Showing posts from September, 2022
 Hegel's philosophy is the rationalization of rationalization.
One of the biggest problems with Rorty is that - despite what he thought of himself, and broadcasted about himself, his self-conception, his self-representation - in fact, he had an enormously inflated notion of philosophy, of what philosophy is capable of, and of what specific philosophers had achieved.  For instance, he tells us in the introduction to Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature that "We owe the notion of a 'theory of knowledge' based on an understanding of 'mental processes' to... Locke."  Wrong.  And "We owe the notion of 'the mind' as a separate entity in which 'processes' occur to... Descartes."  Wrong.  And "We owe the notion of philosophy as a tribunal of pure reason, upholding or denying the claims of the rest of culture to... Kant."  That's closer to being true, but still wrong.  This assumes that philosophers matter much too much to what the rest of us think about things.  Generally, philosophers have

The Third Stupidest Idea

"There's a progress we have found / A way to talk around the problem" -R.E.M., "Don't Fall on Me" In an earlier post, I wrote about the stupidest idea and the second stupidest idea.  Now I want to talk about the third stupidest idea.  [Remember that I'm using a specific definition of "stupid" .  "Stupid" doesn't necessarily mean "false".] The third stupidest idea is so stupid that it's difficult to articulate.   Lots of times, in philosophy, there ideas that are so smart - so insightful, so original, so distinctive, that they are difficult to express and difficult to understand.  This is because there is an enormous danger of misunderstanding them.  When I'm reading, I have difficulty understanding them: precisely because they are so intelligent and original and distinctive, they've probably never occurred to me before, which means I don't already have the language to describe them built into my brain.  S