System of Premissive Philosophy

Table of Contents


System of Premissive Philosophy in General Outline


¶1. One can conceive of truth severally. At its most basic, truth can be conceived of as absolutely primitive, or the universal “that” toward which all statements are oriented and around which all circulate. This is the objective conception. Hereafter, all theories of truth introduce a human or subjective element. Here, such theories make their understanding of “truth” more complex through the blurring of the boundary between statement and he who states. Indeed, if a statement must always be made, so a Hegelian might claim, it will be made in and through the dialectics of reason. Indeed, if it must be made in, so a Pragmatist might claim, the practices of the discourse community in which it operates will tincture the statement. A logical positivist will claim such tincturing is bounded by semantic rules, a nihilist about the truth will claim there is no such pre-existent thing to which statements refer.

¶2. About all thoughts circulates the idea that “truth” is an ens realissimum, a most real thing, behind which all else follows. This premise, one might say, is the basic justificatory ground for all philosophy as hitherto conceived, except, perhaps, some iterations of Pragmatism and Marxism. Yet, I can only make this statement through an interrogation of the premise itself, through a dialysis of that within which it operates so as to arrive at that premise. Hereby, if I am speaking against that which understands itself to be aiming at truth, either (1) I myself aim at this as well or (2) I do not. If I do, I am a hypocrite (some might say). If I do not, then my writing is worth no one’s time. The failure of this reasoning lies in (1), particularity in its equivocation of the term “aim.” For, I do not “aim” at anything.

¶3. What hitherto existing philosophy has sublimated unconsciously I raise first and foremost to the highest possible level of self-consciousness, namely, the fetish-character of truth-seeking. Nietzsche too sought to raise this to self-consciousness in his critique of “Socratism.” Nietzsche, however, failed to elucidate the persistence of this fetish-character through the ages. His Ressentiment is neither a stand-in nor alternative for this character. Indeed, it is somewhat coterminous with it, though not entirely so. Nietzsche hereby failed to make this character self-conscious. Instead, he left it within the weeds of history and failed to bring it to the fore as a force in contemporary life.

¶4. I, however, am after the explicit enumeration of this premise. To this end, I follow a suspicious-premissive method, whose contents are built upon 4 sources: Western Logic, German Idealism, Dialectico-Historical Materialism, and Pragmatism. From Western Logic (vis-a-vis Aristotle and Frege) I appropriate the method of logical dialysis and analysis according to 3 premises: (1) All thought is premissive. (2) All premises are either copulative or functional (3) All copulations and functions can be coordinated. From German Idealism, I take it that the coordination of propositions is Reason, and that Reason is nothing other than the logico-semantic coincidence of terms across propositions. From Dialectico-Historical Materialism I import materialist speculation as a philosophical method whereby holistic coherence can be adduced from the work of Reason. That is, if several premises can be given as a chain with conclusions, then those facts dependent on the conclusions are likewise dependent on the Reason which achieved it. The critique of facts is thereby reducible to the critique of conclusions, itself reducible to the critique of Reason itself. This comprehends the speculative aspect of materialist speculation. Materialistically, I import the fact that the critique of Reason is a consequentialist critique, whereby the final premise against which all other premises must be judged is the outcome of Reason for material having. From Pragmatism I import the fact that such material having is a matter of praxis at whatever level Reason can be observed: individually, class-wise, and so forth. We can summarize these premises thus:

  1. All thought is premissive.
  2. All premises are either copulative or functional.
  3. All copulations can be coordinated coincidentally as Reason.
  4. Reason speculates when it induces progressively integrated conclusions from premises which it has analyzed out of its experiences.
  5. Reason is materialistic when its speculative wholes concern the consequences of itself for “having.”
  6. Reason is pragmatic when its speculative consequences for having are judged through their practical enaction.

