Necessity; Hume

Hume denies necessary connections and reduces it to identify a psychological need or dependence on associating uniformity to apprehend conformity to the manifold of experience.

Is anything experientially necessarily true?

Is ANYTHING necessarily true? (such as the analytic proposition – or ‘relations of ideas’)

Should we fit in the ‘Two Dogmas’ of Quine into Hume?

Fantasy and realities(?)

Sometimes I daydream. What do I daydream about? One may legitimately ask. I daydream about liberty, the freedom the challenge authority, yet be authority myself; my legitimate role would be at constant risk as many will try to dethrone my place as a philosopher. The world of the enlightenment is certainly more intellectually violent; but that is far from dangerous compared to real, physical violence.

I dream of marble steps, maybe stone, walking up some nice stairs, or a quaint, quiet, green environs. They shall call me titles such as ‘Magister’, ‘Doctor’, or ‘Teacher’. I shall teach the young and corrupt their dogmatic ways. I’d like to be the kind of teacher that inspired me, or, that I dreamed about. Hard-edged, wise, sharp, funny, compassionate, strong, sensitive. I would teach them the hard philosophy; Kant, metaphysics, Spinoza, Hume, Normativity. I’ll fraternise with the young ones, even identify with them. Among my charges, I shall be the kind teacher, among my peers, I shall be the violent scholar. That is the fantasy 

My reality? My friends are imbeciles, demagogues, sentimentalists, epicureans. They care not for the love of God, or even the love of reason. Some say I am the enemy of the theist; but they I respect insofar as they have beliefs and values, my friends from my past, however, take too much for granted and don’t even think for themselves, for them, thought and brain power is merely the operation of bodily functions, rather than the study of concepts. I feel disheartened at my isolation; it is like I am the last philosopher. I know that is not true, but I feel culture is dying; the days of Romanticism and art criticism as a dominant cultural force are ending, even modernism had intellectual and ethical import. The ideologues of today are no more sophisticated than the decadent hellenic sophistry of the logic of pleasure. I love the sweet nectar of reason; to explore the most fundamental ideas, I like striving to change myself and my beliefs, not just abstractly, but in daily life, evaluate how I treat people, how I conduct my life, where I want to go, who I want to be, what I am to feel, practical, daily knowledge. Many people consider the former to be a process of intellectual introspetion whereby the latter to be simply givens; I do not accept this asymmetry, I say they are isomorphic in the vein of the former.

 The reality is so bleak, but so is the fantasy. Life is hard, I grant you that; but at least with philosophy we have a chance to grow and learn and develop in a meaningful and significant way to aid humanity and most importantly, ourselves. Philosophy is rational psychotherapy for some; that is the nature of true metaethics and moral psychology; of course, as Spinoza contests, the metaphysics must come first. This is where I think the Christians have got it right…

 Michael

The waiting game (and a youtube treat)

Tis a bit boring today; I just await my results. There are a few things I could do, but I feel really tired. I could do coffee with an acquaintance, but I’m just exhausted. I wish it were cold so I can wear my smart clothing. Maybe I’ll listen to some more albums later. Anyway, to make this post more than a pathetic rant; here is the worst attempt at a music video that is so bad, it’s funny and good; star wars kid meets NWA in ‘Bad Beat’:

Would like to hear your opinions on this.

The real and the absurd

Today I went to a book store and saw some wonderful books I’d love to purchase, if only I had the money! The wonderful books were:

i. Issues in Artificial intelligence [sic] (philosophy and mathematics/computer science)

ii. Looking for Spinoza – Antonio Damasio (A neurobiologist reads Spinoza and thinks ‘hmmm, maybe there is something to this rationalist metaphysics that complies with current research on the brain’) – I looked at him for my Spinoza class, he’s NOT easy.

iii. The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy

iv. A commentary to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason – Norman Kemp-Smith

v. The Enlightenment Reader – various

vi. Essays on Human Understanding – Locke

vii. Philosophical Essays – Leibniz (with a few pages on Leibniz v Newton, yay!!)

viii. Kant – Guyer

When I read about the nature of mind, I feel closer to knowing what I want to do. I feel closer to Spinoza and Kant, as well as, of course, philosophy in general.

Hume says that we must be men foremost, philosophers second. As I engage with the real world and my biography, I am surrounded by mediocrity and shame. All those who constituted my biographical past are worth nothing when compared to the greats of our intellectual history. Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Bacon, Locke, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, through to Davidson, Popper, Kripke; all give us something very difficult to consider, we challenge ourselves so that we are worthy of the truth, we ring out the falsities of life with rigour and force through the power of reason; our natural light, our only light.

People who hold on to human love, friends, family and their temporary affiliations of life have nothing to hold on to at all. Ideals, Gods, laws. Those are the candidates of apodictic knowledge, not assertoric or problematic contingent propositions, but certain first principles which follow from definitions and deductions.

I seek the emendation of the intellect, in order to do that, one must understand their own mind and world. The intellectual love of God is the highest joy, but it too is transient.

 – Michael