Stephen Hicks: Cool Dude, but…

Responding to Stephen Hicks and the Criticisms of “Postmodernism”

Responding to Stephen Hicks and the Criticisms of “Postmodernism”
— Read on

Glazing over his two hour lecture, I’d say this guy represents a good position against Postmodernism. I like it: It is an excellent showing of how conventional philosophy is indeed following it’s inevitable course, doing what it is supposed to do.

But Of course, he is probably a PhD in philosophy so my opinion probably weight Zero against him.

Nevertheless: Postmodernism is only to be positioned against inso much as the strong motivational impetus, or perhaps, the significant force by which such a title is confined to an identity is denied. This is to say, Kant’s synthetical a priori is alive and well as the Holy Ghost of conventional thought.

It is thus this kind of institutional denial which locates the religiosity of the motion, such as Hicks represents. Hence, for example, the same kind of motion derives denominations of Christianity which only have meaning in the political-religious sphere, even while the (again) impetus which animates such differences is suspended to be denied for the sake of identity (i.e. Christianity is Christianity despite the internal theological debates).

One need only ask what truth is being presented to then be able to distinguish the complicity of modern faith with its Postmodernity: Hicks is indeed involved in an intra-religious dialogue with fellow congregants, parishioners, and most of all, fellow clerics.

It is not true that reality arises as a negotiation of subjective worlds (politics), rather it is theologically dogmatic. What is true is that human beings behave in a certain way…

It is inevitable…

…to the things in-themselves!!!

The route of the Postmodern religion is the speaking relative-critical terms which are always oriented upon the (obvious) a priori political motion, as though politics gives as not only the indicated but also the indicating element to which all philosophy points (nowhere?). It thus plays a shell game of terms so that no one ever is even tempted to look behind that curtain. It’s language is that of no in-itself thing, of the methodologcal commandment of shifting reduction to distance and impersonality.

Climate Change and Pascal’s Wager.

In this Era of Prehistory, everything gets turned on its head, just like in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie…

As I have put forth in various places a “turned on its head” version of faith in the spirit of Kierkegaard (somewhere in my posts Im sure Ive spelled it out, but I surely address it in my book The Moment of Decisive Significance); I am applying Pascals Wager to the issue of climate change.

The deep adaptation that I have a link to in my previous posts signals more than drastic political and financial maneuvers, and more than ideological change; maybe I’ll write about that kind of depth in a post to come.

For right now, perhaps as a way to begin to chart the depths we can meet at the crossroads of the wager.

In the original wager, Pascal places what what can occur against what will occur. For example, what can occur is God’s existence, and our ability to believe, and what will occur is ‘nothing’. This is to say that the Wager is balanced upon what is removed from the possibility of it being removed., that if God does not exist, what will occur no matter what we believe is nothing. Yet, what can occur if God exists against our belief is that either we will be eternally damned or we will be saved.

So the turning on it head of climate change in this regard is placed in this framework:

What can occur:

  • the world only changes a little bit, not drastically different than any other change, big or little, in respect to our ability to live through it and adapt: This is to say, the world keeps changing.
  • Humans still exist and deal with the universe.

What will occur:

  • nothing.
  • The world’s end.

My point is that if the world as we know it ends, then there is no amount of believing or behaving that will have had any effect. So, it is better to keep on as we have, as though the world, ourselves, and the climate is changing.

Extension, and perhaps a little more philosophical:

The idea that we will have to adapt deeply regardless of what happens with the climate, coincides with the climate despite what activity we will write papers about or the scientific studies about the Earth. The basic question which stabs at the heart of this whole issue is that if indeed the world beyond a doubt, scientifically, will end, then why are we still arguing about it? Why, if it so certain, must we still try and effect some sort of human business in any way?

I submit, it is because all of it is a human organization. Not an overdetermined basis of utopian solution, not an underdetermined basis of nihilism (or a overdetermined nihilism or underdetermined utopia).

My wager is that the Earth’s climate is changing, but human Beings (as a generality to indicate what ideological Being is) want desperately to keep the climate of knowledge the same even as they might argue drastic change is needed; as Zizek has formulated, their argument is to enact drastic change within the normalized field wherein change is able to be reckoned as change (Postmodern expertise). In other words, keep the basis of knowing of such thing, how the human Being shows up the its world, the same, without the human Being actually having understand it self and the universe in a different manner, which is to say, in the actual manner. My wager is that human Beings will indeed survive to thrive, that the climate will change and will continue to change with human Beings involved with it.

And I argue that this ‘same way’ is Enlightened Reason: The special universal case of the modern manner through which human Beings shows up in the world.



The Perfect Crime: Enchantment as Vehicle of Subjective Purpose. 

Comment on this REPOST..

I’m not very familiar with this B guy philosopher that I hear a lot of here and there. (sorry I’m voice dictating and I didn’t really feel like going back and finding out exactly how to spell boy do they really lard lol) .

I’m only going off of a quote that’s on the link of the link. So I could be completely wrong and what the conclusion really is that this guy says be on the excerpt.

