Just the grand theories, please

Philosophy should not be about any and all kinds of knowledge minutiae; its defining mark should be the desire to understand everything all at once.

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3 Comments on “Just the grand theories, please”

  1. Did you write this? I am re-reading animal faith again trying to close-read, piece-meal, the first section…and his critique of transcendentalism and empiricism is great; the main idea is that all of our “facts,” the many sense-data or the sensible essences we experience “empirically” are essentially “subjective principles of interpretation,” and that to be able to become truly skeptical one must “disentangle and formulate” these subjective “facts” and realize they are simply subjective “interpretations”. In this way we critique knowledge in a weirdly mirrored neo-Cartesian manner. Poetically we are struggling to un-know everything we thought we knew…with the hope of rebuilding a new philosophical edifice. Building up its solid foundation on the barest thread of what we know we know, and as our subjective illusions allow themselves to be discarded, we feel we gain power, moral and metaphysical. We want to master our illusion. We want to dominate facts that we think provable whether existent or non-existent.

  2. Gorm says:

    I did write this, out of frustration with analytic philosophy. Did you think it fit poorly with Santayana? I’m not sure, but I think it fits very well. His system has everything in view, not only the realm of matter, but everything.

    I think you agree, but just in case: In the negative, skeptical movement, our illusions are of course discarded, but in the positive movement they are wielded, as the worldmaking tools we have understood them to be. We have to become illusionists, learn how to construct arrangements of essence and invest them with belief in spite of their fictionality. Because, first, this is the only possible philosophy, and second, because this is the richest possible philosophy (something which is impossible for us to see when blinded by hope for real truth (as opposed to virtual truth, which is of course attainable)).

  3. I have produced a “grand theory” – The Human Knowledge MindMap – which provides an index of all of the major categories from Plato to Kosko. It can be found in HOW TO THINK LIKE A KNOWLEDGE WORKER, published as a freely downloadable e-book by the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) on their website at the following URL: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/unpan/unpan031277.pdf Since then it has occured to me that if I could find a compendium of such previous grand theories, it would be useful in conducting a comparative analysis. Many of such grand theories of the past, especially prior to the modern era, were largely idiosyncratic, that is, reflecting the genius of the originator but not necessarily of any long-term, lasting value. Still, it would be nice to compile a list and series of summaries to see to what extent any “progress” has been made in creating these things. Any suggestions?


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