be that people find themselves and their own B.S. more interesting than the truth of things. And, in fact, I think this kind of narcissism (ego-centrism) point to the reason why philosophy itself will have no solution to its own problems: Because, the issue that Jacobi brings up by his critique of Kant and such, is that there are two routes into the world, two orientations upon objects which grant us the whole of the human involvement. One, which is the narcissistic path of the modern popularism, that one which, as Jacobi,

impels understanding towards an endless series of identical propositions, the records of successive comparisons and abstractions.

and one which, as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche both advocated for in their distinct ways, is not based in abstraction, or one that is not based in a mediation of abstractions: That is, one that is entirly abstract with reference to reason’s mediate abstractive mode.

When we really understand Jacobi’s critique, we have laid out before us a kind of roadmap of the continental philosophy of the late 20th century.

I won’t go into all the ins and outs of the extended explanation (since I have not actually read Jacobi’s works) here. But, likewise, he does seem to give us a manner to substantiate counseling within a framework which might accommodate every theory of psychology and counseling method, from the more scientific proposals of brain and chemistry which want to tell us that everything is physical-empirical, to the most transcendental “New Age” religious modes as well.

Because what are we really involved with? (hint: What is a universal object?)


  1. Love Jacobi. The whole German idealist tradition more generally; but you already know this.

    As for K and N being nihilists, I’ve always found it odd and fascinating. At one level they’re clearly opposed to the abyss of nihilistic meaninglessness of modernity. At another level, what they offer as the alternative is what a nihilist would offer! An jump into faith or seeking rapturous aesthetic experience. In fact, I’ll probably have an essay on the aesthetics of reactionary thought in the future. Ultimately, however, I do think K and N, indeed, the entire late idealistic to existentialist tradition of philosophy, exhausts itself in nihilism.

    1. Hey man. Ive been accepted to present a paper at university of Toronto ! Omg.
      I’ve never done that.
      I feel like your probably read papers. Do you know about how long a paper is . read. 20 minutes or less?

      1. Congrats. Yeah, I’ve presented papers at workshops, seminars, and conferences before. They will have guidelines; usually 20-30 mins, some may have a small slot for Q&A. They keep a tight ship because of the time tables they are on.

        Just double check the event for its rules otherwise they’ll probably fill you in as time approaches.

      2. Yes. they said. No longer that 20 minutes. How long a paper read do you suppose that is? Or do I just have to figure it out?

      3. You’ll figure it based on your reading ability and whether you want substance or a lot of scattering. If memory serves, I can read a 3,000(ish) word paper in 20 mins.

      4. Hey I just sent you an email asking if you would be willing to read my paper and give me some feedback. Eight times to about 17 minutes read aloud

      5. I’m a bit busy this week but if you send it along I should be able to get back to you by the end of Saturday if it suffices.

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