Kenneth Smith

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy and academics

When academics claim a topic is obsolete, they mean merely they are tired of flogging it with their cliches.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy and modernity

Modern value-neutral society (Gesellschaft rather than Gemeinschaft) is systematized predation tempered not by conscience or values but rather merely by a system of law, which is no less corrupt with private interests and its own forms of predation.  In modernity sophism is the order of the day, and this obliges its most adept practitioners to learn how to develop the art of appearing to be other than one actually is.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, dynamicism, energy, and flow

The will and self are ultimately dynamic, they are their actions.  This energy can be trained and directed, tuned like an orchestra.  It is not a matter of a "rational interior" that poses a problem for a decorator, rather a feng-shui intelligence is called for that orients the "house" to the flow of life that takes place in it (I rather suspect this is turned on its head in most cases of feng-shui, i.e. Americans capitulate once again to "experts").

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, tragedy, and character

Eudaimonia is natural fatalism, the self-destiny of character--daimones being traditionally the lowest-order divinities, steering us to our unknown ends.  Sometimes disaster befalls us because we veer from our own intrinsic good sense; sometimes it occurs because we have followed our own intrinsic good sense but this is rooted in an ultimately or obscurely dysdaimonic character.  Tragedy is not always the result of a "mistake"; or sometimes the mistake lies in what we are, not what we do.  Unlike mere misfortune or chance, tragedy is rooted in primal actions and preconceptions of our character.  Petty-souled individuals (micropsychia) are unlikely to bring tragedy on themselves; in a way, they already are tragic beings normally and all of the time.  Only ambitious and self-driving individuals of great soul (megalopsychia) bring on themselves the risk of tragedy in its truest form, a radical overstepping of bounds.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, tragedy, and moderation

Misfortune occurs or can occur to anyone, of any sort of character.  The eudaimonic has more resources to avoid it (being in autonomous control of his appetites and assumptions) and more resources to deal with it if it occurs (being better able to put it in perspective and maintain his own evenness of self-mastery).  Tragedy as a dramatic form is meant to foster the ethos of sophrosyne or moderation, "nothing to excess"; it nurtures a sense of distance from the dominant illusions and delusions that may infect even aristoi.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, self-becoming, self-mastery, and self-development

We should bear the intelligence and taste of the architect or the gardener in how we shape the becoming of our self.  Too much precision ("stringency") is simply misplaced, a formalism inappropriate to the kind of matter we have to deal with (and to be).

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, wisdom, understanding, insight, and thinking

People who turn to philosophy expecting to harvest a crop of formulas of wisdom or understanding do not understand--philosophy has such things, but they are merely incidental, not the essence of the matter.  Philosophy is about subtilizing and tuning up the coherence and acuity of one's seeing, it is about opening new dimensions for insight, learning to think about what one is doing when one thinks instead of just blundering through the processes of putting thoughts together.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, christians, missionaries, evangelists, self-righteousness, confidence, and conviction

The self-righteousness and other ego-puffery that makes missionaries and evangelists out of Christians is in truth a measure of how far they are from even the one thing they think is most certainly true, i.e. the confidence that they are truly Christians.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, cults, therapists, psychotherapy, therapy, psychotherapists, culture, modernity, and insight

Like the priestly cult of the Middle Ages, the modern priestly cult of "scientific" psychotherapists exist overwhelmingly to stultify or blunt a too-acute insight into the powers benumbed in our personalities by our prevailing culture.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, doubt, self-criticism, skepticism, ego, imagination, understanding, self-mastery, and thinking

All that the posture of skepticism accomplishes is to freeze the ego in an ignorantist poverty that never stretches or diversifies its resources of imagination or understanding.  Any uncultured cretin can close his eyes and try to reduce the issues down to linear simplisms and say, "I am doubting, I am proving my magisterial or sovereign control over my own mind."  Doubt is a useful and significant test of one's critical powers, but by itself it bears little if any significant cultural charge of enlightenment or satori; indeed it is the very opposite kind of thing.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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