Traitor (Tarot)

Tarot – Traitor [Club Teatria 24.3.2007]

Hundred lashes!
-The battles are fought outside.
Count your blessings!
-The war is in the head.
Hundred lashes!
-Try to suffer less than learn.
Count your blessings!
-I try to be fair with both.

Hundred lashes!
-Walk proud to the pole.
Count your blessings!
-The seconds are really short.
Hundred lashes!
-Don’t forget how to breathe.
Count your blessings!
-They’ll carry you away.

I won’t stand your cowering.
Your selfpity disgusts me.
And here you’re just wallowing in you feces.
You’re a traitor…to your species.

I want my secrets kept.

The hand’s hard for the curious.
Iron grip, the whip flies furious!

I won’t stand…
You’re a traitor…to your species.

I want my secrets kept.
You kneel, I accept.

M. Hietala

Confused Questions

1. Does it make sense to construe norms into the discourse of epistemology?
2. What are the status of the theoretical norms?
3. What theoretical norms are there?

We could have:

i. Ontological unity (naturalism – strong)
ii. Methodological unity (naturalism – weak)
iii. Conceptual unity (Transcendental)
iv. Systematicity (Transcendental)
v. A set of peacemeal norms, induction, parsimony etc.

4. Question-begging, how is induction set into a norm? This relates to the following question

5. If we assume inductive behaviour is inevitable (which, it kind of is), then there is a fact of the matter about the fact that we do use it; further, there is an inevitability about our use of it. Given its inevitability, is there an ought implies can consideration to be made? I see contrary tendencies as to the question of the rationality of questioning the epistemic practice that we deem inevitable (Cf. Stern 2000)

6. We may have epistemic norms of differing graces: strong norms like induction, or systematicity is stronger still, but we may have rules of thumb like parsimony; it may seem that the image is far from systematic, but Quinean-web-like

Destre (and Michael)

What is the transcendent?

The transcendent is that which we cannot otherwise but believe, yet cannot prove; the a priori principles which, so fundamental, we may not prove, yet we must presuppose to legitimate all else of reality.

What makes something transcendental, if there is anything to be transcendental at all?

A Transcendental Deduction must be found; whereby we prove that an enthymeme is in place in our everyday epistemic practices and metaphysical construals, however; we must not, as a contingent matter, not have proved this relata in any other way.

What kind of things are transcendent? Belief in the external world, possibly induction and the place of other epistemic norms, or other metaphysical beliefs like the endurance of particulars, which, even in the face of rational doubt, we must otherwise assume.

Destre, Michael

The desiderata of “the reasonable”

does the question prefix the answer?

1.1. Many people think that a question dictates the kind of answer it has. If we prefix a question of mathematics, or social affairs; we expect an answer of the according vocabulary. So, it makes no sense to ask what colour is the number 2? or, what is the meaning of life? [when the answer is 42].

1.2. So, we may prefix the first thought as a question: quest the question prefix the answer? Consider itself the very question “does the question prefix the answer?”; determines a bivalence in our answering scheme, the world of answers are limited to “yes” and “no”, rather than “blue” or “it is what you believe it to be”. For we consider the latter two to be a misunderstanding of the presuppositions of the question, a misunderstanding of the semantics of the question itself; and perhaps, a misunderstanding of the pragmatics in hand (for the more pretheoretic of you).

1.3. Lets say we throw up a counterexample; lets say, the meaning of life was actually 42; or it was a meaningful question to ask about the blueness of the number 2 (some people see numbers as colours, for instance). If this is an absurd thought, then read no further. But if it is within the realms of concievable thought to envisage a states of affairs in a close or far possible world, where the states of affairs are construed in an odd way; the very concievability may tell us that the truth contiions of propositions are not imbued within the logical syntax of the langauge.

As such, we may come up with, or question, a desiderata of the reasonable; which sets the definability of questions in relation to what kind of answers the pragmatics of the question entails. So, “are you free tonight?” presupposes “are you willing to come out with me?”; not “‘are you free tonight'”?




