Is anything illogical called madness?

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Indeed it is, mainly in the West but not everywhere. The concept of illogical as the opposite of madness comes from the long philosophical tradition which culprit was in the 18th century, the century of Enlightment and Reason. Then, illogical means irrational, emotional, intuitive, imaginative and any other state of mind or idea that didn’t fill the logical criteria.

However, life is not logical.

If one has to apply logic in their day to day life, it would appear this way: wake up, work, eat, sleep, wake up, work, eat, sleep etc. again and again in the same repetitive actions for the next decades. Taken to this level, life in itself is put aside.

The most beautiful moments happens outside of logic, in moments of foolishness and carelessness. If love has to be seen through the eyes of logic, it would become the most idiotic human experience. Call it madness, love is the most beautiful !

To call madness anything illogical is to step out of life because there is a dimension (if not dimensions endlessly stretched out) beyond logic.

What is a strong will?

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We hear a lot these words. Commonly known as mental strength, a strong will is acting with intentions towards a goal by overpassing inner and outer limits.

Most of the time, inner limits are the real limits whose determination distinguishes a “strong” will from a “weak” one (only if the word “weak” can be an adjective of the will). In other words, it takes decision, discipline and consistency to have a strong will.

But is it really all the work of a free will? Or is it the action of a certain type of will? Maybe is it something deeper?

Perhaps, a “weak” will is a choice of a free will to be irresponsible.

The 2nd wave of the lockdown

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Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.

The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom.  According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:

 “Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens.  Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.

How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?

The full study is on link below:

Is intelligence a moral value?

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As always, philosophy is the science of definitions. A philosophical writing, long or short, must include definitions of main concepts so analysis can be possible.

Intelligence is the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new situations. It is the synonymous of reason and logic. Intelligence is also applied to animals, plants, and technological objects (think of smart phone for example).

For a long tradition inherited from Christian catechism, intelligence is referred to as a moral value: an intelligent person is an ethical person; a bad person is not intelligent but clever and cunning. Which leads us to the following question: so a bad person, for a example a criminal, can never be qualified as intelligent no matter how intelligent they can be?

In order to promote ethics, moral values and Good (which is not a bad thing), religions made of intelligence a moral value. However, in its definition, intelligence is cleverness, smartness and cunningness since it is the ability to deal with a situation.

Intelligence is only an intellectual capacity, hopefully to be used for the good of humanity.

2020 the Halloween year

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Worldwide, everyone is wearing a mask; even the Venetian carnival couldn’t imagine it. The eyes without a face syndrome had become synonymous to citizenship. By uncovering the failure of the world medical system, facing a pandemic is a confusion between a patronizing totalitarianism and medical emergency.

Until now, the origin of the pandemic is still unknown. However, what is clear now, it the fault of capitalism in its current form, at least for the last 10 years. When absolutely everything is salable, including people’s health and freedom, then Covid19 did us a great favour in spite of its ugliness. The virus demystified what we thought was the ultimate success. The “phantom of the opera” in its 2020 version.

2020 is the Halloween year: the US presidential elections anyone? The uprise of racism and fanaticism? Decapitation of a history teacher down the street? Corruption? Climate change and pollution?

Wearing masks helped unmasking the perverted political systems.

The hypocrisy of the “politically correct”

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As much as provocation is less needed nowadays due to sensitive issues, the politically correct attitude is nevertheless as harmful. When a cat for example can’t be called a cat but “a furry four-legged domestic feline” then there is a problem.

The problem is that the purpose of discourse or art is deviated from its original objectives: expression, communication, truth. We are then left with sugar coated words and art that is lifeless.

Music can tell readdress the dilemma here. Let’s go back musically to not farfetched decades: the 80s and the 90s. Artists back then promoted all types of passions: love was a lot of love, anger was brutal, and sadness was depressive; joy was more than joyful and darkness was terrifying. Along this musical, poetic and visual process, all those passions (especially dark ones) went through sublimation. In Freudian terms, sublimation is a defense mechanism that reduces anxiety through the transformation of aggressive impulses into artistic, intellectual and spiritual activities.  

