18 Aug 2006


Philosophy's full of them - Platonism, pragmatism etc etc. I could never be bothered to work out which was which and how they all linked and differed. I suppose it can be quite useful to have a name for a general way of thinking as a shorthand, and to avoid having to deal with repetitious arguments... 'Oh thats just another version of ...ism, how boring.' They do rather tend to take over one's mind and become the whole of philosophy, and I have decided to call this Ismism in order to save time and desparage it more conveniently. Classic examples of Ismism will not be gratefully recieved at this site.

It goes for politics and religion even more so, and I have been struck of late by how some people you can very easily talk to and some you can't. I'm fascinated by the possibility of communication - it seems a rare and wonderful thing that requires minds that are open to something new. So I am always going to be more interested in philosophies that are incomplete and provisional; once they have hardened into systems, with axioms laid out on tablets of stone, I start to find that there is nothing to do or say, except to accept or reject. People who have adopted this sort of system will tend to discount anthing which does not conform to the axioms as 'nonsense'. All they will do is show you, with more or less patience and condescension, where you have 'gone wrong'. In other words, they are impossible to talk to as they inhabit a different conceptual world. I quite like to try to liberate people from the confines of their certainty, but mostly it proves fruitless, and one learns to conserve one's energy and avoid the most obvious hardliners. One way to spot them early is by the tendency not to even attempt to understand what one is trying to say, but merely to pick up on some key word, God, freedom, identity, or some such, and rush in to tell you what it 'really means' (I'm looking at you, John).

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