¶5. Hereby I sketch a system in 6 parts for the complete critique of all hitherto existing acts of mind, construed by the scholastics as Apprehension, Judgment, and Reason [@kreeftSocraticLogicLogic2010] (premises 1-3). The System of Premissive Philosophy is critical insofar as it is speculative, materialistic, and pragmatic (premises 4-6). As Hegel said, therefore, my philosophy attempts to recollect its time in thoughts. As Dewey said, this is nothing other than the critique of culture which, for Dewey, is collective practice. For him, as for Wittgenstein, this is collective intelligence, or collective mind. My system of premissive philosophy is thus the self-conscious critique of cultural practice as a hylonoetc (material-mental) totality - it is the critique of practices and judgments, of actions and speeches, of deeds and words. It is the critique of human self-consciousness as thus far conceived, in an attempt, through iron adherence to the premissive-speculative method, to point directly to all noetic conditions of action (all first premises for practical syllogisms), and thereby to disinter them from their unconscious enaction and group agglomeration.

¶6. The most acute reader will realize that my method is circular: I stipulate the premissive method on first premises. Against this observation I offer several rebuttals. First: as Aristotle has said, all thought must stop somewhere, or it is no thought at all [@aristotleBasicWorksAristotle2001, Metaphysics]. For the acute reader to make good on his criticism, he must somehow argue without beginning. But, if he begins, then he has admitted a first premise. And, admitting a first premise, he cannot argue against it lest he contradict himself. “But all first premises can be analyzed into prior premises.” Certainly, until some first premise is arrived at. “But contradictions in first premises exist.” This is true, and it is based on such contradictory first premises that different schools of thought exist. Platonists premise first the reality of the Forms. Positivists premise first the reality of facts. Analytics premise first the iron givenness of Fregean-Russellian-Kripkean logical semantics. No matter where one turns, a first premise will show itself. My argument here is dialectically speculative: it already begins to employ my method. Hereat we see fecundity of my method: it arises organically out of thought thinking on itself. It is neither induction nor deduction, but abduction, following Peirce: inducing a cause out of effects a priori. It is, then, a middle term between induction and deduction, but this gets me astray.

¶7. My point, acute readers, is this: wherever you turn, my method will be unavoidable. It is hereat that I justify it, perhaps circularly, on itself. For, indeed, the use of distinct premises as acts of judgment concatenated into an iron coincidence reasonably is nothing other than inference, that universal faculty with which all of us are familiar. One can never, through inferential procedures, stipulate anything other than an interpretation of things, for he is working within premises which may themselves be challenged. Hereat, acute reader, you are justified, but you offer nothing more than a critique of all hitherto-existing thought, including your own: you begin somewhere and end somewhere else. I begin with the idea of the premise, and I do so with the premise of that idea. You? Where do you begin? If not with the premise, then what? Perhaps the act of apprehension, but here you have nothing you can tell me. Indeed, the premise is the first real act of mind which can mean anything at all, as even the ejaculative “Help!” is judgmental. Hereby I say: mine is only one method, one possible application of Reason. Unlike all other methods, mine alone takes itself from its first premises as necessarily concerned with the creation of consequences for human life. What other method, scientific or humanitarian, can say the same?

¶8. Enough, then, of your wind chimes! Either you will follow me in building the future through the critique of the past, or you will not. If you do not, then begone! Your insatiable appetites are fit only for the icy pit of despair which gripped Iscariot between its teeth and gnashed him to pieces[@alighieriInferno1982]. For this is all your critique amounts to: a gnashing to pieces, a killing of what wants to live, a sundering of what attempts coherence. Look elsewhere for fodder, you cows!

¶9. The end goal of my system is the universal critique of cultural practices, or unconscious operations of human behavior. Ab ovo, the most pressing outcome of this critique is that of the sublimation of reason into mass cultural practices, particularly that of monetary exchange. Here reason is sublimated into financial calculations for mass human motivation. My system, not unlike Marx’s critique, posits itself as the self-conscious critique of this hylonoetic praxis. But, whereas Marx approached his critique diachronically and conflict-wise, I approach mine synchrono-diachronically (as a history of the present) and premise-wise. For, Marx enacted his premises in and through his conflict theory. Here, he unconsciously posited the 3 acts of mind primitively and took them (and their so-called “culmination” in Hegel) as ready-made. I, on the other-hand, do no such thing, and first make the possibility of the 3 acts of mind actual from their most primitive basis, the premise itself, and thereafter proceed to abduce out of the premise its a priori consequences. Hereby I leave everything open to criticism and allow opposing camps: no answer stands alone above all else, nothing follows as absolutely “true.”

