Comments on “An improbable re-animation”


Hegel was Cool (albeit, deluded)

“People buy into it, without thinking, because it’s superficially attractive.”

I agree that the wrapping helps a lot. But I also wonder if the attraction is also for a deeper purpose of cementing identities and insecurities of their present nihilistic thought soup which had good too far for them (these folks would dismiss Nietzche, Russell and James as flat-land philosophers). Maybe part of the sway in these movements are their values to the subcultures that embrace them. Tracking the victories and losses of philosophies by what holds sway in protected ivory towers is revealingly deceptive. (all of which I am pretty sure you agree with)

But speaking of subcultures. You said, “Tibet is sexy; Germany isn’t.” But in many of the circles I hang in, Tibet is not the least bit sexy but is just the silly obsession of “a few of them Hollywood nuts who are smokin’ too much weed and committed to Commie ideas.” Lots of people think Tibetans are wacko – don’t let the liberal media fool ya. Or perhaps it is your circle of friends! (smiling)

And seriously, are you going to pick on the haircuts of those poor dead white guys while you are still posting your avatar that looks like a make-up-laden Ken-doll (Barbie’s boy-friend) with crisp hair stylizing? Seriously, play nice! Poor Germans! I think Hegel, the poor confused bastard, looked cool.

Oh yeah, I loved this analysis, the categories and the truths it points too – but I wanted to play too! (smile)

philosophy and counter-philosophy

Yes, Romantic Idealism was exactly a reaction to the European Enlightenment, which many people felt had gone too far in the direction of nihilism. It was an attempt to rescue meaning (and God, and the soul) from reductive materialism. (It was Hume, particularly, who was the “flattening” villain at that point.) I think these monist ideas continue to be attractive for just that same reason. What I’m hoping to offer is a way to rescue meaning from reduction that does not fall into eternalism, of either the monist or dualist variety.

Tibet is sexy in “the LOHAS segment”—a hideous name for a somewhat hideous phenomenon—approximately, educated, middle-to-upper middle-class, non-rural liberals. That’s roughly a quarter to a third of Americans, and perhaps a majority of Western Europeans. Besides being large, the segment is important because it controls much of the media, and also because membership is aspirational for some outside it. So as the LOHAS goes, so goes the nation. My current obsession with monism is due to observing that the LOHAS segment appears to be converting to monism en masse.

I have really good intentions to do something about my avatar at some point, on your recommendation.

Your Favorite Mistake

Note to readers who don’t know:
“the LOHAS segment” (“Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”)
(I had to look it up again)

So, let me see if I understand your vision of the philosophical migrations:
People are running to eternalism (monist or dualist) to escape the parched lands of nihilistic materialism. Right?
You want to offer MeaningNESS as a third option.
But do you see monism or dualism or nihilism in any sort of pecking order – one more addicting or deceptive or harmful than another?
Why so upset about Monism when they just left another wrong stance?

Monism: why worry?

I’m offering a fourth option to the “Big Three” of monist eternalism, dualist eternalism, and dualist nihilism. (Monist nihilism is conceptually consistent but no one seems to like it. Maybe there’s a market opportunity in repacking it.)

I don’t think think any of these is really better or worse than the others. My personal tendency is toward nihilism, so I have a certain sentimental attachment to it, but it’s not actually a good thing.

I’m concerned about monism because it seems to be spreading rapidly through a group who were in a kind of wishy-washy “don’t know, don’t want to think about it” state. “Don’t know” seems much better than committing to monism.

Diagrams rule

Yup, looks good. Thank you very much!

I’m not sure how you could portray the stance of meaningness (the complete stance) graphically. Since it’s complete, it in some sense spans the whole space. That is, it allows things to be meaningful and meaningless (eternalism/nihilism) and connected and separate (monism/dualism). Possibly one could show the four paired confused stances as corner points of a square, with the complete stance covering the whole square.

Tweeking the Image

Click on the same link. I offer up a “Version II”. See if it captures your suggestions. Also check the verbage to see if it matches what you are implying.

Stances v. 2.0

Looks good—thank you very much! (What tool are you using to make these?)

Typo: “not” for “note”.

“Locked down” is a good way of putting it.

A Labor of Love

“What tool?”
I hand-drew those diagrams using dyes created from plants from our garden plus some sacred dyes from Tibet.
But if truth is important to you: See OmniGraffle

The Unity of Being.

“Wait a minute—is my backache really connected with the price of eggs in China? How is it connected? How do you know? Why should I care?”

I see a claim that that everything is united.

I interpret it through the lens of physicalism.

Physicalism tells me that a connection is a causal connection.

But my backache dint casually connected to the price of eggs in China.

No other interpretation is possible, so the Unity of Being must be false.

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You are reading a metablog post, dated November 7, 2010.

The next metablog post is Acknowledging Romantic Idealism.

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