Hegel could have been the best philosopher ever if he said “this is only a thought experiment.”
This is true for every discipline. The only disciplines that have priviliaged information to the truth is philosophy. This essay is why. If you disagree, and think other disciplines have priviliaged truth, please explain why I cannot redescribe it in my own terms.
(Hint: Philosophy is the ability to redescribe things in my own terms)
(Hint 2: Philosophy is the communicator of interesting information)
(Hint 3: I don’t understand what “science,” “psychology,” or “economics” is.)
(Hint 4: If you can explain what it is, it is a positive philosophy!)
(Hint 5: Once you explain it, I will redescribe it)
(Hint 6: This is similar to what Ross did, except he trusted every redescription he gave as truth. When I laughed at his false reality, he was baffled.)
(Hint 7: Baffling only happens when your intution is busted (see the section on rationality)
(Meta-Hint: First question: Why are you reading this paper?
STOP IF IT IS NOT PURELY INTELLECTUAL INTEREST.
My first aphorism (thanks Josh!): Your being silly, Stop trusting the multitude! Trust your heart, and most importantly, read more Rilke.
“I tell you that I have a long way to go before I am–where one begins…
You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be Patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the Questions Themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the asnwers, which cannot be given because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Resolve to be always beginning–to be a beginner!”
Before you read this, two things.
1) read this: http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/FrustAgg/miller.htm
2) read Erickson’s essay “Functions and Time”
Now, only read on if you agree with “rationality” (I’m not sure what that means, but for some “reason”, I “agree” with “rationality.”)
My primary thesis is that rationality is silly; it is useful for certain purposes, but silly. (Like a Pokémon!)
I have recently updated this post. Josh and Peter made me realize that my argument has a more important implication. If you disagree with me, you are more evil than people who commit hate crimes.
This is my new favorite Darth Vader Test.
This essay will sound mean. There is a reason.
Yesterday, my friend Theory brought me to an act of public vandalism that made me the most upset.
We have “Walker Wall.” It is really long, and 5 feet tall, and gets painted.
The Queer Resource Center painted it with rainbow colors.
The next day, “beer scavy” happened.
Beer scavy is the event where privileged students get drunk, vandalize, and paint homophobic slurs on public property. They leave beer cans, paint cans, and violent messages targetting real people on my campus.
One group was the worst of all. They wrote, “We love you QRC, YAY gay marriage!” Or something stupid like that. They vandalized, and complinented, an organization. Why didn’t they photograph the homophobes so that they couldn’t hide anymore?
We all rationalize, we just don’t know when.
Rationalization is when we reject something because it is scary.
rationalize |ˈra sh ənlˌīz; ˈra sh nəˌlīz|
verb [ trans. ]
Attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate : she couldn’t rationalize her urge to return to the cottage. See note at lie .
I think there is no important a priori difference between a lie and a rationalization. This is VERY important.
I think that rationalizations are as bad as hate crimes.
People who commit hate crimes rationalize their actions.
Kant says that we have to universalize our actions. If hate crimes are bad, then we need to find their source. I think it is rationalization.
This is very important. Please focus on this. Rationalization is as bad as hate crimes.
There is one way out of this.
There can be a difference between lying and rationalizing.
The difference is subtle and requires a really, really, nuanced theory of mind. Read Erickson until you learn it. Start with Time and Functions.
So here is my Hate Crime/Sith Lord/Evil Person test,
Can You Pass It? (PS: I should make this clear now, your not “evil” in the traditional sense, you are just an “idiot” in a psychological sense. If you want to call me crazy, I will call you an idiot)
It tests only one thing. It tests if you can love.
If you can’t, Your an idiot (like someone who commits hate crimes, like Darth Vador). If you can’t, you are mentally handicapped–ie, you are retarded in a very significant sense
Retardation is developmental disorders. David Walchak is a Junior at New Trier. If you cannot understand Erickson’s Function and Time, you are retarded (compared to the people I love… that is MY ONLY WORLD)
I am being brutally honest because I think its true. If you cannot understand what I (and Rorty) are saying, it is because you are an idiot.
An idiot is either a stupid person, a mentally handicapped person, or an ‘ignorant’ person. If I understand something, and you can’t, either I am wrong, or you are an idiot. Which is it?
Here is the test:
1) Tell me what your Positive Philosophy is without Making Assumptions
2) Prove to Me that you can Make your Assumptions, without Endless Circular Logic
(Hint: this is impossible: its one of my 40+ claims I agree with in this essay)
Here is my Concise Positive Philosophy:
There are two parts. The first is a preference, the second is Rorty.
