I’ve been thinking once again about systems of thought. One of the things that I have always appreciated about animals like the systematic theologian is that they generally acknowledge that their system is founded on some basic assumptions. Most of the time, the basic assumptions are things that can’t be “proven”. Historically, every time the architectural firm of Whitehead and Russell attempt to erect the perfect system, the demolition team from Gödel is there to knock it down. Lately, I’ve pondered the idea of people who are concerned about global warming saying we shouldn’t pollute the planet. That is a great concern of mine as well, but I have a specific religious basis for my thinking. Without that, I don’t really understand the basis of the argument. It’s like the old Love & Rockets song, “You can’t go against nature, because going against nature is nature too.” Without some grounding outside of ourselves, how do you make the argument that it is a “good” thing for humans to exist and continue as a species? In aesthetics, I see this manifesting itself in the tendency to approach epistemological problems by breaking things down into their constituent parts and labeling them. Once that is done, we “know” the art object. I’m not exactly sure how that is related to what is above. All this is to say, I’ve been reading and thinking about Buber again. I need to clarify some of these thoughts for myself, so comment away.
Labels: Buber, epistemology