Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sub specie aeternitatis

Modern Western philosophy has always been a problematic but fascinating subject for me - there has basically been a kind of love-hate relationship. On one hand it is hard to imagine more serious, more worthwhile inquiry but on the other hand you get such a sense of unreality to see these artificial systems of language perform docile logical tricks. That is very strongly put and my capabilities are not nearly enough to see how justified this attitude really is.

It just seems self-evident that we are not - literally - humanly able to ground ourselves universally and timelessly - and this is what the great, original synthesists have tried from Descartes via Leibnitz and Spinoza on towards Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, the usual army of the unalterable law with mad Friedrich jeering on the sidelines and the analytic Anglo-Saxons seeing no point to the enterprise in the first place (having their own impossible agenda). A strange hubristic tradition. Art on the other hand has always seemed more, not less, universal to me, starting from a more particular, more fundamental point, and being then more essentially grounded if less logical, less house trained. So, I would change Plato's order, and see art as essential and philosophy, at least potentially, as distracting us from our serious inquiry...

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