Universality (November 2019)

Philosophers are just ambassadors between mathematicians and artists.

The idea that one could know the bedrock of reality is as absurd as thinking that one could look directly at their own eyes.

Yes, you can use a mirror or a camera. That's philosophy; philosophy is just technology.

Philosophy can't give you the view from nowhere, it can only impove a view from somewhere by meticulously stripping away pretenses through the integration of more nuanced praxis.

Yes, I said "improve".

In mathematics, improvement happens by finding more universal constructions. You can't always do this, sometimes it's apples vs. oranges, but the task of mathematics is to figure out when you can do this.

The development of any praxis runs on this same logic. A narrative arc builds up as those involved find new ways to make sense of what they're doing. The praxis is not "better" than others, but it nonetheless improves according to its own active negotiation of reality. If you don't like it, you're always free to do something else.

Once you look at things this way, it gives the lie to moral relativism. Of course there's no view from nowhere that could give you some transcendental total ordering. SUch an idea is absurd not least because even the idea of ordering comes from somewhere.

But anything that lives and grows inherently embodies some idea of moving forward, and by extension some basic idea of what's good and what's bad. Nobody actually believes that there's no difference between good and bad because that would mean they're not alive. If they say otherwise, they're just masturbating with dumb symbols.

Yes, I said "dumb".

Something is dumb insofar that it's not a real idea but instead a naive stimulus-response mechanism that presumes to stand for something but is not integrated into any kind of process. It has nothing to do with any reducive notion of ability or psychometrics; it's a property of behavior, behavior that anybody can trip and fall into.

Philosophy will inevitably take on some topology of value because it's joined to the hip with praxis. You're always reading and writing some text, and things have meaning precisely because there's nothing beyond the text.