¶10. Hereby, I generate a grammar of the self-reconstitution of the so-called true, much as Hegel did of the Absolute, Marx did of class struggle, Dewey did of experimental praxis, and Heidegger did of Dasein. But where each, perhaps with exception to Marx and Dewey, fetishized “truth,” I like Quine and Dewey allow for universal reconstruction, building my model of reason in and for its own deconstruction and eventual self-overcoming, much as Wittgenstein did in his Tractatus [@wittgensteinTractatusLogicoPhilosophicus]. Not only does my method, therefore, avow itself of freedom, it strips all contenders for slavish “truth” of their pretentions, reducing them finally to the only question that matters: what are the consequences of this thought for the enaction of myself as a moment of mankind? The answer to this question is no “truth,” but whatever men sought to mean whenever they hitherto used the term before the advent of my system. With my system, men need no longer wonder about “truth.” Instead, they need only live in a world of progressively richer, more practical, more joyous self-understanding. 1


Problem: The Finitude of Consciousness

¶11. Can any man retain all the world in his mind? It seems he cannot, or else his mind would be that world. Can he retain a portion? Perhaps, but what designates a portion? If I divide 1 into 2, I am left with .5. But, if I suppose that man A retains .5 and man B retains .5 and leave my supposition here, it may either be that A and B retain the same .5, two different .5’s, or overlapping .5’s. This is, of course, implicitly supposing that the 1 here divided is identical for A and B. Here, we have the basic problem of intersubjectivity coupled with the problem of division: If x is divided among A and B, how and where does division begin and end so that A and B’s pooled experience of x amounts to it in sum, regardless of A and B?

¶12. At the bottom of this problem is the problem posed first: can a man retain all the world in his mind? If we ask of a portion of the world, then we ask of some “all” of an object. A portion of a house is all of a room; a portion of a room is all of a piece of furniture, etc. Now, to speak more precisely, a portion of (e.g.) a house contains whole rooms, and so on. Hereby, the problem of knowing “all” of an object is identical across all objects, for if one speaks of knowing “all” of a thing, he always leaves open the potential for the containment of another, and so on ad infinitum. Aristotle posed this problem metaphysically in recapitulating Zeno’s paradox. I pose it epistemically.

¶13. Thus, the epistemic problem is double: knowing “all” of a thing is an infinite task, and all acts of knowing are equally infinitely possible across agents A, B, C, and so on. Now, the first is a “problem” because all consciousness is finite. If, I recap, consciousness was infinite, it would be that of which it was conscious. 2

¶14. Demonstrated more carefully: Let us consider a knower Q with the power of knowing k. This power can know all objects of the set O, written {a, b, c…z}, where a…z designates the sum set of all possibly knowable objects. This set is identical with the universe, whose infinity I assume a priori. (Therefore, O is an infinite set.) The statement “Q knows a” is written Qka. Now, if Q knows the universe, Q knows each object in set O. If Q knows a, Q also knows not-b, not-c, not-d, etc. etc., for there is no definition for “a” except in terms of all other objects within O. The same is true of b, c, and so forth. Thus, if Q knows O, Q knows all not-x within O, where x is an element of O. Within the infinite set O, is therefore, an infinite set of infinite sets. Thus, if Q knows O, Q knows infinitely - not merely an infinite set of discrete objects, but an infinitely set of objects continuous with each other through the “not” operator.

