Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Discrimination

Bryan Caplan has had two epiphanies, which sum to the conclusion that — bad as tribalism is — misanthropy is the real problem. His ineradicable universalism betrays him once again.

It matters little whether people are uniformly judged good or bad. Far more important is whether such judgment is discriminating.

The central argument of Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals is clarifying in this regard, not least because it explains how radical mystification came to dominate the topic. How could there ever come to be a moral quandary about the value of discrimination? Considered superficially, it is extremely puzzling.

Differentiation between what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ requires discrimination. This is a capability no younger than life itself, which it serves as an indispensable function. As soon as there is behavior, there is discrimination between alternatives. One way leads to survival, the other way leads to death. There is nourishment, or not; reproduction, or not; safety or predatory menace. Good and bad, or the discrimination between them (which is the same thing), are etched primordially into any world that life inhabits. Discrimination is needed to survive.

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August 9, 2013admin 64 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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What is Philosophy? (Part 2a)

However awkward the acknowledgment may be, there is no getting around the fact that philosophy, when apprehended within the Western tradition, is original sin. Between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, it does not hesitate. Its name is indistinguishable from a lust for the forbidden. Whilst burning philosophers is no longer socially acceptable, our canonical order of cultural prohibition – at its root — can only consider such punishment mandatory. Once philosophers are permitted to live, established civilization is over.

For philosophy, the whisper of the serpent is no longer a resistible temptation. It is instead a constitutive principle, or foundation. If there is a difference between a Socratic daemon and a diabolical demon, it is not one that matters philosophically. There can be no refusal of any accessible information.  This is an assumption so basic that philosophy cannot exist until it has passed beyond question. Ultimate religious transgression is the initiation.

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July 5, 2013admin 78 Comments »
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Neoreactionary Realism

The easiest place to start is with what neoreactionary realism isn’t, which is this:

For a reactionary state to be established in the West in our lifetimes, we’ll need to articulate the need for one in a language millions of people can understand. If not to produce nationalists, to at least produce a large contingent of sympathizers. The question, “What is it, exactly, that you propose to do?” must be answered, first in simple terms, then in detailed terms that directly support the simple arguments. The urge to develop esoteric theories of causes and circumstances should be tossed aside, and replaced with concrete proposals for a novel form of government that harmonizes with perennial principles. This can be achieved by producing positive theories for a new order, rather than analyzing the nuts and bolts of a decaying order.

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July 4, 2013admin 61 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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The Idea of Neoreaction

To translate ‘neoreaction’ into ‘the new reaction’ is in no way objectionable.  It is new, and open to novelty. Apprehended historically, it dates back no more than a few years. The writings of Mencius Moldbug have been a critical catalyst.

Neoreaction is also a species of reactionary political analysis, inheriting a deep suspicion of ‘progress’ in its ideological usage. It accepts that the dominant sociopolitical order of the world has ‘progressed’ solely on the condition that such advance, or relentless forward movement, is entirely stripped of moral endorsement, and is in fact bound to a primary association with worsening. The model is that of a progressive disease.

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June 28, 2013admin 30 Comments »
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Rules

Foseti and Jim have been conducting an argument in slow motion, without quite connecting. Much of this has been occurring in sporadic blog comments, and occasional remarks. It would be very helpful of me to reconstruct it here, through a series of meticulous links. I’ll begin by failing at that. (Any assistance offered in piecing it together, textually, will be highly appreciated.)

Despite its elusiveness, I think it is the most important intellectual engagement taking place anywhere in the field of political philosophy. Its point of departure is the Moldbuggian principle that ‘sovereignty is conserved’ and everything that follows from it, both theoretically and practically. The virtual conclusion of this controversy is the central assertion of Dark Enlightenment, which we do not yet comprehend.

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June 24, 2013admin 79 Comments »
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The Cult of Gnon

Prompted by Surviving Babel, The Arbiter of the Universe asks: “Who speaks for reaction?”
Nick B. Steves replies: “Nature… or Nature’s God… or both.” (Jim succinctly comments.)

“Nature or Nature’s God” is an expression of special excellence, extracted (with subtle modification) from America’s Declaration of Independence. For Steves, it is something of a mantra, because it enables important things to be said in contexts where, otherwise, an interminable argument would first need to be concluded. Primarily, and strategically, it permits a consensual acceptance of Natural Law, unobstructed by theological controversy. Agreement that Reality Rules need not be delayed until religious difference is resolved (and avoidance of delay, positively apprehended, is propulsion).

“Nature or Nature’s God” is not a statement, but a name, internally divided by tolerated uncertainty. It has the singularity of a proper name, whilst parenthesizing a suspended decision (Pyrrhonian epoche, of which much more in a future post). It designates rigidly, but obscurely, because it points into epistemological darkness — naming a Reality that not only ‘has’, but epitomizes identity, whilst nevertheless, for ‘the sake of argument’, eluding categorical identification. Patient in the face (or facelessness) of who or what it is, ‘we’ emerge from a pact, with one basic term: a preliminary decision is not to be demanded. It thus synthesizes a select language community, fused by the unknown.

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May 30, 2013admin 95 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane , Cosmos
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Teleology and Camouflage

Life appears to be saturated with purpose. That is why, prior to the Darwinian revolution in biology, it had been the primary provocation for (theological) arguments from design, and previously nourished Aristotelian appeals to final causes (teleology). Even post-Darwin, the biological sciences continue to ask what things are for, and to investigate the strategies that guide them.

This resilience of purposive intelligibility is so marked that a neologism was coined specifically for those phenomena — broadly co-extensive with the field of biological study — that simulate teleology to an extreme degree of approximation. ‘Teleonomy’ is mechanism camouflaged as teleology. The disguise is so profound, widespread, and compelling, that it legitimates the perpetuation of purpose-based descriptions, given only the formal acknowledgement that the terms of their ultimate reducibility are — in principle — understood.

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April 8, 2013admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Templexity
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What is Philosophy? (Part 1)

The agenda of Outside in is to cajole the new reaction into philosophical exertion. So what is philosophy? The crudest answer to this question is probably the most robust.

Philosophy is any culture’s pole of maximum abstraction, or intrinsically experimental intelligence, expressing the liberation of cognitive capabilities from immediate practical application, and their testing against ‘ultimate’ problems at the horizon of understanding. Historically, it is a distinctive cultural enterprise — and only later an institution — roughly 2,500 years old, and tightly entangled at its origin with the ‘mystical’ or problematic aspect of pagan religions. It was within this primordial matrix that it encountered its most basic and enduring challenge: the edge of time (its nature, limits, and ‘outside’, of which much more later). The earliest philosophers were cognitively self-disciplined — and thus, comparatively, socially unconstrained — pagan mystics, consistently enthralled by the enigma of time.

It is usually a mistake to get hung up on words, forgetting their function as sheer indices (‘names’) that simply mark things, before they richly describe them. Personal names typically have meanings, but it is rare to allow this to distract from their function as names, or pointers, which make more reference than sense. ‘Philosophy’ is no exception. That it ‘means’ the love of wisdom is an irrelevance compared to what it designates, which is something that was happening — before it had a name — in ancient Greece (and perhaps, by plausible extension, China, India, and even Egypt). What philosophy ‘is’ cannot be deduced via linguistic analysis, however subtle this may be.

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February 26, 2013admin 26 Comments »
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