哲学研究上的哲学

阅读哲学的意义在于启发而不在于内容;如果读完一本哲学著作而没有任何启发,那么这个人只不过在读哲学史。有的人认为,读哲学就要弄明白作者的本意是什么,如果弄错了作者的本意,那就白读了,这样的人恰恰是在考究历史。事实上,只要在阅读的过程中获得了启发,即使弄错了作者原本的意思,那也算达成了哲学的目标。因此,如果有人不小心把康德的观点安在了尼采上,或者以为叔本华说过了一句其实他从未说过的话,那么我们只能说他的哲学史没学好,而不能说他的哲学不好。而那些总是一字一句地考究某位哲学家的某部著作里具体的某句话到底是什么含义,或者热衷于对比不同哲学家之间对同一个不那么重要的词语有何细微不同的解读的人,都是落入了哲学研究的下下乘,属于买椟还珠之举。

事实上,同样的观点很多时候也适用于其他领域,比如音乐、文学和宗教。世界上总有很多原教旨主义者,他们喜爱钻进作者写的某一个特定的句子里,争论这个句子到底是指什么意思,或者作者在此处到底想表达什么。于是,世界上多了很多哲学史学家,文学史学家,和宗教史学家(比如儒家史学家),而真正能够慧眼识珠的人却屈指可数。归根结底,是因为他们没有分清目标和手段的区别,这一点,将在我的博文《目标和手段》中详细叙述。

正因为哲学的意义在于启发而不在于内容,所以,如果有谁认为自己读过很多哲学著作,或者上过很多哲学课程,就认为自己懂很多哲学,那就大错特错了。这些人,最多只能说他们了解一些哲学史。同样地,如果因为对方没有读过某一本哲学著作,或者对某一个哲学家不了解,就加以嘲笑,也属于哲学史学家的做法。事实上,可以存在这样一种哲学家:他们没有读过任何哲学著作,却极其智慧地对每一件事物都有自己的看法,他不仅有自己的看法,还能给出依据,不仅有依据,而且这些依据还能连点成线层层递进,形成一个体系,而这个体系不仅逻辑严密而且能经得起细细推敲。如果这样的哲学家一不小心获得了同行的认可和关注,那么很可能一个伟大的哲学家就要诞生了。当然,这名哲学家可能对哲学史一窍不通,但是这并不妨碍他成为一名伟大的哲学家。

我并非提倡人人都要闭门造车,不读任何哲学著作而在家空想。站在巨人的肩膀上的确可以为哲学研究节省很多力气,但是,勤恳于这么做的人请务必记得:阅读哲学著作其实既非研究哲学的充分条件,也非必要条件。

对独特者的赞美

我是如此地欣赏一切与众不同的人,以至于他们甚至无需做出什么伟大的贡献,而仅仅是其存在本身就能让我肃然起敬了。用官话来说,他们的存在为我们所处的环境在难以抵挡的趋同性中提供了珍贵的多样性,而在我看来,他们每一次对大众标准的拒绝服从都是对其自由意志的捍卫,而这种捍卫本身又使他们离平庸远了一步。他们的特立独行是那么的耀眼,以至于让任何一个真正有想法的人都不能不敬佩,任何一个真诚的人都无法嘲笑,任何一个本身就独特的人不能视而不见。如果说平庸而可鄙的大众是一潭腐臭的死水,那他们就是这潭死水里最后活动的生灵。

On stereotype

0. The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.

1. Rationality therefore shows its power only when things are properly named (languagized).

2. Things can be properly named only when they are properly classified.

3. A not-well classified opinion on a group is called prejudice.

3. Prejudices grow to stereotypes when they gain popularity.

5. Statistically speaking, people are bad at classification.

6. Hence, the said people who like classifying others become discriminaters and who dislike classifying others give up their power of rationality.

酒神音乐集合 Collection of Dionysian Music

Last update: Oct. 28, 2018

酒神与太阳神是希腊神话里的概念,后因尼采的《悲剧的诞生》而广为人知。关于酒神和太阳神的通俗解释参见如何理解尼采《悲剧的诞生》中日神和酒神象征的两种不同的艺术冲动。在这篇文章里,我们把酒神的概念应用在音乐上来描述这样一类音乐:参与者和演奏者完全沉醉在演奏本身中,他们忘记过去、未来、以及其他一切与此时此刻无关的事,每一个人都在尽情地享受现在,每一个个体都融入到所有人当中,大家不分你我,所有人的快乐就是自己的快乐。这是一种体验至上的极乐,用荣格的语言说,这是Se达到极致的过程。

Apollonian and Dionysian is the concept originated from Greek mythology, which were popularized by Friedrich Nietzsche’s work The Birth of Tragedy. Here, we apply the concept of Dionysian to describe music of this kind: the audience and the players are completely immersed in the performance such that they forget the past, the future, and anything else unrelated to the present moment. Everyone are fully enjoying the present moment and immersed with the rest; the boundary between individuals vanishes such that every one is everyone, and everyone’s happiness is every one’s happiness. This is experience-oriented (rather than goal-oriented) bliss, which in Jungian cognitive functions, is a process that Se achieves its climax.

