X

Aphorisms

by: Scott F. Parker

It begins and we are all wonderers.

Life itself normative, we justify in circles. The straight line from birth to death an expanding spiral of revisions.

We philosophize out of necessity, so that we might live. And we live out of necessity, so that we might die.

Surprising allies: certainty & oblivion. Law of the Inclusive Middle: ignorance & curiosity & patience & trees—trees!

That starting line, that diagnostic provocation, that divisive claim, that firestarter: Too often we’ve sought to understand the world. The point, however, is to figure out how to live in it.

A fact about attention: philosophy, like art, makes the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

The human being: the fruits of the search for meaning: the search itself. The human meaning: the fruits of the search for being: the search itself.

Philosophy never gets off the ground because it’s always coming back around to chew on its own feet. It’s why it’ll be here as long as we are.

You will die.

When you find yourself sitting for the first time at the foot of an oak tree reading Kant you’ll think to yourself that you’ve made it somewhere. And you have. The question is how much your butt hurts and whether the acorn will land on your head.

One history of philosophy: division, division, division—somehow the numerator still undivided.

Another history of philosophy: a garden, a university, a cafe—and you needed philosophy?

Thinking about thinking. Philosophy may not be able to get itself off the ground, but when we live here on the ground, does it need to? We dance between tautology and absurdity, but still we dance.

Philosophy as one of the things we do, as one of the things we are, as one more thing we cannot account for.

The breakthrough: philosophy isn’t interested in truth or even in wisdom but in human beings. The breakthrough: whose?

That a philosophy may be true, it must have knowledge of our nature. Our nature: as philosophers in search of knowledge of truth.

To witness tragedy is to see it as comedy or not see it at all.

On astonishment being ordinary. Pascal says philosophers astonish ordinary men and Christians astonish philosophers. Nietzsche said Christ was the only Christian and I am astonished.

There is only one Nietzschean and I am my own god [feat. Kanye West].

Nemo ante obitum beatus est—God is happy now, too. Or nothing is.

There is no necessary being but being necessary.

Another reply to Pascal: Let us imagine a thinking full of body members.

Syllogizing by implication: I am a friend to Aristotle but a better friend to myself.

Philosophy as way of talking → Truth → human tool that serves human purposes. What would an elephant’s philosophy be? We are in the business of making meaning and the meaning that succeeds in meaning changes with the subject.

Philosophy as analysis. Analysis as component of living well. Philosophy as methodological self-criticism. Philosophy’s self-reflexivity as subjective interrogation. Awareness via cultivation (intentional).

Further outrageous claims: Argument: failure of creativity; failure to compel. Instead: leaps, associations, charm, and seduction.

Ideas are squeezed by the sides of the page they may or may not fit on a line but they are squeezed and like all things squeezed they change their shape—give me a big sheet of paper and you’ll see my personality; give me a small sheet and you’ll see my wisdom.