Part one: Be concise
Part two: Young Rorty was wrong because he thinks Dewey is True. When he was old, sad, and dying he learned that philosophy, alone, is silly. Poetry is really important.
Next, He became Old Rorty.
Here my take on the history of Western Thought:
Person “A” sends idea “B” “C”ly to “D”. Philosophy normally talks about “B”, sometimes “C”, but never “A” or “D”. Heidegger reminded us not to forget about “A”. Erickson learned how to say “Heidegger” “Erickson”ly to “Me”.
I learned how to say Erickson “Joey”ly to “Anyone”.
It’s easy. But a little different.
There is only one rule: (See Part 1)
(Hint: thats it: everything I say follows from prefering explanatory Power. My brilliant friend Daniel Mourner pointed this out to me. Debate is good!)
My Philosophy is that Person A “Pulls” idea B “C”ly from D.
Brian can learn this. David can learn this. Zach can learn this. Ross is the only contributor to this blog who cannot.
(Hint: Ross, [its only you now, everyone else is on my side]
Try to prove this wrong! (this is the easiest way to disprove my argument.)
(HintE [erickson joke] Talk to Brian. He will explain it to you best. You won’t be able to learn from me until you talk to him. I’m sorry you aren’t mindful enough.)
Daniel will, very soon. In fact, he is next.
/End of Positive Account
Below is Richard Rorty’s article, The Fire of Life:
It will post-date you, if you try to use Rorty to answer me.
(PS: EVERYTHING FROM HERE IS SUPER DENSE, READ IT)
“Reason can only follow paths that the imagination has first broken. No words, no reasoning. No imagination, no new words. No such words, no moral or intellectual progress.”
“I ended that essay by contrasting the poet’s ability to give us a richer language with the philosopher’s attempt to acquire non-linguistic access to the really real. Plato’s dream of such access was itself a great poetic achievement. But by Shelley’s time, I argued, it had been dreamt out. We are now more able than Plato was to acknowledge our finitude — to admit that we shall never be in touch with something greater than ourselves. We hope instead that human life here on earth will become richer as the centuries go by because the language used by our remote descendants will have more resources than ours did. Our vocabulary will stand to theirs as that of our primitive ancestors stands to ours.”
“Shortly after finishing “Pragmatism and Romanticism,” I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Some months after I learned the bad news, I was sitting around having coffee with my elder son and a visiting cousin. My cousin (who is a Baptist minister) asked me whether I had found my thoughts turning toward religious topics, and I said no. “Well, what about philosophy?” my son asked. “No,” I replied, neither the philosophy I had written nor that which I had read seemed to have any particular bearing on my situation. I had no quarrel with Epicurus’s argument that it is irrational to fear death, nor with Heidegger’s suggestion that ontotheology originates in an attempt to evade our mortality. But neither ataraxia (freedom from disturbance) nor Sein zum Tode (being toward death) seemed in point. ”
“Hasn’t anything you’ve read been of any use?” my son persisted. “Yes,” I found myself blurting out, “poetry.” “Which poems?” he asked. I quoted two old chestnuts that I had recently dredged up from memory and been oddly cheered by, the most quoted lines of Swinburne’s “Garden of Proserpine”:
“We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
and Landor’s “On His Seventy-Fifth Birthday”:
Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life,
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.”
I found comfort in those slow meanders and those stuttering embers. I suspect that no comparable effect could have been produced by prose. Not just imagery, but also rhyme and rhythm were needed to do the job. ”
Here is Rorty’s AT Rorty:
“Though various bits of verse have meant a great deal to me at particular moments in my life, I have never been able to write any myself (except for scribbling sonnets during dull faculty meetings — a form of doodling). Nor do I keep up with the work of contemporary poets. When I do read verse, it is mostly favorites from adolescence. I suspect that my ambivalent relation to poetry, in this narrower sense, is a result of Oedipal complications produced by having had a poet for a father. (See James Rorty, Children of the Sun (Macmillan, 1926).)”
However that may be, I now wish that I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose. There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp. Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts — just as I would have if I had made more close friends. Cultures with richer vocabularies are more fully human — farther removed from the beasts — than those with poorer ones; individual men and women are more fully human when their memories are amply stocked with verses.
You can make one of three responses.
(Hint: Daniel taught me this too)
1) You can accept this as a positive account
(Hint: Right Answer)
2) You can ask me to clarify
(Hint: I assume this would be useful to retards… I love my retards! They are funny! So silly! Still take things Seriously! OH HA HA ROSS! SO SILLY)
3) You can disagree
(Hint: this is the only challenging thing. Look who was able to do it? Josh was! Not Ross! No surprise there!)