From concepts to Kierkegaard: a reply

A reply to preliminary-comments-on-the-existence-of-concepts

First, a delineation. The idea that philosophy must be about finding or asserting what is more true of a situation is but one manner of philosophy

So the issue, really, for the existence of concepts, in answering the question of their existence, one should first address: what is being attempted in answering the question? What is Being done? 

“… but one manner of philosophy.” Agreed. One manner.

Before we attempt to do any sort of philosophy. We should notice what is occurring, and come to terms with it somehow. Like Kierkegaard says, philosophy generally likes to start in the middle and then say a bunch of things about beginnings. I feel that a more significant issue for philosophy has to do with beginning at the beginning. 

“… Kierkegaard …” Another manner … leading to God, leap of faith, Existentialism.

“… beginning at the beginning …” I am happy with the beginning. But what I find at the beginning is not God. That is an assumption, a leap of faith. Even if you are not suggesting that, Kieregaard is. Let me clear on that.

Now, to say that none of us can actually start at the beginning, is to assert that there is only a middle. And not only that, but that everyone must adhere to the middle-ness.

As I said, I am happy with the beginning and I will say I happy with the end. The entirety of the reality is things, space and time. While there is a middle, I do not adhere to the middle-ness steadfastly. But neither do I go beyond reality.

It is a definition that goes into what is philosophically given, and then asserted on to every other category that begins with the term “human”. While real, I do not see such faux beginnings as addressing what is actually true of reality. 

Yes, what is given with a little ‘g’. Another manner is defining it by what is Given with a big ‘G’, to which I do not agree. Again, addressing Kierkegaard.


There is no arguing against that approach, though, And I call that approach, I call that method, I call that implicit assumption that supports method,conventional.

And I will call all approaches convictional. I am not trying to be clever. The point is that no position is value-free.

[…] Now, identifying that particular method as conventional is not implicating an insult or that something is wrong with it. It is merely identifying it. It could be a concept, it could be an idea, it could be a subjective opinion, it could arise in relativity, it could do and be represented in an infinite number ofmanners.

I do not take offence. And neither is saying convictional meant to be offensive. We all have positions. I am going to be transparent about mine.

It is to this kind of truth that I am involved with when I do philosophy. The recognizing of the reality of things, of what is occurring by the involvement with the universe. 

” … truth …” We must define that term. For me, truth is a concept of reason not of reality. Things are not “true” or “false”. Things (are, period). (Just) things.

For example: when I walk up to a computer, I first have to turn it on. And then usually I would have to login to my account. There is no feasible amount of argument about whether or not that occurs. It is a particular method or it identifies a particular method of how to get onto the computer. Sure, we could call it any number of things. We could use a whole variety of different languages and words and gestures to indicate the same thing. I first have to turn it on, though. The computer then has to come on. Then I have to log into my account. Etc. It doesn’t matter what we call that operation. It doesn’t matter, so far as I’m trying to do some thing, to have some thing Being done. What series of events I call into it has no has no barring: it doesn’t matter whether the computer is made up of invisible molecules or if it’s made up of pure consciousness that arises inside of my mind somehow. Ultimately I have to do those exact procedures. And if you were at work and someone said to log into the computer, and then you spent the next three hours discussing with them about the actual truth, the actual metaphysical truth of how these are only concepts or how Youre actually not doing anything here by logging onto the computer, that it’s a bunch of empty space, etc. You would be fired. 

Agreed. When I am hungry I eat. When I am tired I sleep.

Similarly, to take the approach that there really is no computer, or that logging in is a process having no real substance, is itself a method of coming upon real things. This is to say, that real things have no actual substance, so to speak. 

Denis Maurice wrote this of art: “Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.”

The illusion is that a painting is a scene of battle horses, nudes, Anecdotes (capital ‘A’ deliberate) or whatever. Ultimately, we are working with things, and the processes and qualities of things.

So, It is with this kind of truth that I am involved with when I undertake philosophy. I am not being involved with discovering what is an underlying true about the situation, because I already know what is absolutely true about it: I have to go to the computer And turn it on and logon to my account etc. and that there is another kind of method which would argue that the computer and the act are different things, themselves having, again, no real substance. 

“… I already know what is absolutely true about it. …” Is it that you know or Know. Again, I am not being clever, rude, or obstinate. But rather are you doing a leap of faith without Knowing it, or is it Kierkegaard?

I’m not sure why this situation wouldn’t be true. That is, unless I demand that everyone must adhere to one method of doing things in philosophy, maybe. 

I am not demanding anything. I am giving one manner. You are giving another manner.

So I’m involved with wondering what value it holds for me to have a philosophy that argues that everything is concepts, and that there are no true objects, that there are existing things and then there are not existing things that there are processes, that there are abstractions… i’m not sure why that has anything to do with me going into the computer and turning it on and logging on — and yet, somehow it does. It doesn’t mean there is no value in it— surely, there is value in asserting that everything has relative substance. But I merely ask into what that value is, and attempt to shed might on why that might be the case. 

I didn’t say no value. But I am saying there is no absolute Value. And also in the reality everything has equal value. It is in this being that things have different values. This is not a choice but a process and quality of this being.

So back to the question of whether a concept exists. I am not sure when I come and I use a concept whether or not it exists only in language and that really this language has nothing to do with any actual objects out in the universe. Such philosophy seems to me only useful to idealists and people that don’t want to admit that they are involved with a true reality of things. They would rather set in their own ideas of philosophical fantasy, and avoid the truth that is right in front of them.

Interesting that you are mis-taking my position for an idealist one (or at least suggesting that this is an idealist one). I am thoroughly a materialist and a modern realist (not a scholastic realist). These are my convictions.