Post-nihilist praxis and pessimism: rehashing some old ground

In the last few months I have begun to explore philosophical pessimism, although not in writing and not on syntheticzero. It might seem strange to do…

Post-nihilist praxis and pessimism: rehashing some old ground

—- I appreciate this writer’s sense of calmness and work towards clarity of his thought.

Although I tend to move away from the ideas of the writers who present in synthetic zero, I do sympathize with their plight and expression, if simply because — And I do not mean to sound better than or to devalue such intellectual synthesis — I went through that. Where my ideas indeed resonated with everything that they talk about in this blog.

My blog is called “the philosophical hack”, and this name and project came out of its original name called “constructive undoing”, and “constructive undoing” came about after this period that I see synthetic zero reflecting for me.


This post was very, very long, and so I didn’t quite get more than about a third of the way before I had to start skipping down the essay and read various paragraphs to get an idea of where it was headed and what he might be saying.  

This author expresses a key idea that I could associate the project of synthetic zero with. This idea is trauma.

One of the issues that I have with philosophy, and indeed the issue that brought a head to me the ability to move upon what we could say was my initial trauma, but then also that post traumatic space in which and through which I attempted to dissolve that traumatic element which remained in me to be able to attempt to argue against it, is the refusal or inability to get over itself. See, I was attempting to carve out my own legitimate space in the midst of a trauma which would not go away.  My ideas were indeed “trauma informed” in the sense that they indeed were sculpted out of the traumatic environment for which I was invested despite my best interest.

And so one could say that what happened to me was that I gave up on that project. For I realized in the end of that approach to philosophy all I was doing was reifying and maintaining the initial trauma in the attempt to get rid of it. For, philosophy tends to take real things and turn them into intellectualization and then argue itself within a Kantian Sort of a priori To find its various discursive categories and areas within it. It takes the very real fact, the very visceral and encompassing effect of trauma in places it into An intellectual category to dissect as if trauma itself is nothing but an intellectual category, a definition.

Ironically, philosophy itself does this to reality itself. To me, this is what Nietzsche was saying, and other authors, and this is why capitalism is nihilistic: because it places everything in a reductive motion where philosophy is intimately bound up with rationality, such that such association becomes the supposed ground of all things that are real, such that “nothing” becomes the foundation of reality. This is the ironic manifestation of our current ideological paradigm. And this is to say that the reductive method of a particular orientation upon reality, one which usurps reason itself onto its own resources Such that it has no recourse from which reason could arise except to say reason itself, which is the synthetical a priori — Every time what is actually real encounters this assumption, the trauma is reified, and that argued limit for a reason just pulls further back into itself to look for a way to get rid of that automatic traumatic response. 


When we understand that the current modern ideal of a reason is it self a disassociation from reality, then the transformation which can arise is one that begins to understand that reason indeed has a real ground and that 20th century existentialism and indeed postmodernism, was just a further attempt to own the traumatic situation of the prior trauma of that particular category, or for that particular orientation, upon reason.

Once someone divests oneself from that ideal category, Then what is left is not a world that is going to bring it self to destruction because of the post traumatic response of “rationality”; rather, It is a seeing the world for what it really is, where human beings are merely a part of the world and not the container of the world.

Discourses of power are only against what is ultimately functioning as the trauma. In that particular paradigm, the human being sees itself as destroying the world at every turn, ultimately destroying its own body, eating itself away, hurting itself, self harming, suicidal, nihilistic.

Once that trauma is healed, then we find the actual reality of the situation: It it’s not “the world” which we are hurting, rather, it is how we are viewing what the world is that is the significant philosophical issue.


Growth after trauma: Post Traumatic Growth

Post-traumatic growth helps people find a new sense of personal strength and a new focus on helping others.
— Read on


This morning I came upon an article in my Apple news about post traumatic growth. And it was a promotion of an article from health magazine which I don’t have a Subscription for, So I just searched, and found this link.

From a counseling perspective it is a simple matter of understanding that a traumatic event Can occur in one’s life which disrupts someone’s life, and so then there might be things that we can do to get one’s life back somewhat to how it was “before”. Yes.

Philosophically, I tend to approach it from a larger perspective, which is a stay from a causal perspective instead of a symptomatic perspective.

At some point I’ll write a paper about the differences, but for now it is a difference found in the question of “before”:

what was I like before?

Was I “not traumatized”?

And a pivotal question, how do I know this?

Psychology, and counseling as a general idea, does not approach these epistemological questions nor really philosophy in general as a way to understand a situation. As I argue in a paper that hopefully will be published soon, called “towards a unifying theory of counseling”, Psychology tends to argue backwards to justify it’s intentional thinking.

A different approach would be to see that the object of my intention towards solution is itself a symptom. Which is to say, the object that I come upon to thereby come up with some sort of solution that seems apparent to my reason, is it self addressing a symptom and not a cause. Psychology would say the complete opposite, that it is attempting to find cause through a regression of symptoms. 

Yet, my argument is not one that is discounting psychology, but one that includes psychology as a kind of approach that can help us to locate cause; just to say that psychology is a particular approach and is not really addressing the complete picture of the issue. At least so far as psychology today really is not the same type of psychology as Kierkegaard mentions in his works.

So there is a kind of non-philosophical function occurring here that if you want to get into it you can try looking back into my archives of this blog.

Ok. More in a mint…

Post-trauma: Humans as blackboxes, machines as transparent

Humans as blackboxes, machines as transparent

Humans as blackboxes, machines as transparent
— Read on

Interesting problematic.

What might this say about us, that we might look to machines and thier analysis of behavioral data to tell us what’s going inside a human being?

I tend to agree with the impetus of the excerpt; that empathy between human beings is being devalued in this look to machines.

Yet another, less practical view, might see machines as indeed producing nothing larger or extraneous than an ability for humans to perceive one another. Maybe the transhumanists speak similarly, but I think what we are really looking at is the abuse, or disconnection which occurs in the institutional use of data to tell us what humans are, and not really, what we could call, the mere use of machines to tell us about ourselves.

We might then return to a question of what is occurring here. Might we ask what kind of mental picture is being relied upon? Which is to suggest that the view itself, that one would see institutions and machines as something which supplants something which is otherwise human connection, might represent a case of a kind of insanity, an upheld view placed at the extended end of a finger of blame, but then acted upon as the view as if the indictment is indeed indicating something which is wielding power to displace inter-human connection.

For for sure we could point back to the fears of the beginning of the modern industrial era located in the movie METROPOLIS to find a confirmation of a culmination that might come to pass in our present day. But might we stop pointing there and see that there is no culmination which has lead to some great terrible turn to machines, to see that we have already turned over our humanity in the fear itself which misses the event already having occurred? Such that we are merely replaying a trauma in the viewing and thus reenact the products of an event which we have yet to acknowledge ?

CFP by 12/15 for Philosophical Engagements with Trauma (March 22-23, 2019)

CFP by 12/15 for Philosophical Engagements with Trauma (March 22-23, 2019)
— Read on

of course we have there Zizekian post Trumatic modern subject, but as well Malibu critique of that (Take a look thru my past posts).

but there is something to say about the discrepancy between philosophy and psychology. Such historically reductive and pronounce it is such historically reductive and pronouncitive Endeavors have brought us to a place of dis-continuity and no means for connection.

Perhaps this conference is the beginning of a reunion?