Sunday, September 25, 2005

Changeable Reality

The nature of things can be seen differently depending on how you look at it. It can be solidly material, persisting through time, an objective world that’s “out there” and goes on after our deaths. But it can be evanescent, if seen subjectively, evaporating moment after moment in the vanishing present. Or, if seen subjectively in a different way, very solid if we stamp the ground. Or almost immaterial, if seen objectively as physicist do, on a subatomic level in which matter is coming into and out of existence moment to moment.

So if we give up the notion of a or one way in which things are, except for practical purposes, then we would have to focus on how we create our conceptions of things together.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

First Crack at Opening to Perspectivism Book

Just as the differing religions struggle to be the representative of God, all people in contemporary society struggle to be the representatives of the truth. And just as differing religious and political factions use the authority of their assumed connection with God to validate their views, all people who assert their view as the right view defend it by saying that they have a superior relationship to the truth or how things really are.

I will offer a different understanding of what we all are doing when we assert the superior truth of what we believe that dispenses with the idea that there is one right way in which things are or The Truth, and yet which does not lead to a self-contradictory relativism. My view is a kind of perspectivism, one that does not believe all perspectives are equally valid yet does not justify itself by appeal to absolute truth or the way in which things are in and of themselves.

Emerson's Perspectivism

“Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.”

Emerson, Library of America, p.473

A Pernicious Pattern

In my effort to be a somebody I try to create an original piece of brilliant work. Yet I do this by trying to just create an original piece of work, right off the bat. As if there is no process by which a person evolves towards creating something that is original, which means uniquely theirs.

I walk into a cafĂ©, sit down at a table and take out a philosophy book I’m reading. As I’m doing this I’m imagining that a person at another table notices the book I’m reading and is impressed, or imagine someone comes over to me and comments on what I’m reading. It’s a small fantasy expressing the desire to be recognized as a brilliant somebody. An attempt to satisfy mentally this need to be recognized.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Perspective Clash

In a discussion in which the participants disagree there arises a nodal point in each participant which is the central knot or rub which is currently what the two centrally disagree about. It can be felt experientially. There is a constriction or contraction or a holding, sometimes felt in the chest, and one’s arguments are deployed in order to defend, most centrally, that point. People who are discussing, but in basic agreement, don’t feel that nodal point at that time, but it can arise if their discussion happens to stray into an area of disagreement. When disagreeing, we need to convince our opponent and fear that our own view is in danger. It’s rarely the case that people try together to get to the nodal point and understand what they are most centrally disagreeing about.