There is a paper by (I think) Putnam, who replies to the project of naturalised epistemology (namely, Quine’s programme); with an example.

Never again: very often we say as a normative principle that we will not endorse or commit to anything again, such as, mothers who give birth, after the extreme pain of childbirth; they, later on, take on the task of another pregnancy.

I think the same goes for love, I’m sure Sinistre can vouch me for that, that piece of shit…

So, we should be cautious if we are to reduce oughts to is (not to say that’s what Quine proposes though…); the role of psychology is important, but it is not the horse before the philosophical cart…


The watch

Why do I like watches? I guess there is a sort of glamour about a watch. A glamour about what a watch represents.

I think it comes from James Bond. Bond has a watch, he has a watch with gadgets and special stuff. Bond puts his watch on as he wakes up after boning an internationally sexy babe (who later dies in the movie, or turns out to be a villain). Its a grownup’s talisman to have a watch. It’s as grownup to me, as the smell of Brut aquatonic, Old spice, and dad’s blunt razors.

When I was a kid, masculinity meant to me self-hygiene, taking care of yourself, reading FHM for the style guide (rather than the women). Men could be anything, heterosexual, homosexual, celebate, religious, atheist, disabled, but they all had something core in common. Even if men (gender) are born as women (sex); they all have some kind of common essence, the Kripke thing that makes them de re, man.

For me, there are things which, inter alia, represent being a man. The watch is the symbol of masculinity, my watch is the symbol of me.



Michael and I were having a conversation when he came to visit a few days ago. I have only recently been starting to watch a TV series starting about a year ago called Skins (the UK version); about a few sixth form teenagers (based in Bristol) and the trials and tribulations of their lives. The one that particularly troubled me, and provoked a short discussion with Michael, was the episode about the female character, “Cassie”.


There are so many different aspects of the episode “Cassie” that strike me as particularly sad.

i. The uncaring nature of the people around Cassie; self-obsessed, and only feigning interest in others
ii. The people who are unsung, who care about Cassie; the Taxi driver, and perhaps Sid.
iii. The issue of repeated messages that Cassie is getting from people that tell her to “Eat”; or is it her altered perception of the world, some part of her telling her to eat, that she neglects? (which is answered at the end of the episode)
iv. Cassie’s world that she lives in; obsessed with sex, appearance and other such illusions; like the world that pretends to care, the world that is just a mask of an appearance that cares. Where is the understanding? Where can happiness lie in the world that teaches us that happiness is desirable; that we should seek happiness, yet makes it impossible as self-obsession takes away our potential to love.
v. Cassie’s unrequited feelings love for Sid.
vi. Cassie’s family who just do not understand, or care, about her wellbeing. Her parent’s rampant sexual lives go to the detriment of the upbringing of Cassie’s little sibling; who only Cassie can see is problematic. Only Cassie sees the world how it really is, how plastic the doctors are, how shallow her friends are, how uncaring her family are, how it goes to the detriment of her brother. Yet no one can see her suffer, her act of her kooky personality is too convincing to decieve, but also, people don’t want to see.
vii. The feelings of distress she has from all the difficulties she faces; being pushed for a way to cope with these feelings, and…

the positive message that I don’t usually think of: she can get help; every human problem has a human solution.

It made me smile as I saw her eat at the end. The messages telling her to eat…it was her own conscience. It’s okay to eat.

A happy ending, or rather. Small steps forward.

“One step at a time”, is what Michael always tells me. One step at a time…

[Oh yeah, and to make this a “Noumenal Realm” post; I’ll end with a philosophical message; its a good thing when art has a message, when it makes us think differently, see the world through different eyes. Or sometimes, even, reinforcing our own. It’s so important to be understood, I’m so lucky to have Michael around..]



I thought I’d elicit some misconceptions that people have. Not to say the misconceptions don’t refer; but that they can easily and rightly be dismissed in a way that does not refute or reach the negatory conclusions we attempt to establish:

1. The drudgery and povery of Heavy Metal as a genre

i. Heavy metal concerns the occult: reply, not always, not necessarily a standard feature, either
ii. Black metal concerns satanism: hmm, I think this isn’t so true anymore…
iii. Heavy Metal is populist: reply; this is true of a lot of heavy metal, but not the kind I like (well…exception of Tarot, obviously)
iv. Heavy Metal is not a proper art form (technical and stylistic factors): can heavy metal be original beyond the NWOBHM? I think there are a lot of answers, most of them being “yes”, but dpeends on the band/genre
v. Heavy metal is all depressing: sometimes it’s not (namely, the bad kind of heavy metal)
vi. Heavy Metal objectifies women: this is a difficult one to tackle. Most of the older bands did; they concerned cockaygne ideals of hedonism and pleasure. While some bands try to be socially “progressive” about such issues; others are just neutral and ambivalent about sex (concerned with non-sexual, romantic, flirtatious, hedonic themes; namely, the good kind of heavy metal)
vii. Heavy Metal is part of the culture industry: that’s a hard one to answer…so I won’t even attempt it now

2. Christianity is bad
i. Christianity is dogmatic; well, dogmatic Christianity is
ii. Christianity doesn’t allow freethought; contraversial one I think this is…
iii. Christianity is anathema to being an intellectual; note, I didn’t say scientist, that’s a less contraversial claim. Christianity has led to the fruitiion of Modern (that’s Descartes onward) philosophy, physics/astronomy, music, and some forms of representational art
iv. Christianity is incompatible with [insert belief here]; what’s the belief? possible worlds? tolerance of sexual difference? teleology? modern science? I’d think that so long as one didn’t deny the importance of Jesus as salvation’s source, most things can be accomodated. The issue of whether religion can take positions in scientific/philosophical disputes is an interesting one…I shall write on this at some point.


Some mementos…

I’ve been going through some old mementos as I am moving out of my current flat…some interesting things I found:

  • A letter to my old philosophy teacher [that I never sent to him] before I started my undergraduate degree…here is a passage: “…[it was] a year of thoughtful and inspirational teaching…”
  • A letter from an old mentor of mine (before I was in Areopagus), she said “…Don’t forget that you are a talented musician, and an original thinker, and even thouggh you don’t always have confidence in yourself, remember you need only do what you reasonably can…I hope you also make time for having fun! […] I’ll remember you”
  • A cash gift from the collegium: I won the music prize in my last year (I still never understand why I won it…, especially with Sinistre in my class!)
  • Ticket stubs of films, gigs, etc. Reminding me of good times, and not-so-good times. Sometimes just a marker of the “present” (indexical to where the present refers to a period of the past) to remind us of how far we have come.

I once said to Antisophie that I am the least sentimental person around. That is the biggest fucking lie I have ever told.

Some mementos are those things that we can’t carry with us, but stick on us forever. That first kiss, one’s tender embrace, hearing congratulatory praise from professorial colleagues. Defeating one’s masters…

Some mementos we wish weren’t there; or eventually we come to accomodate them.

Even the bad things, after time, become important. Mementos of the past are not sentimental nostalgia all the time, but a frame referent indexical that addresses and reminds us of our glorification and embrace (whether rightly or wrongly) of the “present”.