¶15. Can Q know O? If Q knows even one object “a” within O, Q thereby knows some x, and some not-x. But if Q knows any x, Q must know enough to thereby define any not-x, so that Q thereby could adduce all possible elements of O. Thus, all one need do to give Q infinitely continuous knowledge is give it knowledge of any element x. Can Q know such an element? For this to be so, every statement held true by Q must be so of every element in O. Now, any Q-statement must be of an element in O. But, by making this statement, Q adds a new element to O. Again, if Q knows x, Q knows every not-x of which it is defined. Thus, if Q makes a statement of some x, such statement is true thereof if and only if it can be decomposed into every not-x of which x is composed. But such decomposition is impossible, for every statement Q makes about x is its own element y, itself decomposable into every not-y of which it is composed. Thus, for y to truthfully be of x, its decomposable elements must be a subset of those of x. But this is impossible, because every new statement yₙ adduces a new element for the definition of x and y, so that the initial y could never amount to a subset of the initial x. This is so because, at time t₁, Q states y thereby adding 1 element to x. (I assume, here, that any knower Q proposes and knows in time.) But hereby at t₂, should Q decompose x and y, Q must either choose to decompose x at t₁ or x at t₂. If Q chooses x at t₁, Q knows x not as it is but as it was and, then, does not know x. For, the complete knowledge of x is indifferent to time, but plainly Q’s knowledge of x is not. (Complete or “universal” knowledge is indifferent to time because O’s infinity comprehends all elements across time, a fact I assume a priori.) Thus Q must decompose x at t₂, but in doing so he states z of both x and y, meaning he must now decompose x at t₃. Q can, thus, never decompose his initial object x without altering it; he can, therefore, never adduce his knowledge of it, as defined here. Q cannot even know himself, for the knowledge relation is always, as defined here, adding further requisites for its own completion.

¶16. Thus, “complete,” “universal” knowledge runs away from itself in time. Now, if some Q had such knowledge, it would be its own object. It is not the case, however, that if an object is self-identical, then it has perfect knowledge. For, I am self-identical and I do not know myself - nor did Plato, Socrates, or the Delphic Oracle. Yet, if I had such knowledge, I would certainly be my own object - for to know any object would be to know every object, and I am one such object. Therefore, to know any object is to be at least one’s self, since one is at least one of the things that he knows. Hereby, one must be everything he knows, since the relation of Q to itself via k cannot be different from the relation of Q to any other O-element x. And, since the Q-self relation is a relation of knowing which leads to being, so must every other Q-x relation be the same. Else, if a Q-x relation is not a relation of being, then some fact separates Q-self from Q-x, and Q must know this fact. Demonstrated more carefully: Q knows itself, that it is itself, and that it is not x. It knows, thereby, that it is not x. But all facts Q knows of itself are translateable into facts it knows about x; all facts, that is, except the fact of their being different. This fact alone demands an added “is” for Q, namely, its self-relation. But hereby Q cannot translate every fact of itself into x’s terms: self-relation must somehow subsist independently of Q’s being not-x since, if this translation were possible, Q would be x. But Q knows that it is not x. Thus Q both has complete knowledge (entailing universal translateability of facts) and a self-relative fact which cannot be translated. Thus, we must reject the non-translateability of the self-relative fact if Q is to have complete knowledge. Thus all complete knowers are their objects. Thus, only one complete knower exists, and it is God, who subsists outside of space and time as universal facticity. (Now, an alternative understanding is possible whereby a set of discrete non-translateable, non-negatable facts are possible. These are only admissible through a rewriting of the semantics of “not,” so that my self-relation (and, indeed, every self-relation) is primitively factical - it cannot be defined in terms of all other facts. I reject this explosive hyperpluralism, since it would mean that the unity of self-relation is left unexplained; it must be an ur-primitive fact which for some reason “is.” Here, finitude of knowing is more strongly a priori, however, since every object maintains a fact of its self-relation unknowable to any knower but the object itself. This is so because my self-relation is known to me in a way which it cannot be to you, for you are not me. For me, my self-relation is both knowledge and being. For you, it is knowledge alone. Your knowledge of my self-relation is thus not my knowledge of my self-relation, and vice versa. Hereby, all knowing is finitely interred in the bounds of the primitives of self-relationship unique to each knowing, self-relative entity.)

