21 March 2018

What is a Philosopher? - Wilberg on Wednesday

What is a Philosopher?

A philosopher is someone for whom the separation of science and life is an absurdity. “The idea of one basis for Science and another for Life is, from the very outset, a lie.” (Karl Marx)

A philosopher is someone who not only questions life, but for whom every life situation, feeling or experience IS a question.

A philosopher is someone for whom identification with wordless FEELING awareness is the deepest, most fundamental form of knowing (‘gnosis’) and so also both the true source and ‘measure’ (‘ratio’) of all deep intellectual insight or ‘wisdom’ (‘sophia’).

A philosopher is also someone who, in relation to every possible variety of life question, constantly feels and LIVES just one single question. That one single and most singular question is “What is the real, most FUNDAMENTAL question here?”

A philosopher is someone with an acute awareness of how questions themselves may be posed in a way that is itself highly QUESTIONABLE - full of UNQUESTIONED assumptions.

A philosopher is someone for whom a question like ‘Does God exist?’ is no true question at all. That is because the question already assumes that God, to truly exist, must be an existing BEING of some sort - something that ‘is’. The question also fails to question what it means for any thing or any being to ‘be’ or ‘exist’, or why it is that there IS any thing or being at all - including any ‘God’ - rather than nothing?

A philosopher is someone for whom “Questioning is the piety of thinking.” (Heidegger)

A philosopher is someone for whom “All EXPLANATION can only reach so far as the EXPLICATION of what it is we are seeking to explain”.

A philosopher is someone who is therefore not blinded or brainwashed by what is thought of as ‘science’ and its ‘explanations’ of reality and of life. For even the most sophisticated physicists, for all their complex quantum-mechanical theories of ‘energy’ and ‘matter’, cannot actually say what ‘matter’ or ‘energy’ essentially ARE.

In contrast, as Heidegger pointed out in the Zollikon seminars, scientific ‘explanations’ of, for example, the possible genetic ‘causes’ or ‘cures’ of ‘illness’ do not even begin to question or seek to explicate what ‘illness’ and ‘health’ essentially ARE - thus denying them any deeper existential or life meaning.

A philosopher is someone necessarily feared by modern scientists. For whereas scientists tend to see philosophy as scientifically illiterate garbage or nonsense, the philosopher can show how what passes as scientific ‘theory’ or ‘explanation’ is itself PHILOSOPHICAL garbage or nonsense - philosophical ILLITERACY.

A philosopher is someone who necessarily questions the very foundations of modern science, exposing them as not only lacking in the most elementary forms of rationality and logical consistency, but ALSO as lacking any truly ‘empirical’ basis - because science sees its own IDEAS, its own purely mental  or mathematical CONSTRUCTS as more fundamentally REAL than any actual ‘empirical’ experience of life or reality.

A philosopher is someone who recognises that our entire perception of the world is shaped not by any properties or dynamics of ‘matter’ or ‘energy’ but consists entirely of  IDEA CONSTRUCTIONS.

 A philosopher is someone who understands that it is Idea Constructions which pervade pure sense perceptions (such as light and darkness, warmth and coolness, lightness and heaviness, softness and hardness, shape and colour etc) and replace them with ‘sense conceptions’ - with IDEAS of what things are and IDEAS of how they work (for example an IDEA of ‘light’ or ‘colour’ as composed of intangible ‘wavelengths’ or ‘frequencies’ of ‘electromagnetism’).

A philosopher is someone who recognises that it is Ideas that ‘con-struct ‘or STRUCTURE our experience into recognisable perceptual forms and also into predictable patterns that are seen as unchanging ‘laws’ of nature.

A philosopher is someone who recognises that all experiencing is essentially subjective in nature - that there is no ‘thing in itself’, no ‘substance’ or ‘energy’ that is outside, underneath or ‘behind’ our conscious subjective experiencing of reality - EXCEPT for  OTHER CONSCIOUSNESSES and the perceptual patterns or IDEAS which shape our perception of them.

A philosopher is someone who recognises all possible systems of reality as inter-subjective creations - and not as worlds of already given and existing ‘objects’.

A philosopher is someone for whom the entire world of today’s ‘advanced’ man-made TECHNOLOGIES is therefore not in any way a ‘proof’ of the ‘truth’ of modern science - and certainly not in any way based on ‘empirical’ scientific ‘laws’ of nature ‘discovered’ by the sciences.

A philosopher is someone for whom the functioning or ‘working’ of modern scientific technologies, equipment and gadgets  is nothing but the working on and transformation of our perception by ever more sophisticated complexes of IDEAS about reality evolved BY the sciences themselves and turned into perceptually manifest and working IDEA CONSTRUCTIONS.

A philosopher sees nothing more ‘advanced’ about today’s technological sciences than the religious ART-SCIENCES of earlier civilisations such as that of ancient Egypt, which rested on wholly different arts and complexes of IDEA CONSTRUCTION - of which the pyramids are a prime example.

A philosopher is someone who recognises that the essence of ‘technology’ (from the Greek ‘techne’ - ‘art’ or ‘craft’) lies in nothing but the art and craft of evolving  interrelated  IDEA systems to the point at which their own working becomes perceptually manifest as IDEA CONSTRUCTIONS.

A philosopher is therefore someone who is bound to recognise, sooner or later, that there is no such ‘objective’ thing as ‘matter’ or ‘energy’ as modern physics has conceived or reconceived them. What is called ‘energy’ is simply the ‘working’ (Greek ‘energein’) of IDEAS and idea complexes within and upon our perception of reality.

A philosopher is someone who recognises that philosophy is not only the forgotten mother of the sciences but remains ‘the science of sciences’ - the most ‘primordial’ or ‘fundamental’ science of all.

A  philosopher is someone who recognises that no mathematical theory, formula or equation, however sophisticated, can solve even a single PHILOSOPHICAL question - and nor can any science based on or defined by its mathematics.

A philosopher is someone for whom a true dialogue takes place ‘through the word’ (‘dia-logos’) and not just ‘in words’.  A philosopher is someone for whom a philosophical dialogue also has the single aim of seeking the most fitting words to say what it is that the dialogue is essentially about - and what the most fundamental QUESTIONS are that it is really addressing.

A philosopher is someone who not only questions accepted IDEAS but sees through and beyond the particular systems of reality - both the modes of perception and modes of life - that are shaped or constructed by them.

A philosopher is someone for whom IDEAS themselves are not true or false, sense or nonsense. Instead they literally ‘make’ sense: making, shaping or ‘constructing’ our sensory perception of reality in the form of perceptually manifest IDEA CONSTRUCTIONS. This ‘making’ went under the Greek name of ‘poiesis’, from which the word ‘poetry’ derives.

A philosopher - a true philosopher - is a modern ‘shaman’ or ‘sorcerer’; able to perceive and shape other realities through a heightened awareness of and mastery of the art of IDEA CONSTRUCTION.

“A philosopher: that is a human being who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, dreams extraordinary things.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“The man of science is a poor philosopher.” Albert Einstein

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