If you think about the big names of philosophy, at least Western philosophy, but Eastern philosophy in it’s own way as well, and the conclusions that are promoted by them, we have to notice there’s an underlying assumption. It is the underlying assumption I think that no one wants to even touch.
These two major ways of sorting experience and knowledge, are no longer sufficient. In fact, they are unnecessary.
The re-post I put about agency there; I think it goes to this underlying assumption. As I put in my comment, I’m not really sure that it’s an issue of whether or not the words I am using are reaching anything, meaning, for example if I say shirt this word corresponds with that article of clothing over there that I put on. It is a simple fact that if I say hey bring me that pencil, it’s pretty damn likely that you’re gonna bring me a pencil. ￼
Of course, we all know the well-known linguistic turn proclamation of all things that words are totally arbitrary. That there is no necessary link between the word I’m using and the coffee table over there. That words are just conventions, random sounds, motions of mouths, mechanisms of my lung and diaphragm etc., and the words are just assembled in such a way because my neurons etc. etc.￼
My whole thing is if that’s the case, how could I possibly know it?
I think this is a question that we never really answer. Or, we answer it by relying on some sort of faith.
Now, I don’t mean this as a sort of self-confidence, self-esteem kind of mental health thing. I mean this in the sense that I just assume that my experience is foundational and I run everything through it, all my thinking, including thinking itself, including what I implicitly understand as thinking, but as well as I come upon human beings and the rest of the world. we have come to various conclusions about how we must go about being in the world if anything is supposed to make sense.
So here I’m gonna put something for that probably to 99% of the people just doesn’t make sense. I suppose we could call it speculative philosophy, and maybe it’s an extent of speculative philosophy, but, again, if my words really have no necessary correlation to anything I’m talking about, then how come if I say speculative philosophy everyone already has an idea about what it is?
Something else is going on. And I think there is a reason why people don’t like to ask this question. I think the reason is because of their faith. Because it offends their faith to ask such a question.
I’ve been doing Philosophy. for a while. I like to think that there’s nothing that I’m stumped about, at least so far as if someone’s putting forth an argument. But I will admit when my knowledge lacks as well.
But what most people don’t know is that really what started me maybe 30 years ago on this journey is I wanted to know what religion actually is.
This was come about through an even more basic query, if you will, into the situation: what is happening?
Some philosophers put doubt at the bottom or the beginning of philosophy, but I think the word doubt refers to a continual approach to the situation. I say the word “situation” because I feel it is more encompassing to what I’m talking about; if I say “existence“ then I’ll have a never ending series of people drawing from what other people wrote about it. If I say “universe“ likewise. So I say the situation. Because I’m talking about being, and I’m talking about existence, and I’m talking about the universe, but I’m also talking about so much more than that, such that I’m just actually talking about the situation right here. What is this? And I think even more basic is the question, what is happening?
Doubt simply doesn’t mean being critical, like our modern post modern structural ideological analyses want us to see it as.
Doubt is more a continual approach to what is happening, One that involves knowledge, but extends further than words.
To say that I can’t comprehend it, or We can’t know what it is, I think is an imprecise and faulty answer. Typically, when we look at any sort of epistemological ventures, ultimately at the end the Philosopher Hass to say “I don’t know”, or, “we don’t know”. Think Socrates: I know that I don’t know. That is the ironic beginning of a whole historical, tradition for epistemological method of how one is supposed to, say, properly, ethically, approach what is happening. It is a ironic, because we still talk about what the hell he was talking about. But, if he was talking about anything specific at all, it is the particular method that he breached which caused the whole problem of the method itself.
The problem of real method
These statements referred to a Situation of knowledge. Again, this situation Has to do with knowledge, so to pick out and start talking about “knowledge” really just avoids the question of what is happening. It might tell us some thing about what’s happening with knowledge or in knowledge, but it misses the rest of the 99% of everything. So it is with words.
Btw, I do not agree that words are arbitrary. I do not agree with the statements that we do not know or cannot know truths.
I say that those types of statements refer to a particular type of knowing that I call modern.
It is not difficult to sort through the history of written material that we have and find so many references to how the knowledge that we have right now is shaped in such a way along particular lines by particular conditions. Yet, it seems like when we go about doing Philosophy, we just throw that out the window.
Because of this act of throwing what we should know out the window when we go to posit and talk about things that we do know, it is a non sequitur to conclude that there are things that we don’t know or cannot know. It is this non sequitur that I say catalyzes, or creates the condition whereby people want to automatically ignore things for the sake of doing something, of producing something, of asserting arguing something. And the ultimate rebuttal to any question which challenges this method is that indeed: that’s what I’m trying to do. Indeed what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to make a name for myself somehow, I’m trying to make myself feel good, and in many cases I’m trying to make a living or a career so far as teachers, historians, philosophers, and people like that.
There must be two things going on. I would go so far as to suggest that the reason why we are in a “post truth” situation, even though arguably we’re not anymore— I don’t know — is because we do not want to look at what we’re throwing out through the act of trying to establish myself in self-confidence, self-esteem, self purpose, world ethics, I gotta put food on the table, I got a raise my children, I gotta look good for my peers…
It is not only “either/or”.
The kind of knowledge that uses reductive, either/or reasoning, is just that: a kind of knowledge. It is a particular method of using knowledge for certain kinds of ends, certain purposes.
Hence, it is a non sequitur to throw out the “either/or”because of the conclusions that were coming about it. It is a faulty way of understanding what is truly occurring, even as it is a valid way of engaging with the world.
Nonetheless, again, people will read my statement how it was faulty, and then they will recourse to say well it’s because our knowledge only reaches so far, or we don’t know that, or we can’t know that. It is this type of recourse to our faith, to this method of knowing, that I call redundant.
Again we’re not pointing fingers to say that something is wrong and so we need to fix it. We are suggesting what the truth of the situation is.
I would even go so far as to say due to the redundancy of our faith in modern knowledge, it is offensive to us to suggest that there is a truth that can be known and communicated, because it interferes with what we understand the method is supposed to be by which we find ourselves in the world, this modern way. Through this modern religion.
OK. That’s all for now. It got kind of long