Concerning the International Society For Philosophers
I’ve been meaning to write four essays for the International Society For Philosophers for the last few years. I think I have four interesting subjects to expand on finally. Philosophy can be boring, but it shouldn’t be.
The meaning of life is the most obvious choice for me. I studied the subject for about a decade in a serious way, after an emotionally traumatic death when I was 13. The first place to start is to determine the meaning of meaning. That sounds slightly boring, but it’s not. In one case meaning can mean definition, a symbol or representation of something. In that case we arrive at a question closer to what is the definition of life? In that case we lead into subjective experience and sensation. Next we can determine that most people mean something closer to significance, so the question becomes more about what is the significance of life? In that case we delve into values, and I’ll probably bring in some information about the subjective theory of value from Austrian Economics and Logotherapy from Viktor Frankl.
Next, the most important question in philosophy. The philosopher Albert Camus wrote an essay about it that I found interesting. He thought the most important question is, “Is life worth living?” That is a very good question, but you run into some immediate follow up questions. If yes, why? and if no, why? I would adapt this question to, “What makes life worth living?” That would also take us into a discussion about values, in a similar vein to the first subject. The first and the second subjects being so close together, I may want to expand in a slightly different vein. I’ve seen a lot of people be rather confused about loss and grief. Those are things that I am good at now, as a learned skill. My perspectives on that are useful and may be interesting to explore in their written form. In a basic fame, if you are experiencing loss, what has been lost? In the case of someone dying you lost the imagined future, but the imagined future was imagined, not real. Nothing of the person’s past can be lost, and nothing of a person’s imagined future can be lost. Once you have that experience then you can still get teary eyed at funerals because you feel empathy for the people that are feeling pain and your mirror neurons are firing like crazy, but the grief you feel will evaporate.
Next, the creative ape. What’s different about the human mind? Humans are extremely imitative, and feral children demonstrate that very well, but that’s not the most unique thing, even though Thomas Jefferson and William James both referred to humans as the imitative animal. The way in which the human mind can eliminate specifics to create abstract concepts, and add in specifics to create new concretes, is what makes the human mind unique. Language is the necessary software that allows this ability to develop and expand. Humans aren’t rational, no matter how many people say it, but they are creative.
Last, violence and society. Because human nature does not have an inviolable respect for private property, for private property to exist there is a need for violence to enforce those “rights.” Private property is necessary for progress, the development of technology, for the five factors of production: land, labor, capital, knowledge, and enterprise. A society without violence would require not only peaceful people, but another fundamental change to human nature, full respect for private property rights, unless of course there was no need for any type of progress of any kind; just apes wandering around in the forest picking up fruits and nuts. Idealism, fantasy, and a psychotic break have eerily similar definitions. This all means that violence is a base fundamental need for society.
Those four subjects will be interesting essays I believe. The essays are supposed to be 2,500 words or a little more. I may try to include stories to demonstrate some of the concepts, I think it makes it easier to understand these abstract concepts when you make them concrete. With the approval of these essays I would receive the Associate certificate from the society.
You are welcome to explore writing with me at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com