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A Fool Persisting In Folly

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  1. A Fool Persisting In Folly added a topic in Explore   

    In memoriam of Heretic's aborted philosophy of mood thread...
    I hope the admin staff don't consider this to be an attempt to circumvent a thread being locked, but it seems a shame to let such an interesting strand of discussion pass.

    I think we start with a problem, though. Perhaps a practical one. A man walks through a grey graffiti'd street under a dour darkened sky. His face contracts furhter into an unmistakeable grimace, "It's going away". He could equally have said that he was going away. To make this statement he needed the resumption of the default state of self, however partial or brief, as a point of contrast. Before then it wasn't possible, because 'it' was too everywhere, he was the entirety of his self. But something's changed. That something could be the end of mdma's effects as easily the beginning of olanzapine's. True changes reveal the incommensurability of different moods. They cannot be thought into or out of, and cannot be described usefully.

    The person who reads Dostoevsky under the mood of insomnia, what he understands, how he understands, can never be known aside from experience of the mood of insomnia. The same person, when he has slept, remembers his insights as one remembers thoughts created under intoxication. The words he has written in response to Dostoevsky are pregnant with a context that no longer exists, like waking up to see you have painted your own walls for a laugh whilst drunk. The consequences of what is understood in a non default state can filter through into the default state - the intensity of your experience makes you somewhat suggestible and so conclusions reached can often be deeply implanted, persisting far into (under?) the default state.

    As one who has philosophised through years of the most extreme moods, I read my notes from that period and they are no doubt comprehensible. A philosophical system created, or reflected on, in that state can be explained to another person, if the person explaining has a good grasp of language and appreciation of context. Yet perhaps all philosophising in otherwise moods - a philosophical project developed by philosophising in otherwise moods - will require first a philosophical commitment to insomnia, or other forms of mental illness. I don't think such a thing as that is impossible. A sort of valetudinarianism develops in people who value thought when mental illness increases its intensity, volume and prominence in experience. The "it's going away" from the first paragraph - though an indication of working medicine - can be a lamentation that the loud, distinctive, intense, overarching, infinitely conscious self that you have become used to is being taken away.

    What do you think, is the incommensurability of mood a practical problem for philosophising in other moods, or an opportunity? It's certainly something that must be considered.
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  2. A Fool Persisting In Folly added a post in a topic A Simpleton's Reading of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus   

    It could be argued that it was Wittgenstein's interpretation too, and not just because of the change in his later philosophy. In fact, he overtly states it:

    Wittgenstein recognised that it was impossible to convert, as he may have termed it in his later philosophy, people to his positivism by simply describing states of affairs, which he (arguably) regarded at that stage as the necessary aspiration of philosophy. He recognised his dilemma. Of course, you know this because it's one of the key passages in the debate as to the extent and manner of his recognition. Some people say that it was purposeful nonsense, such that Wittgenstein did not heed his warning not to say what couldn't be spoken of, in order to draw the limit as to what is neither thought nor proposition. As such, there's useful and useless nonsense of some sort.

    There are, of course, more radical readings like the one The Heretic refers to. As far as I understand it, it has strength in as much as it does not accuse Wittgenstein of doctrinally advocating the problem it seems evident he is rather exposing. However, I can't help but wonder if we perhaps read too much of history into this account - it's perfectly possible Wittgenstein incidentally, or unconsciously, or half-consciously, revealed the problem he was trying to solve, and we realise it now because he ultimately realised later.

    Whatever the case, it is nonsense.
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  3. A Fool Persisting In Folly added a post in a topic A Possible Solution to the Problem of Evil   

    I feel very happy for those who have never had dreams sufficiently bad that they affect reality.
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  4. A Fool Persisting In Folly added a post in a topic Mood: various avenues to philosophizing   

    There is no need to look at this even over epochs. The mood common to the self in the second or third day awake without sleep - the energy, the frantic play, the impossibility of remembering what things were like when they were otherwise - is incomprehensible to the same self in what you have described, and opened for debate, as the 'default' state. Indeed, it is quite possible for the same self amidst the contraction in the days that follow to look back at not just the mood, but the person, and their understanding of the world, of the previous days, with a bias that looks like overt cynicism. It may or may not be default - the sense of vague, detached, boredom - but its certainly precarious.
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