Anyone who is under 35, or, who hardly engages in the drudgeries of celebrity culture and the ultramodern world of bloggospheres, heat magazine (my perennial enemy), and other such nonsenseries, may not have come across the phrase, or expression “noughties”.

Noughties is a parody of a term, it is a bricolage (breaking up of words and fusion of a new concept), and as such, it fulfills two aspects of the postmodern social condition. Noughties is a pun on ‘Nineties’, but ‘nought’ referring to 00s. To refer to something as xx-ties is a late 20thC convention; noughties represents the continuation of this concept, but demonstrating the ineptitude of actually having a xx-ties about a ‘nought’ . As such, it is an empty, redundant term, much like the emptiness and redundance of normal social interactions in this bleak, plastic, social world; and it is a sad remnant of a generation of people who had lived and enjoyed the late 20thC.

What defines the noughties?

What defines the age of today? In a lot of ways, it seems to be a continuation of the nineties; in a way, it seems to be a self-aware parody of the past; celebrating era like the 1970’s, 1980’s, as if they were characterised only by its music, and its attire. Overshadowing the historical events like the cold war, vietnam, or Thatcherism.

I was with Michael at a talk a week or so ago, by a philosopher named Morgan; talking on the issue of Seduction. There was a passing comment where Morgan said “I’m a noughties man, I meet girls on the internet…”. I thought then, what is it that consists when we say someone is encapusulated by a period of time; there used to be a phrase “it’s the nineties”, which denoted that it was a positive time for change, in terms of ecology and our attitudes towards society and nature. Now, the noughties seems to be a time of self-indulgence and cynicism. The noughties seems to be an age where men are obsessed by appearance (metrosexual), ambivalent about social issues, but only providing lip service to causes (slacktivism – an actual word, I looked it up).

What defines us today? I suppose it is that we care so little about things; where doctors and teachers care not for their duties, but league tables; where academic funding bodies care about reputation and bureaucracy; where help is as long as the money notes from whence it came.

Someone once said “It is not an enlightened age, but it is the age of enlightenment“; what a sad day when not even that is true…

Sapere Aude…


The ship of Stratovarius (on ideology and semantics)


Anyone who is familiar with the metal scene of Finland knows about the recent spat between Timo Tolkki and the rest of the members of Stratovarius. In a previous post, I reported the news that Stratovarius broke up; but then came a whole barrage of replies from two parties; Timo Tolkki, and the rest of Stratovarius. These recent events are much like the whole open letter affair with Nightwish and their former singer. Has Finnish heavy metal become so big, that it has taken on the mechanics and suave of modern bands, of having official fan clubs, official merchandise, PAs, photoshoots and open letters? It seems long from the harked days of underground bands playing in California who were known by their audiences bootlegging their gigs, but that’s a whole other point at hand…

The heart of Stratovarius

I can engage in a suitably philosophical discussion about the semantics and modality of ‘Stratovarius’; but I want to address a more human point.

Stratovarius is a band that, for me, and a lot of people I know, represents a mindset. It is, I thought quite clearly, until recently, a band that was in tune with a lot of the heavy metal scene in Europe; trying to come to terms with the bleakness, superficiality, conformism and fostered attitude of normative-heterogeneity, by replying either by an expression of despair [such as EToS]; fantasy; or perseverence. Stratovarius represented the most noble of these responses: perseverence, the strength to keep fighting on in a world of superficiality. How ironic, and how disturbing I find it that Stratovarius engages in this kind of dispute. Not to take any sides on the issue, but when a band that for me, represents perseverence and a way of coping with the modern world, has infighting, one kind of loses hope in the message they once represented.

Now, for a rather odd analysis of ‘Stratovarius’….

The semantics of ‘Stratovarius’

Timo Tolkki, de re, was not the original founder of the band, contrast this to Tuomas’ role in Nightwish. It is Tuomas’ baptism of the band, that makes him the essential feature of the band; the necessary condition for ‘Nightwish’ to refer is that Tuomas is in it. Can we say the same for Timo and Strato? The short answer is yes (because he is the lyrical and musical direction of the whole band since 1984); but the long answer is no he fails to fulfill the de re necessity Kripke designator.