¶17. But, plainly, any other knower with which I am acquainted is not God. 3 Plainly, I have a self-relative fact which I cannot translate into any other term. Therefore, I am an incomplete knower. And, because completeness of knowing is infinite knowing, a incomplete, I am a non-infinite knower. Put more simply, I am a finite knower. Here, then, is the first problem of knowing: despite infinity being possible, it is nowhere in me actual. Left infinitely beneath its glory, I must settle with scraps of knowledge gathered here and there 4 . But, then, here is the second problem: so must everyone else.

¶18. The above proof has adduced a priori that any knower which, in the rigorous terms, is not its all of its objects is finite. In looser terms, any fact given in consciousness corroborates this proof. This is neither a priori nor a posteriori, but something between these. For, though my self-relation is a priori, its not-being a negation of my not-being another object is not a posteriori. Rather, this fact is impurely a priori; it contains a moment of empirical reality in itself. Thus, impurely a priori because I claim to know any x without the added fact of being that x, on my proof, I can only know that x finitely. Such are my scraps, and such are yours. “X” is forever outstripping me: one day it is hot, another cold; one day it is blue, another red; though I see from the east side it stand still, another from the west sees it move. No shortage of such empirical consequences of my proof exist! Indeed, my proof is so obvious that it is everywhere taken as fact: no man has the world in his head, nor has any even the complete truth of any object of which he speaks. All speakers are one-sided, each limited by their own necessary being as finite. Thus Kant says: “sapere aude!” dare to know, for you have nothing but your own Reason on which to rely [@kantAnswerQuestionWhat].

¶19. Now, from the a priori necessity of the finitude of human knowledge, it follows that any finite knower A will never have identical knowledge to finite knower B, unless A was B. Suppose A is not B. All that A knows depends on him, since as finite he cannot translate all his knowledge universally. That is, not being some of his objects of knowledge, he is limited to himself wherever he might translate them otherwise. In this self-limitation he is self-dependent, as he is the cause of that self-limitation, he is that on which that self-limitation depends. (E.g. where God knows all from every angle, A can only ever say: “I was here and not there. I did not see the room from the opposite side, for I was not able to be in two places at once.” God is everything: he is therefore everywhere). Now, the same is true of B. For any fact f which A and B both know, neither could know it identically, for some element of f’s decomposition would depend on A or B himself. And, because A is not B, this dependency would ultimately differ.

¶20. About any number of points whereat their experiences differed, A and B will be of different knowledges and different opinions. Thus, the problem of finite consciousness will flow into the problem of intersubjectivity with each sentence A speaks to B and each B speaks to A.

Solution: Epistemological Pragmatism

¶21. Only the Pragmatists have conceived of a premise whereby all finite knowing can be reconciled. Descartes enclosed us in rational solipsism, whereas Hume and Locke enclosed us in empirical solipsism. Kant attempted to break us out of this cage but, in doing so, he generated a doctrine of transcendental argumentation whose inner content understood itself uncritically and, therefore, became a dogma rather than a philosophy.

¶22. Peirce’s revision of Kant emphasized its practical character. Where Kant left practical maxims to the justification of morals, Peirce extended this to all empirical data. Hereat, Kant’s post-facto dogmatism (that is, the laborious undertaking of rationally believing in all the conclusions of his critique) was broken, so that even the very notion of the a priori could be questioned. At this juncture, Peirce demands that knowledge be justified not according to commensuration with objects (as Kant implies), after which the problem of finitude arises. Rather, knowledge can jettison the problem of finitude by rejecting commensuration (a correspondence theory of truth) and instead embracing enaction, or the practical consequences of maintaining a datum of knowledge as true. Hereat, where Kant uncritically explored epistemology and metaphysics from the standpoint of God in his view from nowhere, Peirce brings all human limits and presuppositions into knowing, so that completion is never a demand. Incompleteness of knowledge, says Peirce, is not a deficit, but a feature of human knowing in general. [@peirceQuestionsConcerningCertain1868]

