Genuine love: a phenomenological problem

Let us say, that I am in love. Is this in virtue of my own desire to want to love? Or my genuine non-self-referential care for another?

Why does it have to be one or the other? Why not both? Okay, maybe we could  concede something like that, however, I think there is a genuine problem where these come apart.

Imagine that there is a person, who cares for his dying wife. This person tends to her, worries about her when she is not around, would do anything for her comfort, and constantly assuring her, and considering her wants, needs, and their importance of a shared bond,

I’m going to throw a thought here now. What if there were two kinds of mindsets realised in the same activity:

The self-interested – where one tends to care about another, they do so to fulfill their own desire; to be the kind of person  who is caring or heroic,  daring  and compassionate.

The genuine lover – where one cares about another and their feelings of wellbeing depend on the other. It is imperative that it is realised that caring for another, and the other’s wellbeing is a necessary condition for one’s happiness and consolation. The dependence relation is not clearly egoistic, however, but is a recognition of their inherent worth (this is purposely undefined and question-begging).

Michael tells me that I am cutting the situation in a way that shouldn’t be cut (Michael say that we are all trivially egoist about everything, but this isn’t a bad thing…). I am, as a ceteris paribus point, am not going to address this.

What is my point here? As the experience itself; when I love another, how is it that I can tell that I am acting out of duty and the inherent worth of another, or acting out of the ends of pursuing my own self-satisfaction through another? How can we tell if we are genuinely acting from love? Away from selfish automatons…


p.s. I consider this thought in compliment to  paper I once ready by Michael Smith (A Humean Theory of Motivation): where he poses this thought: fhow is it phenomenologically secure that we are not confabulating about the reasons for our motivation? – the example given was a counterfactual case where a man bought a newspaper from a certain stand only because a mirror was there; if the mirror were not there, the man would eventually go to another stand…I don’t think this thought applies to the situation I presented.

My special place (D)

St. Thomas More

Chelsea old church. When Michael comes to visit and we meet up in London; we find this place very special. More is a man dressed in unassuming scholarly robes; yet had the constitution and courage to challenge the King. More is a man whom which we are both named after; and whome which we admire most greatly. A scholar, and a moral-political dissident. He is an Areopagite in our eyes


Glass shattering, and Marble leftness

Lets say I have before me a glass of wine. If I were to throw it at my wall, the glass would presumably smash. The object (Gw) has the disposition of shatterability. After I shatter the glass, it no longer can shatter, as it no longer fulfills the condition of being a glass. Perhaps this is too metaphysical. Okay, lets give another story.

Let’s say I have three marbles before me in a line in front of me. These marbles have a certain character about them, marble 1 is to the left of 2,3; marble 3 is to the right of 1,2, and marble 2 is in between them. We may say that a term to describe their spatial index is contingent upon their positioning, and those objects besides them. If I remove marble 1, marble 2 becomes the leftmost marble in the line.

What is the nature of the leftness of marble 1. It is a contingent fact, but also an indexical relation. We could say it is much like the glass then, upon which the shatterability is contingent upon the fact, and thus, indexical to the property of, the glass being solid (and cool). Could we not go further and show it is the case that many properties we ascribe are indexical, and fickle; semantic rather than ontic ascriptions.


Black Tears

When I'm in this state of mind
I'm wishing I was blind. Sometimes life is
more than pain, to me
I feel the power of my grief. Death would be
such a relief. All the secrets that I hide
would die, with me.

Depression is my only friend. Will this
torture never end? Let me carry on to
the dreamers sky.

I keep crying in my dreams.
Can you hear my endless screams?
When I fade away I fade, away.


Life is like a masquerade. In debt to myself,
but I can't pay. Soon I'll call it all a day, away.
I've never felt what you call guilt.
I still believe "Do what thou wilt"
My sorrow will destroy the world I've built.


Edge of Sanity

Edge of Sanity’s original song is quite a statement; released in 1994; the album, Purgatory Afterglow was in the memory of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. I think there is a certain Gen X bleakness about it, the disillusionment of youth. This is really, what, I would deem, is at the heart of heavy metal, and the nature of good music itself; the introspective mindset, the exploration of one’s own inner states and feelings; and also, an evokation of our current times. How Romantic [or, should I say, Modern…)…

One thing I find particularly curious is the major key tonality!


[Editorial] I also want to add this appendum; it’s an Eternal Tears of Sorrow ‘cover’ version, because, I think they are a great band.


Is there an answer to every ‘why?’

If we are to posit a notion such as if there is a thing to be explained, it must be explainable. Let us call this (for now) explanatory rationalism. At first sight, it may seem like a very harmless principle; but when I think about iti, it seems very strong; but when I come down upon judging it as a good principle, I think it’s a very good principle if you can work it.

Explanatory rationalism is one of the starting points of Leibniz (and Spinoza)’s metaphysics. For some reason, I have this intuition that nothing is immune to examination; part of this is a socio-political norm; but as a rational principle as wello, it is a bit stronger. Two questions I bring up:

1. Is everything really subject to rigorous and systematic analysis in the way explanatory rationalism purports to; is there an answer to every ‘why’ question?

2. Explanatory rationalism is a motivation for metaphysics being built up; but, do we have to make a metaphysical system where we posit that weird things have to exist; or can we just have an analysis? I was quite taken aback when I was in a discussion with someone who maintained that conceptual analysis and metaphysics are fundamentally distinct.