Me and Some Ideas of Western Philosophy–Part 1

I took a few philosophy courses in university (one on aesthetics), and although there was a kind of bullshittish quality to seminars or conclusions actually reached, my interest in the ideas of great philosophers has been a help in clarifying my own thoughts and views over the years.

What follows are various shared beliefs, values, and truths I share with a number of philosophers and philosophical views.

Of Truth and Verification

I have relied on a combination of feelings, instinct, hunch, intuition, personal experience, and observation for arriving at some truths. Correspondence–in which an idea agrees with physical facts/reality–often works well for obvious reasons. The Pragmatic Criterion of Truth–in which case ideas ‘work’ and are proven true in reality (truth ‘happening’ to ideas)–has been helpful. Coherence–in which a number of truths hang together and support each other to suggest truths–has also been important over time. The latter is something which has grown and developed, much like the overall views presented on this blog entry topic. More and more, I found overlaps of truth connected by other, related ‘propositions’.

All of the above points to the importance of ideas, particularly those within/of individuals. My own leanings, overall, favor truth of personal experience and subjective personalism as the basic frame of reference for one’s experiences of truth. Easternly, I believe many truths are inner, to be found within, and that one’s consciousness tests these against real experience and finding out what is possible or works.

The Existentialists (whom I will come back to later) have definite views on truth which coincide with this personal view. They say that the main truth is freedom in its many forms, that truth often proves an inner rightness, that truth is eventually revealed by ‘what is’, and that the individual participates in these truths which are revealed in/by process.

Regarding the subjective and objective continuum, I would place myself on the subjective side since individual knowledge and consciousness reveal the truths we come to experience.

Regarding the relativism-absolutism continuum, I would (‘coherently’) place myself on the relative side because there are so many truths, as many as there are individuals. (Like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same.) This relativistic view , despite the many efforts and history of man to organize and structure what appears to be an ever-changing, chaotic, often irrational or absurd world. That all said, that subjective, relativistic base is my absolute, what I go/live by.

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