By Brian Kemple

…above all, let it be considered that what is more wholesome than any particular belief is integrity of belief, and that to avoid looking into the support of any belief from a fear that it may turn out rotten is quite as immoral as it is disadvantageous. …

Note: this is excised rough material from the draft of a book that will be in the works for likely many years. It is a bit choppy and derived partially from teaching material. Notes have not been formatted. It has been posted here as I often pick on Hume on social media, but haven’t the room to explain why in the length of a tweet — or the motivation.

An epistemological shriveling

The end result of David Hume’s skeptical empiricism is a radical diminishing of knowledge. It is in Hume we find not only the clearest formulation of the pseudo-problem of the external…

In an article published some years ago, Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ, made several salient points about the need for, despite the confusion about, authority in any society (2002: “Defending Authority” in Grasso and Hunt, eds., A Moral Enterprise: Essays in Honor of Francis Canavan, 107–25). Most especially, as he noted, are the need and the confusion experienced in academia (110):

Many persons in different walks of life are called authorities, whether by virtue of the office they hold or the knowledge they have. In fact, it is a curious phenomenon that many academics are quick to condemn arguments from authority…

By Brian Kemple

Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis — Sonata of the Sea. Finale (1908) [section]

Nor must any synechist say, “I am altogether myself, and not at all you.” If you embrace synechism, you must abjure this metaphysics of wickedness. In the first place, your neighbors are, in a measure, yourself, and in far greater measure than, without deep studies in psychology, you would believe. Really, the selfhood you like to attribute to yourself is, for the most part, the vulgarest delusion of vanity.

-C.S. Peirce, “Immortality in the Light of Synechism” (1893)

The unbearable presence of discontinuity

Humankind cannot bear very much discontinuity. This is not an a priori postulate, but an observationally-derived truth, and one which a study…

A review of Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (Oxford University Press: New York, 2018).

“So maybe the thing to say,” to the apathetic, indifferent masses perniciously ignorant about the misogyny prevailing in our culture, Manne writes near the end of her book (page 290, to be precise), “somewhat reluctantly is — fuck ’em, in the limited sense of ceasing to even try to catch the moderate with mild honey. Perhaps we should just start with more radical, if acerbic, but I now think more accurate, default assumptions.” This caustic attitude arrives at the heels of five chapters…

A review of Carrie Jenkins’ What Love Is: And What It Could Be (Basic Books: NY. 2017).

“Romantic love”, Carrie Jenkins writes near the end of her book, “cannot continue to be something we just stumble into and accept.” This is true, and Jenkins’ book does instigate questioning after the truth of what romantic love is or ought to be. The implication is questionable, however, that there might be other things into which we, having stumbled into them, can or ought to accept; such as many of the presuppositions on which Jenkins builds the argument of What Love Is.


Brian Kemple

Philosopher, Continuum Philosophical Insight | Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Digital Life | Thomism, Semiotics, Phenomenology

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