本文将收集作者认为的酒神音乐并且持续更新。如果有其他与作者定义的酒神音乐有冲突的定义,作者将重新定义酒神音乐;换言之,作者将不以外界定义而以自己的定义为标准。值得一提的是,在欣赏酒神音乐时,欣赏者不能仅仅听音乐,也非常需要看着画面关注演奏现场的一举一动,只有这样才能最好地进入酒神状态。

In this article, the author collects the music he thinks to be of Dionysian music. If there is any other definition of Dionysian music contradicted with author’s definition, the author shall redefine Dionysian music. In another word, the author will use his own definition rather than otherwise. It is worth noting that when enjoying Dionysian music, the audience should not just listen to the music, but they also need to look at the scene, trying to immerse themselves into to the play, which is the key of going into the Dionysian states.

 

Deductive Formalism of Jungian Cognitive Functions

(Draft)

Abstract

Jungian cognitive functions were first came up with by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung in his book Psychological Types in 1921, based on which Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs created Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which enjoys great popularity in commercial use and causal self-testings by people. While MBTI has been refuted and discarded by academia due to its problematic statistical validity and test validity, the core theory behind it, Jungian cognitive functions, still has profound meaning and serves as an insightful tool in analyzing personalities and understanding people’s motivation and reasons behind their decisions and behaviors.[1] In this article, I attempt to deduct 16 psychological types as described by Jungian cognitive functions using a series of assumptions, which explains why there are sixteen, rather than other numbers of, psychological types, and why these sixteen types are the way they are (as described by certain permutations of Jungian cognitive functions) rather than other seemingly possible permutations. This article is not an discussion of the definition of Jungian cognitive functions, nor does it attempt to prove its validity. Readers are assumed to have prior knowledge in Jungian cognitive functions.

Key words: Jungian cognitive functions, MBTI, psychological types, personality

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Phil 375 Assignment 2

Note: This was a work in rush, thereby not of good quality.

Ultimate philosophy — cope with suffering. – Do not worry, there will be a day when all people are dead and everything will be equally unimportant.

On knowledge. – All knowledge seekers are essentially information collectors, and vice versa.[1]

The power of music. – The power of music to emotional arousal is unparalleled: It is not merely that music has the most intensive effect on emotional arousal, but also that only music can easily change one’s mood into the desired one as one wishes.

Philosopher’s pity. – The pity of a philosopher is that he cannot debate with philosophers before his birth or listen to the critiques from philosophers after his death.

Loneliness. – If no live person can understand you, then turn to the dead!

Immortality. – If time is infinite and a man can be immortal, then for any of his past decisions and actions if he does not completely forget them, he is bound to regret them.[2] If he is a homo economicus, he should not believe in anything other than absolute truths unless he can guarantee that he will forget what he believes before regret. He will have a day when he starts to love what he used to resent most and resent what he used to love most. His memory will be infinitely thin such that it is almost unmeasurable, just as rational numbers sporadically spread on the number line. He will gradually forget who he is, unless he records everything that happens on him, until his forgetfulness surpasses his recording speed. He lives forever and dies ceaselessly. Essentially, he no longer owns his memory, and he is no longer a human being. If all this is the case, the heaven that the devout believers long for will become an existence that is infinitely more terrifying than the hell, and I would rather the universe be short-lived so that all nightmares will end in the inevitable destruction.[3]

An Immortal man. – An immortal man is destined to commit suicide.

Do not be worldly. -Being worldly, including, but not limited to,  focusing on or paying attention to politics, society, news, money, fame, and career, makes one stupid, unsettled, shortsighted and mediocre. Beware that it does not mean one will become noble if one does not do so, but what one should do instead is focusing on his internal spiritual world.[4]

Suspicious Amor fati. Amor fati is such a good and enchanting faith; it is just such a pity that I cannot see the logical reasoning behind it — why should I believe, why should I believe, why should I believe, and what if I just do not believe?

Complaint from a writer. – Writing philosophical works in one’s second language destroys one’s ability to elaborate his thoughts and convey the exact meaning, which is especially a disaster for someone who is very picky about word choices and must always differ the nuances between words before writing.

On thinking. – Recalling oneself’s thinking process is an annoying thing, for not only is it not as entertained and thrilled as thinking per se, but also that one has to worry about whether any inspiration is missed.

