Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Beginnings of a Philosophy: Introduction
My belief system has been in development, modification and practice for well over a half century, but I have only recently distilled it into so few pages. There are reams of justification writings in my files, and a list of book resources that is quite long to underpin my thoughts, but only the book resources are listed in the appendix. I have eliminated most of the many footnotes and references to the book resources that I had wanted to include: they took up far too much space.
It was my deliberate choice to begin in the middle of philosophy, rather than at the beginning. After hacking my way through the usual prime subjects by the classic philosophers, and the twenty-five or so immemorial philosophical questions (see appendices), I felt quite exhausted and resentful that I could not then turn to a more practical level of working philosophy that I could use daily, without having to sort the issues out from the top at every step.
Every well-known philosophical system has been subjected to devastating criticisms that are to this date unanswerable. No attempts at synthesis have survived either. This has left me with the extreme difficulty of picking and choosing elements from the current systems, and the problem of creating ideas that attempt to factor together my own system out of the elements.
Perhaps it is common to find that no single classical or modern philosophy system satisfies one’s desires. It would have been nice to find a well-known and agreeable philosophy, and then be able to have infinitely more brilliant people illuminate its philosophical nooks and crannies. This was not to be, so I did it for myself, with undoubtedly imperfect consistency and enormous clashes with major philosophical bastions whose boundaries I only dimly perceive.
My system has been written from four principal vantage points: Protestant Christianity; the US Constitution; a virtues ethic; and Conservative political views. I find these vantage points quite compatible, and instinctively pleasing to me. It is my philosophy after all. I do have several departures from these vantage points which will become clear in what follows.
This version has six main parts: Man; Man and Society, Societies; Science and Engineering, Common Sense Conservatism; and the Global War on Terrorism. There are three appendices: A) Main Subjects of Philosophy; B) Eternal Questions; and, C) Book References Used.