Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Logically Positive Politics

It’s a hard time to argue subjectivist or even relativist positions (ie that perceptions of right and wrong are culturally informed and hence defy certainty). The chief method used by Trump and his followers is to throw doubt on the notion of verifiable reality. Thus the educated person who might be versed in paradigm shifts and even deconstruction finds him or herself in a quandary in which they ultimately have to forswear some of the major advances in modern thought in favor of a more Kantian perspective in which there are categorical imperatives, easily definable rights and wrongs and a discernable objective reality. Deconstruction and the questioning of the observer started on the left but has become a strange bedfellow of the right. What the current climate calls for is the assumption that empirical perception can be validated with revisionist history put on the back burner. The question still is what can be said and affirmed and what defies such certainty. Beliefs may be respected, but cogito must take precedence over credo, in the emergency situation in which the dark cloud of solipsism looms. "If you didn't know that TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tour or visit,” remarked Andrew Clyde, a Republican congressman from Georgia. “That of which we cannot speak we must pass  over in silence,” is the last proposition of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It’s a text that should be mandatory reading for politicians who are tempted to dabble in homespun metaphysics or the paranormal. Traditional democracy is based on the philosophy of John Locke who was an empiricist.

Read "Travels With My Ant" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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