Archive for the ‘Analytic Philosophy’ Category

Conceptual analysis versus Situational analysis

May 23, 2009

Philosophy was at its zenith when it was more concerned about analysing situations, rather than analysing concepts (refer to the Greco-Roman Moralists). Of course, conceptual analysis is a form of situational analysis; it is one of escaping the material reality of a situation into a conceptual, constructed fantasy-world. Little wonder that Nietzsche called it decadent.

Providence

March 15, 2009

The Philosopher’s Zone chats about Providence Lost?

It is well worth a listen, particularly as providence, despite mystical obfuscation, allows us an alternative view of freedom that is not to do with freedom of the will, but with a recognising of what is necessary in nature. This is a good pointer to Spinoza and the Stoics as a source of practical wisdom.

Genevieve Lloyd says:

What philosophy now has to offer us is something more than what I see as the rather narrow agenda of 20th century analytical philosophy. I’ve nothing against it actually, as a style of philosophy, it’s the way I’ve learned philosophy, and I still have a lot of respect for it. But there’s a lot more there that I think can be a resource now, not just for professional philosophers, but for all of us in our ordinary lives. These texts have a lot to offer.

The meaning of a word

March 7, 2009

Wittgenstein and Joe are walking along a quiet road when they see  a railway crossing, about 20 metres away.

They also see a sign and slow down the pace of their walk. The sign says “Achtung.”

Joe cautiously stops and asks, “What does that sign mean?”

Wittgenstein, continuing to walk ahead of Joe, replies “The meaning of that sign is its use in language.” He proceeds to walk onto the crossing when, unexpectedly, a train steams by and cuts Wittgenstein from the face of the earth.

The moral of the story: The meaning of abstract-minded (AKA absent-minded) philosophy is not its use in life. Its only use is for Occam’s Razor.

Meaningless philosophy

January 22, 2009

Philosophy can no more show a man what he should attach importance to than geometry can show a man where he should stand.

Peter Winch, Analytic Philosopher

I agree – this is certainly true of analytic philosophy. AP is that most pretentious waste-of-time which imposes specious and fictional conceptual schemas on the world. AP makes a point of trying to isolate concepts from their complex, multivalent, human reality (abstraction) in order to deal more easily with them through dogmatic methods and unsupportable foundational assumpions (reason). The goal of AP is to make things ‘clear’, which means the development of a conceptual delusion which they can, with pride, purport to represent the world. This chicanery is pursued through looking at things from a limited perspective, presenting bogus examples, and ignoring any considerations which do not fit tightly into their conclusions. AP is nothing but conceptual speculation dressed in the Emperor’s new garb. It is ‘white mythology’ (Derrida) – mythology taken to be ‘true’ and ‘pure’ because it has been bleached of any colourful language, affective meaning and human existential context.

Winch uses geometry in his analogy, but to think that philosophy is or must be anything like geometry is utterly narrow-minded and ridiculous. But this is to be expected of Analytic Philosophers; they have long suffered an inability to think laterally. They lack broad experience and perspectives of the world – many are secluded geeks and their love lives are less than notable. The most dreadful thought for them is that someone, somewhere is thriving on the turbulence of human existence and finding philosophy helpful to the task, rather than as a means of escapist idealism.