From what I’ve gathered from B it seems that he’s kind of a complainer. This excerpt in the link talks about some sort of lamenting that we’re no longer in the sacred zone or something like that. Hey saying like oh nothing is sacred any longer because now everything is a commodity everything has been flattened so we have no sense of the sacred. 

I think he is representing and immersion within transition. The From and the Where To don’t really matter in as much as the expression is one that goes along with transition, and this is to say the feeling that goes along with an attachment to what is seen of the past as good or somehow quality and a perceived future or even present situation that is indicating a future that is not as good or somehow lacking in substance.

Now, when  we are able to get beyond such lamenting transitions, we might then see clearly that we have not lost the sacred but we have merely moved the blocks around; the sacred is still there. The terms have changed but they indicate the same situation. The question is do I still have a sense of spirit to spite what I think the world is doing? And, is the world ever a holy and sacred place? What am I depending on when I say that we have lost a sense of the sacred? 

I would say that “we” have not lost anything, And that the people who love a sword of doom and gloom philosopher of a bleak future are ” optimists”, because they hang onto a static and stable sense of the past and or their central sense of being projected into a future hope that more and more never comes to pass. I, on the other hand, am a sort “pessimist ” because I see each moment as full of potential as I try not to project my resentments out upon the world to cloud my view. They of course are a certain kind of Realist because in reality everyone has all sorts of opinions and attitudes upon situations and their outcome, and of course their presence in the world is very serious matter. 😄

 So it is that B evidences a type of human moment that sees words as indicating actually true essences of being, such that the larger conflation of these essences show them reflexively and automatically a bad end. 

Yet, When we discover what an object is, we are no longer are caught in that kind of limited paradigm, no longer caught in reliving the past as a present identity toward the future;  which is, as many have said, death. Hence the lament. 

The perfect crime is that B himself has committed the crime but is putting it off into something else so we all look over there and not at the actual culprit. 

The manner of Being enchanted follows the rationale behind Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The Allegory itself is an enchanted image of realty where people are existing in various roles and stages in a progressive march of the human species into the future. 

So it is that when we can see B as merely   expressing a particular mode of Being a human in history, then B can appear to resound with the meaning of Graham Harman’s “always been disenachanted”. If we understand that the human being is always (as a general and common condition) caught ‘in the middle’, seeing no correspondence of their Being with any being that is outside the human correlation: The evidence of other human beings correlated with ‘the only Being’ allowed, as a thoughtful excersizing, presents an axiomatic limitation in all a thinker can know. This limit thus supplies the necessary catalyst for displacement of Self in order for it to commune with a transcendent ‘other’ that confirms its exceptional placement in the universe, but also an exceptional role whereby such Being can have an effect upon the ‘separated’ and functioning world. This displacement thereby allows such human Being to understand its alienation within a context of purpose, which manifests as (probably) one of three Selves: The Colonizer who speaks the future as a ‘good’ Being as The Soveriegn whereby all others gain their purpose; the Colonized who speaks the past to bring about a ‘good’ future; the Complainer who speaks the future as the ‘good’ past. But in fact, all three are caught in what Paulo Freire called “the game of the oppressor”. These are thus subjects of enchantment, or for another term, Enlightemnent, as each plays their role in the respective world of progress. 

We find that human beings have always been dis-enchanted when we start to understand consciousness through what it does rather than by what it processes, as a universal object before a centralized thinking subject. We find that the Allegory of the cave, while an enchanted idea, nevertheless always finds itself as describing a relational situation wherein the (conventionalized, normalized) point of the Allegory withdraws from view to allow for what Badiou might call ‘the beginning of the count’. 

What is an Object? A True Rebuttal to the Withdrawn Object.

First, check out Hickman’s report:

[I]t is not possible to clearly distinguish the inconsistencies of our notion of an object from the inconsistencies which are immanent to this object itself. The ‘thing itself’ is inconsistent, full of tensions, struggling between its different determinations, and the deployment of these tensions, this struggle, is what makes it ‘alive’.1 —Slavoj Zizek The basic […]

via Zizek and Harman: Strange Bedfellows — southern nights“>

And please note that I am not being sarcastic or ironic in saying that it is a good analysis comparison and I like it.

Here is my (partial) rebuttal not to Hickman, but to Harman and Zizek, but right here mainly Harman. This a a small comment taken from my upcoming book (2017), wherein the more comprehensive rebuttal will unfold.

“…We might begin with Kierkegaard’s notice of what is interesting and take this into an area that was unavailable to him, because he was (likewise, due to his moment) invested in what is real (-true): What is interesting is real, and what is true is not very interesting. No one wants the truth; in a very ironic “A Few Good Men” way, its not that people “cant handle the truth”, its more that most are totally incapable of even approaching truth.

We have then the ‘tensions’ noted with Harman and Zizek: They are interesting. In fact, it is no secret that both of then are involved with what is real, and they thus come up with interesting things to say about the reality of real things. What they have to say is very interesting and indeed are artists in the sense that they speak of real things in reality and are very good at coming up with interesting things to say. But what they are saying about reality is only real; not just that their discourses, print text, meaningful conveyances have to do with reality, it is more that the meaning of what they are saying indicates real things, reality, and is limited and contained in the totality of what is real. And did I say it is quite interesting?

