Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back to the sources

Following on the "Two sources" post, an e-conversation between Avatar and another web-user.

Aqua: "I think for you there are the "realist" philosophers who see the truth and the others who make nice constructions which inspire respect but who are as far away from truth as can be. Tell me if I am mistaken?"

Avatar: What is true? It is what is, isn't it? Do you agree, Aqua, that what is true is what is? If you do, you must conclude that a construction of the spirit, which truly exists, in the spirit, but truly exists, is thus true! Therefore how do we manage if we start with the spirit which is separated? We can't, so it's well and truly with external experience that one must start, with what is not oneself. If we start firstly with the spirit, or the relations produced by the spirit, we find ourselves in an area of maximum confusion between what is (and which is not ourselves) and what is in ourselves and which we will then project over reality. Descartes sentence "I think therefore I am" is correct! It is quite evident that by experimenting that I think I can conclude that I exist, but what is horrific, is that Descartes decrees, quite explicitly, that his thought is solely reliable and objective, not at all what is real, which can be a source of error, and that in consequence one must set ones idea before what is real, as the first stone of all philosophical research. In this way, Descartes is the father of modern ideologies... for what is not mentionned very often is that he greatly influenced Marx, Freud and a good few others.

Aqua: "You say you take Aristotle out of the picture? So who are the realist philosophers who adhere to your school of thought?"

Avatar: I know a few of them, who are alive, but it is certain that the realist approach does not have a huge following, as the intuitive and poetic approach is far more appealing. It is wearisome to read someone like Aristotle, it is almost drudgery, it is drawn out, without poetry... whereas Plato is absolutely delightful! Thus to answer your question, I do not see many famous philosophers who have gone as far as Aristotle down the path of realistic thought. Many have tried to find something else, and since he has gone very far down this path, they naturally wrote a philosophy of spirit.

I thus see two reasons why so few "celebrities" have put forward a realistic thought, in Aristotle's footsteps: 1) It is wearisome 2) Aristotle has taken it very far, and it is not via this route that one can invent and claim some fame; the first role is already taken.

Moreover, I don't have an interest in Aristotle per se!! Thought does not belong to Aristotle, thought belongs to man, it is a common good!! What Aristotle discovered does not belong to him, even if he is the father of realist thought!! It is a concept which belongs to an author, not what is real, which belongs to all!! Thus one must choose: either one wants to invent a completely new way of thinking under the premise that realistic thought is a concept, either we seek truth, and use predecessors as indicators, without ever dispensing oneself from reverifying or rediscovering, or not, what they have discovered! I say this to stress once more that I do not speak of Aristolianism. And I am not a professor! I seek the truth! Thus I am no more Aristolian than Avatarian! What is true is neither to the left nor to the right, neither red nor blue: it is! Lol

Aqua: "This philosophy based on a construction of the spirit that substitutes itself to being is that what you call a philosophy of relation? I see nothing synonymous between these two expressions."

Avatar: What does human intelligence produce if not relations? Can you show me something other than relations that is produced by intelligence? Either intelligence contemplates or it produces relations. This is precisely why I say that at the start of any philosophical thought, either we admit that being is what falls first in intelligence (contemplation) or we create relations. So you could retort that Aristotle never ceased to create relations, that he even wrote the Organon, which is a treatise on logic, all right, I agree, but he did so after having chosen, accepted and sought to look at reality as imposing itself to him, which changes everything! Consequently, there are well and truly only two starting points to philosophy, a philosophy of being, and one of relation.

Aqua: "Another question: is it unthinkable that the concept of being could be a construct of the spirit? This question must be asked if one desires to orientate oneself in philosophy."

Avatar: Of course it is possible, this is what Heidegger did! But I am not speaking of the concept of being (which is not being), I speak of being. So I agree with you, this begets immediately a question which has far reaching consequences and which is this one: given that it is I who knows and that there is no adequacy between reality and my knowledge of this reality, how does one know this reality since to know it one must know how one is known. This is the reason for which everything starts with "this is" (and not "I am"). That is to say with the judgement of existence pertaining to a reality that is not me and that has a "this" and an "is", i.e. a signification of reality (this) and an apprehension (is). Everything plays out there, right at the start. So each and everyone chooses, more or less consciously for that matter, but that's where it happens, and the ramifications are rather extensive downstream.



  1. I've quoted this before, but it seems so relevant to what you're saying. John Cage: "What is does not depend on us, we depend on it." It's wonderfully entertaining to have perceptions and ideas about the world, but to conclude that that is the world is a kind of madness

  2. Great post! I really enjoyed this one! Thanks!

  3. I do believe that a realistic philosophy demands that one stand up to the brutality, suffering,impersonality and horror of both the world and human nature and defy them, as unworthy of respect, worship, control, or submission. Doubt,rejection, and defiance are the weapons of choice to slay the monsters on the path of truth.

  4. Count! Great to see you! Metaphysics, the pinnacle of a realist philosophy, is imo an antidote to many stripes of fears. Further, it is an objective knowledge, which naturally tends to not lead to head-buttings of a subjective nature. :)

  5. Exactly right. Metaphysics is an antidote to fear and realist philosophy IS (No pun intended) the pinnacle, I think, of that philosophy. Bu,t if this is so, the fears must be faced first, musn't they? Yes, this is an intensely lonely, personal path and no head-buttings should ever arise between seekers. My best