Let me state my influences:
I. Transcendental Idealism; the ‘Copernican Revolution’ in philosophy.
Copernicus shifts from a heliocentric model to a umm, better model. Kant changes our philosophical worldview from moving from the typical intuition that the objective world determines the subjective mindset to, the notion that understanding the understanding (in the Kantian sense) of the mind determines what we know as the objective world. Its a beautiful shift.
II. The ‘linguistic turn’ in philosophy (Frege et al.)
Frege had a program to shift from metaphysics to semantics, instead of what existed and what was part of reality, one can focus on the terms that construe that said reality.
III. Constructivism in sociology
There is one phrase I keep saying and it is that ‘the one thing I have learned from sociology as a whole is that any given social discourse (be it, paedophilia, crime, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, beauty, childhood) is generally constructed by society and didn’t exist as we knew it in a past time. Philippe Aries shows that childhood is a recent invention, for example. Practically ALL social discourse says that x concept in our social discourse is invented; even our conception human nature.
IV. Sociologism – Wittgenstein-Winch thesis
Wittgenstein’s thesis is that language is a social phenomenon, which is so huge that it defines our world in a public way, not a private way, there is no such thing as a ‘private language’, or even qualia
Winch’s thesis (not that I know it well), is that language (as a social phenomenon) can be used to understand social phenomenon. This is part of my thesis for my finals paper.
Can you see a theme here? It seems that only certain people can follow my thoughts these days. Here is the link: there is something inherently non-ontological about what we construe as reality. Perhaps REALITY* IS INVENTED.
(* – this must pertain to empirical reality, rather than transcendental reality)
Now, if our commonsense notion of reality is not actually real, then what is it? Perhaps a way to understand the real world albeit in a false way. Phenomena and Noumena come into play. I was talking to a friend on skype last night and I was reading to her sections from ‘phenomena and noumena’, she said that the next time she is tired she wants me to read her some Kant so she can go to sleep. I was offended because that section is the most powerful section, the most inspiring.
Here is my idea
I. A non-ontological faculty construes reality
II. Language is part of this said faculty
III. The categories of Kant come into play – but perhaps redefined
IV. Phenomena is our empirical reality, but social reality is a big part of phenomena – social realities such as Language (II) for Wittgensteinians and social discourses for social scientists.
The thing about Kant is that he does not acknowledge language and social phenomena discourses were not on his agenda. This is merely a restatement of the greatest thesis of humanity (next to anything Newton said, of course).
The thing about Wittgenstein/Winch is that they are not sufficiently Kantian, we need thier ingredients, however, in this soup, perhaps I will push forward a form of the Private Langauge argument to give a modified version of Kant – where empirical instrospection is replaced by the way language defines us. Perhaps language is the key to understanding the categories.
The thing about this Kanto-Wittgensteinian notion, is that it is not relevant to ACTUAL social issues. This thesis is compatible with the current trend of sociology. We need to apply this category/language defining ontology notion to social categories and realise that they are constructed. Furthermore, the problem with sociology is that they have forgotten their philosophical roots, although their heroes are medium-level philosophers (e.g. Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Comte, Simmel, Mill and Pareto) , they are not high-level players like Wittgenstein, Spinoza, Kant, Leibniz, Aristotle, Dummett, Churchland, Quine, Frege or Goedel.
Maybe this is where my future lies. Hmm I’m hungry – laters!
I am on page 7 of the first issue of this term’s epigram!! YAY!!! Also, my finals essay project title is slowly coming into fruition. Interpretivism vs naturalism, who will win?