Where most would not even be able to come to any indication that what is interesting about them is not true, I have a feeling (though I could be wrong) that Harman and Zizek would not be foreign to someone pointing out that they are missing the truth of their situation for the reality of it.

The issue here can begin with Harman’s “objects withdraw from view”. If we take this statement at face value it is then not difficult to classify him as a member of the school where things withdraw. Sounds like I just repeated myself, but what I am saying is that his is no different than those who would say that the subject withdraws from view, which is nothing more that to say that we cannot know the object itself, in-itself as Kant has said. It is here that the issue of the subsequent arises, since we have then Harman saying all sorts of things about the object that withdraws from view; but I am getting ahead of myself. The question that must arise if we are seeking truth, and not merely an interesting turn of phrase, is: If an object withdraw from view, then how or why are or can we say anything about it? Obviously, if we are being honest and forthright in our estimations an usage of terms, if an object withdraws from view, then we cant see it and anything we say about it is utter speculation.

Ahhhh! Did we forget that Harman is/was a part of the Speculative Realist dropping?

But aside from the real human being, Harman in this case, who gets inspiration from […] somewhere, the main question has got to be: What is an object? So when we view this situation with reference to Harman and his statement, we should at first (I will stop emphasizing honesty) see that Harman’s object is exactly […], and is thereby the example as well as the description of a withdrawn object, but then further we can find what is subsequent by what else he says about it, because in truth, is we take an (the) object as withdrawn from view then […] is all there can be of this object such that everything said about is thus subsequent.

We will get to the designation of truth later.

For now; if everything that is said about the withdrawn object is not really about the object but is only a speculation about it, then we still have not reached the object itself. This is thereby the real tension that Harman and Zizek are talking about. But yet in some weird way we have found something about the object itself that has not withdrawn: An object that withdrawn from view is a site of (con-)tension. So then we should consider what is occurring: What is this thing that evidences or somehow brings contention, or at least the situation of it somehow or somewhere? Is it really the object? What object? Does not the object in this arena withdraw from view; are we saying that a view does not exhaust the object’s real being? Where have we heard that before? And, exactly from where am I hearing this?

In this particular case, I am hearing it from Harman. In fact, there is nothing if not very little that Harman is saying that I cannot route back exactly to Harman himself and apply it to his real being.

So what is he saying, then? He is saying that the object is a site of multiple aspects that allow for real being. And where have we heard that before?


I therefore say that, at least in this case, the realist discussion about the object os really about the post-modern subject. And this is to say (to add controversy) that subjectivity concerns the modern subject, and that we cannot entertain what subjectivity and actual object qualities are until we come to terms with the modernistic that post-modernity evidences.

If we can follow this route, then we have a legitimate claim to a rebuttal of (at least) this moment of realism (Harman’s OOO or OOP). This rebuttal is founded in the fact that the modern subject has just revealed its hand. It has shown its limits by posing as vector away from some previous situation merely by arguing or otherwise functioning in this fashion:

1. Discourse contains a potential to reveal true things of reality ( a bastard ‘non-‘ interpretation of post-modernist ideas),

2. Using this argument (1.) to divert attention from the true issue by compounding its first argument to retain an invisible or silent subjective privilege (the withdrawn object), by.

3. Retaining an essential subject-object duality (Kant redfined upon the postmodern essential discursive mistake).

By the exposure of this type of movement, we can indeed answer the question as to what an object is truly: It is a post-modern subject. And since we are able thereby to identify this thing, this object, we are then able to further describe what this object does; and the description of what an object does is the defining of a religious posture.”

-from “The Second Moment of Decisive Significance” due mid-late-early 2017

Also linked  S.C. Hickman contrasts my position with Žižek’s — Object-Oriented Philosophy


CLICK HERE to check out my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance”.

And on a side comment to the recent events of our election in the states: The destitution of spirit is not a fantasy, but the understanding that the destitution of spirit is merely a theoretical position or postulate allows for a fantasy of spirit. This fantasy of the spirit occurs in what we call reality and the surprises that arise and are noticed, along within the tensions such as involved in this essay, must be dealt with in stride because they are real. But it is these tensions that show what fantasy means and really what’s occurring in the continuation of enlightenment thinking. 

Perhaps those of this project need a different tact rather than the assumption that ‘light’ is what everyone is guided towards. And quite an ironic proposition: perhaps The strategy should be more manipulation and less assumption of honesty and Good will. Perhaps a good is gained , after all,with reference to ends and not so much means. 

Meditation and Enlightenment

Meditation or yoga is first giving reality to thought and then trying to transcend it. Enlightenment or gnana is, not giving any reality at all to thought in the first place.
But this is still versed in a Spiritual mode, still conventional in its estimation. 

Enlightenment only occurs from the conventional orientation upon objects. And meditation is a conventional effort of aligning or otherwise correcting the conventional situation through more conventional estimations, of the attempt for more correctly situated True Objects.