Q. Meillassoux – After Finitude

Philosophy is the invention of strange forms of argumentation,
necessarily bordering on sophistry, which remains its dark
structural double. To philosophize is always to develop an idea
whose elaboration and defence require a novel kind of
argumentation, the model for which lies neither in positive
science – not even in logic – nor in some supposedly innate faculty
for proper reasoning.

untitled-abstract-composition-1966

A. Boghossian – Untitled

P. Sloterdijk – Thinker on Stage

The searcher must burn out when he senses that nothing will save him from himself. He is extinguished in the dilemma of having to choose between the unbearable and the impossible. Only in the fire of disillusionment can the last remaining illusions be burned away. With the departure of what is being sought, the search itself becomes the goal and the path flows with a tragic bend into the pain from which it was initially able to turn away.

hermit-1895

N. Roerich – Hermit

P. Sloterdijk – You Must Change Your Life

A first enlightenment came about when the spiritual teachers showed that humans are not so much possessed by demons as controlled by automatisms. They are not assailed by evil spirits, but by routines and inertias that force them to the ground and deform them. What impair their reason are not chance errors and occasional errors of perception – it is the eternal recurrence of the cliches that render true thought and free perception impossible.

Next to Gautama Buddha, Plato was the first epidemiologist of the spirit: he recognized everyday opinion, the doxa, the pestilence that does not kill, but does occasionally poison entire communities. Empty phrases that have sunk down into the body produce ‘characters ‘. They mould humans into living caricatures of averageness and turn them into incarnated platitudes.

Plato – Phaedo

That will do as well, he said. But first let us take care that we avoid a danger.

Of what nature? I said.

Lest we become misologists, he replied, no worse thing can happen to a man than this. For as there are misanthropists or haters of men, there are also misologists or haters of ideas, and both spring from the same cause, which is ignorance of the world. Misanthropy arises out of the too great confidence of inexperience;—you trust a man and think him altogether true and sound and faithful, and then in a little while he turns out to be false and knavish; and then another and another, and when this has happened several times to a man, especially when it happens among those whom he deems to be his own most trusted and familiar friends, and he has often quarreled with them, he at last hates all men, and believes that no one has any good in him at all.

Continue reading

F. Nietzsche – On the Genealogy of Morals

In this essay an aphorism is presented, and the essay itself is a commentary on it. Of course, in order to practice this style of reading as an art, one thing is above all essential—something that today has been thoroughly forgotten (and so it will require still more time before my writings are “readable”)— something for which one almost needs to be a cow, at any rate not a modern man— rumination.

Continue reading

B. Pascal – Pensées

People of education are not called poets or mathematicians, etc.; but they are all these, and judges of all these. No one guesses what they are. When they come into society, they talk on matters about which the rest are talking. We do not observe in them one quality rather than another, save when they have to make use of it. But then we remember it, for it is characteristic of such persons that we do not say of them that they are fine speakers, when it is not a question of oratory, and that we say of them that they are fine speakers, when it is such a question.

Continue reading