November 22, 2021

In my recent writing (e.g. on “the West”) I have promised to return to several points. I’m creating this page to track some of those things. It’s just a list of stuff I’ll write about in the future. I can’t guarantee that it will all make sense yet, and I’ll update it as I go (most likely linking/crossing things off).

As a brief reflection, having written every day of November so far, I do find it hard to keep on top of the direction of the writing. It’s almost as if doing too much cognition prevents metacognition. I feel that it’s hard to keep going at speed and also navigate, so my apologies if I’m not always making sense.

Anyway, here’s the current state of things…

Things I said I’d return to

  • 2021-11-08 The Myth of the West IV:
    1. I said I’d write about Chinese philosophy (A. C. Graham) 2021-11-23 Sinitic Syncretism
    2. I said I’d write about Indian philosophy:
  • 2021-11-12 How the West Was Spun More on the imperative to rewrite (personal) history to make everything seem inevitable
  • 2021-11-17 Homogenizing Purges: I said I’d write about the evolution of saber-tooth cats.
  • 2021-11-20 On Perfection:
    1. Look at Nietzsche’s distinction between “good and bad” and “good and evil”
    2. Look at Schopenhauer on perfection Perfection: A real nuisance
    3. I mentioned that Spinoza’s notion of perfection is related to Vision and Abstraction and to untethering in the world; I need to read them side-by-side and think how.
    4. Further discuss Spinoza’s dependence on intersubjectivity of author/beholder relationship and “theory of mind.”
    5. Continue the anti-teleology (Epicurus, Darwin, Kuhn, but also Schopenhauer’s take on Lucretius, Francis Bacon, Spinoza)
  • 2021-11-21 More Perfection: I said I’d write about several things:
    1. Kuhn on Darwin’s removal of teleology.
    2. Darwin’s use of the word “perfection.”
  • 2021-11-25 Indian Philosophy I said I’d discuss how Greek philosophical schools guarded their secrets
  • 2021-11-26 The Aphoristic Form
    • Connection between the theological and the scientific
    • Write about ungulates and domestication
  • 2021-11-27 Callisthenes
    • A. C. Graham on Chinese excitement about rational debate
    • Nietzsche on Socrates

Where I’d like to go

  • Kuhn on Renaissance painting as a science (“When Art Was Science”)
  • When science was philosophy (demarcation problem)
  • Ratcheting effects in hypothesis, Zettelkasten, nature
  • Double mistakes (perfection in Spinoza, Schopenhauer)
  • Against Kant
    • Against time as precondition for experience
    • The time before time
    • Time as a hack on space
    • Einstein’s issue with a priori
    • Problem with science depending on the structure of the intuition
  • Mnemonics
    • Narratives as mnemonics
    • When is the first narrative?
  • Prehistoric promiscuity
  • Uniformitarianism/catastrophism moves from geology to biology (Darwin as geologist)
  • Killing the alpha?
  • Sous-chefing the alpha
  • Revolutions
  • Writing kills the animistic gods
  • Domestication and culture are both copied from animals, hence animism
  • Symbolic animal, webs of significance
  • Duhem/Quine: underdetermination of scientific theories
  • Croesus, purity of coinage leads to war… Purity leads to thoroughbreds, which leads to the concept of race?
  • Where does civilization actually start? Philosophy? Stable states?
  • Golden age of barbarians…
  • Jaynes, Mcghilchrist, and the function of art/literature to in part defamaliarize words and metaphors.
  • The artist and Buddha as cultural therapists, providing defamiliarization practices the improve the likelihood of civilizations identifying and amplifying their degenerates.
  • Dependent arising, Darwin’s “disuse,” Hebbian theory
  • History of cynicism, skepticism, Pyrrhonism, how it relates to pragmatism
  • Pragmatist views of truth (Peirce vs James vs Dewey)

Bryan Kam

I'm Bryan Kam. I'm thinking about complexity and selfhood. Please sign up to my newsletter, follow me on Mastodon, or see more here.