There have been many bands (my first thought on this is the Norweigian band Mayhem) which have none of the de re original members present in their current lineup, yet the name of the band still refers. This is obviously like the philosophical problem of identity, the Ship of Theseus; if you replace every plank, is it still the same ship?

In the case of Mayhem; some of the original members have left, and then returned; much like Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath (replaced by Dio, Tony Martin, etc.); however, unlike Mayhem, Black Sabbath maintained the essential feature, the conponent of Tommy Iommi; who has, rather significantly, maintained throughout the whole career of Sabbath; being the creative force behind it, despite how most people associate it with Ozzy (or, as some of the fan discourses argue, Dio, but that very fact points out the finitude of the lead singer as being core to the band).

Is it possible, further, is it legitimate, semantically, for a band to have changed its whole membership and yet still refer by its original name? What of any organisation for that instance. Is the philosophy department of Cambridge still legitimate to claim heritage of Russell, Wittgenstein and Moore, even though they have long gone?


Does philosophy have a foundation?

If we are to construe philosophy as having the highest degree of generality insofar as it legitimates and accounts for all intellectual practices, we may be justified in our belief of it as a queen of the sciences.

Kant proposed, I argue, that there are foundations to our thought, principles that regulate our thinking insofar as we are rational at all; these assumptions underpin the whole enterprise of exploration and thought itself. These reflective principles of judgment are; systematicity, unity, among others. Let us consider unity for now.

Unity is the ideal of knowledge being in a full continuum. That mathematics may be on the same par as aesthetics; that engineering with medicine; that metaphysics be on par with logic. What are the underlying regulative principles upon which they consist? It is such a construal of the question, if it can ever be answered, that may demonstrate the fundamental unity of knoweldge.

Does philosophy have a common base? This seems a most ridiculous suggestion, at least, prima facie. Given the law of a philosopher always having an equal yet opposite opponent; given that there are many who give strong arguments for theses so vastly distinct, and often, so vastly opposite; from atheism to realism, nominalism to realism.

Philosophers, if they are genuine of heritage from the tradition of Socrates; have the fundamental desire to understand, and express this by their fundamental of explaining. This is very vague, indeed. But to explain, one may, as a legitimate normative principle, must have something explainable. It is here, that we may input the desiderata of the principle of suffiicient reason; that every ‘why’ question has an answer.

We are but the immature child, who asks the parent why; the question of why in this child consists of a continuous enquiry, further and further they go, asking deeper truths of an explanation; why did x? why is this answer adequate? what constitutes an answer? why should I accept it?

Knowledge, and reality, we must conceive of the former insofar as we can understand the limits of the latter. Such is the transcendental project of philosophy.

Michael, Destre

Beauty as a feeling (On Allison’s ‘chain of associations’)

In the year 1789 (I think), Archibald Allison published a work on aesthetics, on the same year as Immanuel Kant; it was a directly opposed theory with deeply empiricist flavourings. Kant’s aesthetic account, by contrast, is more nuanced of a rationalist account, but Allison assert what Kant denies, but in doing so, I think Allison hit the nail right on the head on some issues.

One particular conception that I considered prima facie true, and my mind really hasn’t changed on this, is the significant empirical component in our aesthetic behaviour. When I see an object, I associate it with past memories in which I have seen it, and with past times in which I saw it; and those past times evoke memories of the feeling I had when I saw it.

For me, a summer’s day reminds me of those days in the collegium with S*; it reminds me of a few other summers which were particularly bad, but it also, through the culmination of these memories, synthesises to a new experience: it is no longer the past, it is now; this year can be different. A chain of reasoning comes through the cognizance of our recollection, a determinate set of facts, and an indeterminate process of feeling.

Granted, there is a very complex and relative chain of thought to our associations, and it would be interesting to formalise the process we have in such cases; we could have a formal logic of aesthetics, or a formal logic of memory, or even a formal logic of emotional reasoning/emotional conditionalisation.

But what I think is the lasting platitude here, is the undeniable empirical aspect of aesthetics (aesthetics, after all, is experience)…

Michael, Sinistre