One awkward thing about me is that temperamentally I'm super skeptical about 'reading great thinkers' or 'going back to the source,' but ended up believing that Baumgarten, Kant, and Shelley are the actual best things to read about 'poetic thinking'
I don't think it's impossible to come up with a sober theory of why 'great books' can be a real thing in philosophy. It won't be quite as sober as the error-theory that it's just easy to project your own favorite thoughts on an unclear old book, but still a pretty sober theory
My thought is that philosophy is maybe-by-definition the field of informally systematic inquiry. The basic philosophical unit is the informal system, not the idea or the argument
Informal systems, it turns out, are not just hard to paraphrase as formal systems but hard to paraphrase at all. But the systems of famous philosophers inevitably //do// get paraphrased, and many more work from these paraphrases than from the original, and the discourse degrades
You don't even have to think that 'great philosophers' are //great// to get this theory working! Maybe lots of people could build an informal system in the same genre as Kant's that's just as good, but once Kant did no one is going to put in same effort from scratch
So if you think there's something to be gained from that sort of informal system, you can read Kant (with commentaries) or read a degraded VHS tape of Kant, or I guess build your own from scratch
The most galaxy-brain example is that the resurgence of interest in logical positivism came from close readings of Carnap that stress the informal social/existential system of thought holding everything together
I think this was a great thread but reception has been chilly
Is it because of the weird spacing, it's my old bad phone I can't help it
Def going to have nightmares about those spaces
And the missing 'the' in 'put same effort.' Just a bloodbath

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Peli Grietzer

Peli Grietzer Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @peligrietzer

8 Apr
Is Aristotle's Poetics just much worse than other major works of Greek philosophy? I had to do an intense course on it in undergrad and it made me determined to never read Ancient Greek philosophy
The course was excellent and I did //very// well, but Poetics is just neither deep nor elegant. There are some very cool and useful thoughts in it, but they are simple thoughts that don't benefit from close reading and don't form an interesting system
It's very readable, it's just not so good! Spending three months collectively pretending that this perfectly nice slightly confused text is profound and systematic put me in permanent 'is this your king' mode
Read 6 tweets
7 Apr
Listen, I'm gonna make one more analytic philosophy thread but don't unfollow I am promising it's the last one this month
Ok, so: people make fun of contemporary analytic for 'appeals to intuition,' but how can the mere politeness of saying 'intuitively' when you'd otherwise just make a bare assertion ruin an argument?
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
In theory you can generate an infinite amounts of edge by cyclically adding and removing 'The' from the name of a superhero film
Can we use this to solve the energy crisis? I'm no physicist, but yes
I deleted and reposted OP 8 times to correct a typo, but the typo is still with us
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
I love how characters in Frankenstein (1818) blow each other's minds with 'Western science is historically a spinoff of alchemy and Cabala' takes, just like we do today
A totally correct genre of takes that somehow kept its galaxy-brain oomph for centuries
I'd actually love to know if Shelley adapted that stuff from a known source or was an early contributor to that discourse or what
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb
I think that people like Scott Alexander come to scientific racism through faith that the rise of the nerds untwists a twisted world. Faced with the observation that the rise of the nerds isn't lessening racial disparities, they conclude that racial disparities aren't twisted
If there were data that Black people do much better in tech startups than in trad elite careers, people like Alexander would instead be all 'nerd culture overcomes the oppressive racial hierarchies of the normies that kept Black people down for hundreds of years'
Slate Star Codex is a single-issue ideology, and that issue is 'nerds good'
Read 8 tweets
20 Feb
If you aspire to do or embody something rare, and you're really hardcore about it, it's hard not to fall into a sense that most lives aren't worth living
There are at least two things here, maybe
One is that if you think about lives in a way that's like 'a life is good to the degree that it's a thread that makes the tapestry of human lives more good,' then you can reconcile a lot of contradictions in that neighborhood
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!