A few weeks ago I was talking about how impressed I was when people would take a book or reading and then quickly summarize it and use it as a jumping off point for their own thoughts and imaginations. This is beyond interpretation, or what I would call hermeneutics. It is about a jumping off point for new ideas.
We all have a more time to read these days with physical distancing and what not. I have
Thomas from a creative community I participate finally can participate again in my art theory reading group – because it is remote! We are tackling Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit – in part to then read Brandom’s critique of PoS. I am going to do an experiment now where I attempt to summarize a text and use it as a jumping off point for my own thoughts. I am going to talk about the Preface, the intro and the first section – on Consciousness!
Method Or How to do philosophy
The preface discusses philosophical methodology. What does it mean to successfully prove a philosophical position or a philosophical system? This is different than say proving the validity of a possible law of physics. Does it have to exist in context or dialogue with other philosophical systems (No)? Hegel talks about the difficulty of talking about a moment when you want to capture the entire process. I imagine a mathematical function and trying to describe the function rather than a point rendered by the function.
The discussion about how to write about this reminded me of theory fiction, and contemporary experiments in writing about ideas. How do you talk about something new? How do you talk about a complex process? How do you ignite interest in the reader so they undergo a transformation? All of this necessitates a change in style. In presentation. There is no binary form/content. It is not that the medium is the message but the medium is the interface and I can only understand to the extend that the medium structures a story in a particular way.
But what if you want is truth? If you want philosophy to become a science (since in modern times science has become the domain of truth)? For me this is a false aim and a false distinction. There are all sorts of movements these days to reject binary in terms of what people call the spectral, or differential. This is not to sink into relativism, but it is to A) remove t/f as the standard for the highest form of discourse b)acknowledge that the world exists on a multiplicity of levels and perspectives. We should take a note from Aristotelean ethics, where what is right depends acting as the situation (and individual) calls for. the proper action depending on the circumstances and the individual.
I asked in my group – is it important that we even talk about Truth. Yes! Hunter Replied! This the most important thing. But everything is Truth. Truth is where everything converges. Here again we go through the interface of language, or words, where we all have different interpretations of the same word. I am not sure I share this definition of Truth. But what ever that () is the convergence of all in the highest possible expression of all things in all dimensions (whatever highest is, or dimensions are) – I support.