Look at music now. Apart from happy few artists, music has become politically correct. Is it the result of our anxious world or did it help in provoking anxiety and violence?

The writer’s block exists

The idea behind this title is not the block as a block, since one can write whatever comes to their mind. However, the writer’s block exists in terms of creativity and ideas flow.

In philosophy writing, a block can be undone by starting with definition and analysis of the main concept (or concepts). It ensures a depth of the writing without passing by some ramblings found here and there to add more lines/pages. Added to this, and it is the most important part of a philosophical writing ( whether it is an essay or a dissertation or even an explanation of a text) is the questioning part. That’s the real philosophical exercise; otherwise it will be just a presentation.

Then, one can get inspired from other writers or philosophers in case of a philosophical essay. Perhaps quoting some of their paragraphs or even comparing them to other thinkers/philosophers/writers (all depends on the content to be delivered). Not to forget to keep the questioning going.

In conclusion a writer’s block exists in terms of depth and analysis.

The philosophy of the doormat

It is peculiar to put the words philosophy and doormat in one sentence. But the truth of a doormat goes deeper to what meets the eye.

A doormat is a mat placed in a doorway, on which people can wipe their shoes on entering a building. They wipe their shoes from dust, mud and bacteria or viruses brought back from the outside. A doormat is then a cleaning mat; that’s the superficial way to understand what it is. However, a doormat is way beyond its wiping function.

A doormat is the separation between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. At the start, the public meant nature where people used to work or spend their days. If we praise nature now, it was not the case longtime ago. Back then and still to this day, nature was synonymous to dirt, dust and dangerous creatures. Residents in houses with gardens know exactly that definition, a doormat in every doorway, daily swiping the floor from sand and dead leaves, tracking insects and spraying pesticides. The same goes for all the daily hygiene because the idea of nature is dirt. Deodorant smells better than natural body odor.

Humans built culture as opposed to nature. They built a world that stands between nature and them, a world that is a mirror to humans. A doormat separates culture from nature.

Breaking traditions and breaking free

Traditions, what are they for?

Traditions are an endless repetition of an event, a behaviour, an action or just a way of being based on a cultural idea brought to light by society over generations. Repeating is cementing an identity, a cultural heritage and an ideology. Christmas tree, white wedding dress, Sunday family lunch for example and much more are Christian traditions and collective consciousness (to pick this concept from Marx0 perpetuated even by non Christians. It does tell then how religions in general shaped up and influenced our daily life until this present day.

Are traditions bad? Some are and some aren’t. However what is bad about traditions in general is limiting individual freedom. Identity goes deeper and wider than its social characteristics (nationality, race, religion etc.) and it is linked to individual freedom. Not only a background defines a person but this person does, what lessons they learned from their experiences, what they have been through and so on. Therefore, identity and freedom are beyond traditions and repetitions. They are endlessly evolving.

This is why, breaking free and “becoming who you are” to rephrase Nietzsche is to break free from traditions or at least to make the latter work for you and not the other way around.

What are we discussing?

It is commonly known that philosophy is about discussions and debates. However this common idea is not totally accurate; some philosophers might say it is totally wrong. Therefore, what is the source of this misconception?

Discussions and debates have always been present with opinions; to be more precise, when democracy was invented. We discuss opinions and this goes alongside the freedom of speech. Regardless of this much needed sense of freedom, philosophy is not a gallery of opinions.

“Opinion”, from the Greek doxa, is a subjective and sometimes emotional point of view. An opinion is never based on any rational analysis not on a scientific proof, in spite of the sharpness and the truthfulness of some opinions. This is the reason why we argue about opinions because the latter has no rational foundation.

Philosophy treats with concepts. A concept is an abstract idea that synthesizes many relevant empirical and concrete representations. For example: the concept of freedom is the collection of many ideas about freedom: freedom of speech, the belief that freedom is to do whatever one wants to do, for some people a natural scenery like watching the sea or walking in nature is representative of freedom etc. All of these are implicitly contained in the concept of freedom. Therefore, discussing freedom is about what each one believes freedom is; it means discussions goes to opinions and representations.

Philosophy is concept crafting. When philosophers criticize one another, it is through long analysis and essays. Philosophy is not a talk show.