Monday, July 15, 2013

102 How to proceed with this blog?

With this blog I will continue to address a wide range of old and new themes in philosophy, viewed from the perspective of my philosophy, according to the two central themes of self and other and imperfection on the move. My perspective is inspired by, among other things, embodied cognition, pragmatism, constructivism, interactionism, evolutionary thought, and virtue ethics.

The overall aim is to put humanism on a new footing, other than Enlightenment ideas of a rational, autonomous self and the Cartesian view of a spectator subject, looking at the world from outside. Instead, I look at the self as having limited rationality and limited free will, being constituted by actions in the world, needing others to develop itself and to correct its prejudice (the theme of self and other), with limited rationality also in social structures.

I take a dynamic view, a perspective of change, of identities, knowledge, universals, meanings, morality, cultures and social structures, with room and respect for variety and individuality, in opposition to the sway of universals. Those are all temporary and subject to improvement but remain imperfect (the theme of imperfection on the move). The world can be looked at in many ways, and no view is perfect or final. This does not mean that any interpretation or view is as good as any other. Arguments matter and some are better than others. Absolute truth is replaced by warranted assertability.

Sources of inspiration are, among others, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, the American pragmatists, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Piaget, Vygotsky, Foucault, Levinas, Derrida, Charles Taylor and Nussbaum.

To proceed, one possibility is to expand and elaborate on earlier items, and to make connections between them.

I have argued that the self needs the other to develop itself. But where does this lead, in the present development of society under the influence of technology and internet, social media, virtual reality, genetic engineering, and bionics? What is happening to the self, culture and society? Here I will look at Baudrillard, among others.

I will also bring in new themes. I intend to post a series on ‘Markets, what to make of them’. This is derived from a book with that title that I recently finished. There, I offer a philosophical slant on markets, considering where market ideology comes from, what markets are, how economic science fails, how markets work and fail, and what alternatives there are.

Another new theme that I envisage is a comparison between western and eastern philosophy. For the latter I will be looking at Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, and attempts to combine them. I am finding out that what I have been saying in my books and in this blog may have more points of contact with eastern than with western philosophy. Without knowing it I have been conducting eastern philosophy.

Further ideas will no doubt come up. However, I would like to invite my readers to give criticism, ask questions and give suggestions. They can do so on the blog, in the opportunity provided there to post comments. That requires some steps of entry, specified on the blog, and I hope that readers will be willing to cross that threshold.