On beauty. – Everyone likes beauty. It is a pity, however, that instead of beauty, what most people pursue are beautiful things. I used to think that I was more foresightful than most people in that I did not pursue beautiful things but beauty itself. Nevertheless, I gradually found that the action of pursuing beauty per se is suspicious, and even beauty itself is also suspicious[5]. Hence after consideration I decided to no longer pursue beauty.

On misfortune. – Life is filled with misfortune, while there are always some misfortunate people who like being mean to those who are more misfortunate.

Knowledge and gold. – From knowledge seekers’ perspective, knowledge is like gold. Just as some people can find happiness without using gold, but only by occupying gold, some others can feel content without using knowledge, but only by having knowledge.

The farsighted and the shortsighted I. – The farsighted tend to be pessimistic, while the shortsighted tend to be misfortunate, for the former are able to see all the possible hardship in the future and realize their incompetence, while the later tend to make shortsighted decisions which bring them misfortune.

The farsighted and the shortsighted II. – The farsighted tend to be fortunate, while the shortsighted tend to be happy — they are all adorable.

Final thoughts. -Very soon, the day will come, when all of us will be dead, with our skeletons buried under earth and scary skulls never unmoved as if being lost forever in thoughts. The grades of this course will no longer matter, and what I have written here will be lost to the world. Nobody will know we ever existed; not even in the most humble way can someone tell our stories, the great debates that took placed in class, the small talks I had with classmates…… Very soon, the day will come, when human beings will extinguish, and there, in the whole universe, will not even have a tiny trace that can show there was an intelligence called human that has flourished somewhere in the cosmos, along with their grand stories……


[1] I am too lazy to lay out a detailed and well-defended argument, but let me give a concise one. For knowledge seekers (or we can define knowledge seekers as the followings, if you disagree), their sole ultimate mission is having all knowledge about this world, including both priori and posterior knowledge, which is essentially a sort of information (or at least, belongs to information). When time is limited, instead of trying to get all knowledge about the world, he should try to gain knowledge as much and as quick as possible before his death (deducted from the definition of knowledge seekers). Since some knowledge are more informative (i.e., the knowledge from which you can deduct new knowledge) than the others, for a rational knowledge seeker, he should try to gain those knowledge (instead of the others) if possible, since gaining as much knowledge as possible before his death is his mission. When the most valuable knowledge is gain, he should turn to the second most valuable knowledge, which by the definition, is less informative, i.e., contains less information. When the second most valuable knowledge is gained, he should turn to the third…… The process keeps going, which from the information collection’s perspective, is a process of collecting the biggest part of information out of all information at the first stage, followed by the second biggest one at the second stage…… Here, an isomorphic relation is built between knowledge and information, as they both goes from the “most” stage monotonically to the “least” stage. Finally, to obtain all knowledge about this world, the knowledge seeker must collect all information about this world, regardless of how trivial it might sound, for as long as there is some information can be collected but remains unknown, the knowledge seeker has not yet finished his mission, since he has not known about that part (i.e., the missing information) about the world.

The same argument can also be applied to the reversed direction: All information collectors are essentially knowledge seekers. (Hints: To collect as much information as possible before an information collector’s death, he must become a knowledge seeker and start with the most valuable knowledge if possible, since the most valuable knowledge contains most information.

[2] If he “revises”, “corrects” or “improves” his past decisions or actions, it means he regrets what he has done in the past — no matter how light his regret is.

[3] Memory belongs to information. Within a limited space, the information can be stored is limited, otherwise the materials storing the information will collapse to a blackhole and thereby lose all information. For a being to be smart enough at least at human’s level, the materials constructing it must have some not small mass density, which limits the space the being can occupy, otherwise the being will also collapse to a blackhole. Hence, both the space that a being occupies and the information that can be store in that space is limited, which results in the memory a being can have is limited.

[4] Yes, even people like Confucius, Alexander, Shakespeare, Ben Franklin, Gandhi,…, are stupid, unsettled, shortsighted and mediocre to some extent by my standard as discussed in the aphorism — it is not necessarily a shame. Or for a better word if you want, they are not wise, settled, foresightful, and good enough.

[5] We need to assume beauty is a subjective feeling/assessment rather than an objective existence, which is too big a topic to discuss or prove here (though I can prove it) — let’s just assume it as true for now. Since beauty is a subjective feelings/assessment, it totally depends on the aesthete’s aesthetic system. This means beauty is changeable over space and time — the beauty you “obtain” now is not necessarily still beauty in the future, and if time is long enough, it must be not, since given infinite amount of time anything possible to happen will happen by math. If the beauty your pursue is no longer beauty in the future, your effort is wasted during the process — or in a more precise word, your effort has a low return. Hence I no longer pursue beauty, a short-lived illusionary thing.