Thoughts of an Anti-Philosopher
- In all ages wisdom has been regarded as truth--but what if wisdom were not "truthful," but rather a piece of art, a masque, a disguise? We would have to look at all philosophers, all "wise men," askance. And what, at every philosophy as a deception, a piece of art?
- It is perhaps no accident that the invention of money as a currency of exchange was soon followed by the invention of philosophy and the "free-exchange" of ideas. And like a newly minted coin, the "idea" suddenly gained currency as something solid, invariable, and constant. The idea had, in other words, become the "currency" of truth. We have, however, lived to see money, itself, converted to a desubstantiated and floating medium, neither solid, invariable, nor constant. And has not the "idea" already suffered a similar fate?
- Heraclitus was the first to address philosophy, itself, with "philosophical skepticism." According to him, all previous philosophers had been ignorant of their art.
- Has any philospher ever truly understood himself? And if such knowledge were to be obtained--could he remain a philosopher?
- Every philosopher outgrows his earliest wisdom--in hindsight it can only appear to him as his greatest folly. But that he might outgrow even himself--then he would see that wisdom is folly.
- Solitude, even undesired, often becomes its own consolation.
- Wisdom belongs to age rather than to youth, for it has seen its finest hopes wither and die.
- Hegel's itinerary leads not to the realization of the Absolute, the perfect realization of knowledge by itself, but into the supreme momentousness, the very heart, of nihilism. In grasping its own essence, consciousness grasps and closes upon its own nothingness. But this nothingness is also its freedom...
- An idea, as a category, does not contain within itself entirely equatable things, nor does it stand as the indication of an eidetic primality to which all similar things correspond as though to a model or pattern. Rather, every idea contains within itself a synthetic correspondence, an equating of the inequatable.
- Nature is system, or that which comes to be as the actuality of result.
- In seeking knowledge we seek that which finally cannot be our belonging, for it is we who belong to it, as instrument, means, medium.
- Power is not the root of all things, neither unmoved mover nor cause of causes. Power = Being is a false formula. What the word points to is representation, interpretation, even illusion, fiction, deception. Representation, in that all things "re-present" themselves as power--as representation, power is mask, costume, charade.
- A drive to dominate through force stands as a will to power to the degree that it strives to attain an end connotative with power and identified with it. It has power only to the degree that it attains it, as an end.
- The Last Man still worships power--he is still human, all too human. It is the Ubermensch, as the apotheosis of the "powerful," who overthrows the last idol, belief in power.
- Truth is aletheia, the un-hidden, but all truth finds its place before the curtain of the hidden, the lethe. An older view, however, preserved in the word, itself, would see all truth as hidden, occult, a mystery. As such, truth could not be known, but only hinted at...
- What we take as a direct experience, and thus as proof positive for itself, is most often only the positing of a transparent value.
- Experience is a collection of partial views--no experience is complete in the immediate sense, for it is composed of aspects, sides, partialities, and mere surfaces. The manifold and variegated totality of our experience, is it not merely an uncut stone, raw material as of yet untouched by a master's hand? But merely? Every true master scuptor will tell you that the work resides in the stone and cannot be imposed upon it.
- We exist in the approximation of the real.
- No proposition can be said to possess its own truth. Those that appear such only do so by means of convention.
- Philosophers have sought to crown reason and serve it as its prince. But it is only where a prince is debarred from being a prince, that a prince ever desires to be a philospher.
- The greatest work possesses a freedom that only nature possesses and can endow. It is in this sense that Corregio and Rubens--by virtue of the freedom, dynamism, and naturalism of their art--make virtually the whole of their contemporaries appear as "mannerists." Such artists always appear as forces that rudely sweep aside the merely practiced, the artificial and contrived.
- From a devilish point of view, man is nothing short of God's "great crime"--and God, himself, the Great Criminal. According to this view, man could not be the author of his sins, which might be assumed by him only through pride.
- What is self, other than the inversion of a multiplicity of othernesses?
- We are formed by the confluence of external pressures and internal resistances, neither of which by itself perhaps can be said to be finally determinative.
- Being is the existence of becoming; existence is the becoming of being; becoming is the being of existence.
- The life of nature is history; the nature of history is life; the history of life is nature.
- Consciousness becoming conscious of itself.
- Right follows virtue, not virtue right.
- The already present no longer is.
- Every here possesses its own now, every now its own here.
- The esoteric is that which must be concealed in order to be revealed; the exoteric is that which must be revealed in order to be concealed.
- Nature would more often punish what man rewards.
- Relative to zero all other numbers must be thought of as negations.
- We would rather blame our nature for betraying us when it is we who have betrayed it.
- How might the "structure of appearance," what phenomenology claims as its ground, be anything other than merely apparent?
- It is the future that stands surety for the present.
- It is not the least recommendation for solitude that it reveals the object inits absence as belonging to the want as its product.
- The natural social grouping of the human is that of the troup, not the herd.
- To denude discourse of possible truth is to undercut the possibility of discourse, as such.
- He who has come to see, know, and understand that philosophy no longer appears before Man, that philosophy is disappearing, is today the only possible philosopher.
- We would all rather see this moment as the result of its history, rather than this history as the result of its moment.
© Copyright 1996-2008 Steven E. Callihan
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