polemics

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, dialogue, education, biases, prejudices, self-determination, self-delusion, polemics, and abysmalisms

Even as most intellectuals and students and "educators" among us imagine they are learning to criticize and sever those prejudices and presuppositions, those biases and preconceptions are mutating like Hydra and putting forth new buds and nodes with new faces on them to go on functioning sub rosa within his "new regime" of clarified and purified self-determination. This unctuous and protean power of biasing principles to vary their manifestation or expression is one of the premier reasons that humans overwhelmingly need living and in-your-face dialogue, need conversational confrontation and polemics, in order to grasp philosophical, spiritual and moral truths, i.e. values and axioms:  without another intensive and acute individual to catch their blindsidedness and call their hand on this permutational untruth, humans only succeed in "rearranging their prejudices," not truly emancipating themselves from their enslaving abysmalisms.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, differences, oppositions, perspectives, issues, polemics, hierarchies, illusions, delusions, judgments, superiority, inferiority, rationality, objectivity, hierarchicalism, preferences, idiotia, aristeia, a

Values by their very nature tend to seed differences and oppositions, i.e. to make it possible for us to detect and appreciate the various perspectives from which issues may be seen; even though we (by a profound self-misconception) may find this psychologically and socially unpleasant, for the sake of value-intelligence we must learn to live and to thrive AMIDST such polemics, "in medias res," in utmost self-uncertainty and insecurity. Values, also by their inherent character and natural function, tend to form hierarchies; and even though our egos and appetites and illusions and delusions may resent being afflicted with judgments of rank and superiority/inferiority, again for the sake of connoisseurial and wisdom-seeking value-intelligence we have to stretch and traumatize our minds aristically to understand the rationality and objectivity of such intrinsic hierarchicalism, valid and authoritative over and beyond all that we may have cultivated as our idiosyncratic and subjectivist preferences (idiotia). Aristeia is naturally ingrained in the very nature of values; values are naturally ingrained in the very character and laws of nature.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, scientism, objectivity, academia, reality, thinking, context, polemics, modernity, relativism, and perspectivalism

It's quite easy to imagine one grasps the essential outlines of an issue once one has cleared away all the emotional and moral turbulence that interfere with thinking about it--but in those greenhouse-conditions one is not truly thinking about reality as it actually is. Modern "academic" or "scholarly" philosophy is the victim of the delusionality of "scientism" or "objectivity," of thinking supposing that the controversiality or polemicality of our lives can be effectively purged out of things. We can cosmeticize it, depress its strife and tension with a facade of pseudo-neutralized terms; but even the most meager forms of insight suffice to reveal that this objectivity is mere facade. Modern culture is becalmed in a Sargasso Sea of sophisticated relativism, a mentality that hasn't got a clue what to do about perspectival variations and rationalizations from one mind to another. If there isn't a consensual community about what is right or good, then bourgeois society can only seek forms of mediation or compromise or count the votes of its countless subrational idiots. To wrestle with fundamental norms and principles is not something intellectually respectable among bourgeois minds, any more than it is to make public and direct value-judgments about someone else's thinking. By default we sink into a morass of incommensurable and pathetic views.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, politics, slavishness, values, delusion, and polemics

I was pleased long ago, and even moreso now, to be achieving connections between polemics and more profound forms of philosophy--partly because I agreed with Thomas Mann, that "the destiny of man in our times presents itself in the form of politics," and because I agreed with Nietzsche that mass-slavishness and nihilistic hybris were combining to form a danger of "Great Politics" the like of which the world had never seen (a prevision clearly of Nazi imperialism and nihilism), but even moreso because political culture presents everywhere a concrete profile of the actual "values" and "dysvalues" of any given society. Politics is our aggregate or collectively effective character, replete with delusions and murderous predilections for irrealities and deceptions. The state, as Plato remarked, is the soul writ large.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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