Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ideological tyrannies

Aristotle was quite careful in not mistaking his way of knowing with what he knew; this is why he used the approach of analogy with art (art is closer to our psychological conditioning). Many have not understood this, thinking he was projecting his artistic analysis on other realities.

I am under the impression that the modern mistake (but it must be there since the beginning of humankind), the most universal and the most pernicious, is to mistake the conditionning of intelligence - in other words our way of knowing - with what determines intelligence - being - then do deny being exists outside of becoming, or outside of what is measurable, which comes down to a materialization of being: only what is concrete or abstract exists. Imo, there is certainly a link there with the self-importance of an intelligence which only considers that over which it can dominate, in other words either the concrete or the abstract. Yet being is neither concrete nor abstract, it is, and intelligence only starts to lift off when it accepts to let itself be measured by this fundamental evidence. We can dominate over everything, not over being.

Thus the two major modern ideological tyrannies are on the one hand a materialization of everything (only the concrete, what I can measure and weigh, exists) and on the other hand immanence of thought (only the abstract, what I conceive of, exists). We can be subjugated by one of these tyrannies or by both of them at the same time, even though being is what falls first in intelligence (like the other person, is what falls first in the order of friendship/love), but also what reveals its profoundness. Consequently, it is metaphysics/first philosophy which makes us intelligent, or more precisely which ploughs intelligence.

Credit drawing: Frits@HikingArtist.com

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  1. Even though it is making questions grow like mushrooms over night, my innate intuition totally agrees with this essay.

  2. DB,
    Glad you stopped by today. Of course, this would require a longer development...

    To clear up some terms, an abstraction is a noun which proceeds from singular realities we experience (eg dog). Without concrete realities, there would be no abstract reality.

    When we say metaphysics of being, it would be more precise to say metaphysics of being as being (or being qua being). Vs being in the mind (abstraction, universal, being of relation). Being as being (or substance-principle) is what is common to the same concrete and abstract reality.