Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In Defense of the Convoluted Philosopher- Jersey Flight

My thought is just this... in reading Derrida or Deleuze I may perhaps be tempted to blame my inability to understand what they say on a failure of procedural logic: a failure to account for every step, every syllable, every symbol. Do I then go on to claim that they have nothing to say? Do I go on to declare, that this particular use of words, is "inferior" to another kind?

What I am getting at is just this:

I suspect, in many cases, that we are better off if we can avoid the distracting act of grammatical narrowing. Now certainly there are times when this is necessary, but what if my criticism of Derrida and Deleuze turns out to be an Ad Hominem that has negative consequences for my own intelligence? Just because we don't understand something does not gives us the right to categorize it as a "negative ontology." How often do we present a negative summary of a given position, only to base our rejection and refutation on this caricature? To engage with a position dialectically takes far more skill than offering up a bare summary [in this sense one might actually try reading Marx]. But as it goes, I see the world's vast hoards of intellectuals [vast hoards is grossly overstating the existence of intellectuals] both giving summaries as refutations and taking summaries for refutations.

Are we sure our summary of a given thinker is accurate enough to warrant a poisoning of the well? Is this a good way to learn? And more importantly, how could a dedicated thinker be content dismissing any philosopher without having had some experience of that philosopher's dialectic?

As I feel the presence of another thinker, I try not to let myself be distracted by Ad Hominem injections... as a thinker I have a duty to probe the subject; I have a duty not to distract the conversation from the subject myself by complaining of poor treatment. Let it come! It may be in poor taste, but it matters not. I will gladly endure the insults of a good thinker over the polite courtesy of a poor thinker, which is to say, I find the latter to be more insulting. One who is losing ground is often pleased to complain of poor treatment, as this allows him to evade the arguments pertaining to the subject. It is a fallacy to assume that a man of poor conversational etiquette must equally be a poor philosopher. But more importantly, if we are allowing such a fallacy to determine the limits of our dialectical engagement, then we are weak in dialectic. One might walk away from unnecessarily crude articulation, but we go too far when we pretend that such an offense constitutes a refutation!

The only time pointing out an Ad Hominem constitutes a refutation is 1) when the argument is based on it and 2) we have actually refuted it. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ONE CANNOT BE MORAL... Jersey Flight

For an ethical man or woman philosophy is a means to an end, for a vain dabbler, philosophy is a kind of conceptual game... and for the lowest among us, it is a tool for tyranny (it is how some exact their revenge).

"Mr. Flight I do say, your response raises more questions than it does answers. What exactly is the "end" for which philosophy is the means?"

Man's contingency is social, the "end" adheres to that which is most necessary. Any dumb ape can feed himself at the expense of others, but it takes an altogether larger philosophy to sustain a society. Primitive men have not evolved beyond the impulse of violence (this equally includes their philosophy). One who thinks only of himself as the sole problem needing a solution, is ignorant to the fact of his social contingency. The social mind is of an altogether higher order than the primitive mind. For the primitive mind can only think of resolution in terms of violence (even its use of cooperation is violent). Such a mind manifests frustration and inability toward the power of abstraction (it cannot liberate itself from nature). Impulse is usually the opposite of intelligence, and when elevated to the status of social theory, is bound to produce tyranny, which stands as the negation of society. The value of cooperation, as a tool for liberation, has no place in the primitive mind [here cooperation is herded to serve the individual]. One cannot be moral without a social end!


Sunday, May 1, 2016


I can easily say, if one is a philosopher, and one has no concern for the nature of the social world, then one is severely limited as a philosopher. If Plato would have been forced to eat noodles and salted broth, I very much doubt we would know Plato at all. 

What I am getting at is just this, I believe there are some things we must agree on, and one of those things is that we either want to be free, or we affirm our place as slaves. It is easier to talk with a man who recognizes his slavery and embraces it, but how can one speak with one who does not recognize he's enslaved? Sadly, I find the latter position to be the consciousness of mankind.

The only way it is possible to embrace the present system, which rules the world like a parasite devouring its host, is either to be ignorant of it, or to be in favor of it.

"John Steel wielded a powerful metal rod, he was fond of striking men in the back, crippling them, as he would then laugh and walk away."  But this is the morality of the system in which we exist! (And the philosopher will claim that philosophy must be indifferent to this reality)? This is nonsense. Philosophy is contingent, even as it has always been contingent! I marvel and shudder at the ignorance of my fellow men. So haughty are we, so full of pride and arrogance and complacency, we have not seen enough death, America is lacking in tragedy (and this is because the American way of life is sustained by tragedy). We eliminate tragedy in our own sphere by creating it in other spheres.

I will tell you what a wise philosopher thinks: in the first place he knows he's stupid, and in the second place, he knows he's deceived and constantly being deceived (most of all by himself). But we do not live in an age of wise men, we live in an age of happy pretenders.