Tag Archives: philosophy

Identifying Things

Identification, says Korzybski, is a blunt tool. Language is a box full of tools, all imperfect, none quite fit for purpose, their functioning performative and never exactly descriptive. Meaning: anything we can say about the world is never quite how … Continue reading

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Toynbee and the Enlightenment

Arnold J Toynbee has some bad news in Volume VI of his A Study of History: Western civilisation is showing all the signs of being in its final decline. Civilisations decline when they fail to respond to challenges they face. … Continue reading

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Hegel: Knowledge, Desire, and Freedom

The first part of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, concerning “consciousness,” shows us how knowledge of objects is knowledge only of oneself. In other words, it describes how we reach the initial premise of “transcendental idealism” – a philosophy created by … Continue reading

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The Greatest Gift

Father Zossima tells his followers that the greatest torment is discovering the meaning of love too late to profit by it. You’re on your deathbed, in your dying brain you seem already at the gate of Paradise itself, and soft … Continue reading

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Herder’s First Principle

The life of rational individuals is chaotic as a madhouse. Herder writes: “Whoever goes into a madhouse finds all the fools raving in a different way, each in his world; thus do we all rave, very rationally, each according to … Continue reading

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Imagination and Evaluation in History: Spengler and Adorno

Oswald Spengler: “Once again, therefore, there was an act like the act of Copernicus to be accomplished, an act of emancipation from the evident present in the name of infinity. This the Western soul achieved in the domain of Nature … Continue reading

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Some notes on Spengler as I read him

I’ve been slowly reading The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler with a couple of friends. We meet online once a week to discuss the pages we’ve read. What follows is an explanation of Spengler as I understand him … Continue reading

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