¶23. If, following the pragmatic maxim, the truth of a concept is its consequences in and for action [@jamesPragmaticMethod1904], then the problem of finitude and intersubjectivity are both dissolved in a foul swoop. Finitude is nothing other than a malformed statement of the conditions for all knowledge. (An upshot of which is, then, that “God,” whatever is designated by that term, is not a knower in the sense you and I are.) Indeed, the facticity of complete knowledge becomes an issue with which one need not even be concerned: to assert a hard-fast knower-known relation is impossible. One can thus remain quietist about “knowledge.” Instead, bracketing this question, one is enabled to experiment, to make truth-claims consequentially, so that finitude is, for the truth-claimant, no problem at all. Truth-claims are thus not knowledge-claims; they are claims to consequences. Knowledge, hereby, becomes belief: belief in pragmatic consequences [@deweyQuestCertaintyStudy1929]. Whatever practically emerges from claimance is the whole truth of the claim; any factuality divorced from practical consequences is no truth whatsoever. Thus, billions of facts without practical import can be conceived: their factuality is, for us finite knowers, irrelevant.

¶24. All questions of completeness are thus replaced with questions of practical consequence through experimentation, thereby replacing the problem of intersubjectivity with the more acutely specified problem of intersubjective action. Purely isolate thought is, for the pragmatists, a non-starter, since endless hobby-horses can be ridden in the mind of idle thinkers. Thought isolate from action, say the pragmatists, is no thought at all.

¶25. Thus, if practice is a solution to finitude and intersubjectivity, I proceed on its terms. All that follows cannot in good faith be critiqued on the typical, milquetoast grounds of finitude and insularity. Critics from finitude will demand I go back to the sources, for I have misunderstood. Critics from insularity will claim my concerns “divorced” from day to day life. Pragmatism dissolves both criticisms generally prior to their particular levying by creating epistemological space for alternative practices. It does this by allowing my finitude to experiment with itself, to determine practices. Indeed, whatever can be thought as admitting a mode of practice is, for the pragmatist, true. Thus, for he who would want me to go to the sources, his own criticism will be “true” to the extent that he can pragmatically prove that my failure to reconcile the source’s facts with my own practice somehow impedes on that practice. What this impediment will look like will be on the critic to demonstrate. Regardless, this puts much needful burden on critics, since they fancy themselves enlightened. Critics, the ruthless abstractors that they are, want only to negate their objects indeterminately - they have no determination of what should be in place of what should not. Pragmatism responds before they have even spoken: “Fools! your indeterminate nonsense has no a priori possibility of enaction! You say ‘not this’ without saying what to do instead! For this, we ignore you!” Thus, dear critics, I request that you judge me based on my fruits and not on the limbs of my tree. I demand that you bear some fruits of your own! If you would hastily judge me, you will clearly have operated on your own terms and not mine. Dig into my roots once my fruits are faulty. Else, I’m afraid you are no better than petty squabblers - I and my ilk will proceed to build our gardens surrounded in casts of iron practice while you lose yourself in vacuous words of gusty air! While we create spaces for mutual recognition, you scream into an empty void which consumes all. While we tend to the garden of the future, you dig up roots and clog your minds in the mucky mire of the past. For this, we pity you.

Problem 2: The Integration of System

¶26. One’s reasoning is everywhere challenged by its presuppositions. Even this statement can be challenged via the question: is one’s reasoning so challenged? Indeed, every sentence can be formed into its own question. Hence, every statement made in that sentence can be itself questioned. It is for this reason that the most revolutionary works of philosophy have concerned what today passes for “philosophy of science”: where science moves empirically, philosophy moves a priori so that it might seek the absolutely necessary rules of thought which science takes for granted: it seeks what cannot be questioned. 5 Even in this paragraph, all claims rest on a primitively philosophical (that is, a priori) point: the interchangeability of declarative with interrogatory sentences. I can make this point now without itself being questioned because, should it be questioned, it will be proven! This will, however, only be an empirical proof. It is proved a priori (and hence a fortiori), by the foregoing proofs about the insolubility of finitude and intersubjectivity without pragmatist-experimentalist assumptions. Indeed, because all human knowers are a priori finite and dependent on themselves for their knowing, it follows that wherever another knower B admits of a premise, the knower in question A will always face the discordance of his self-dependence with that of knower B. That is, where B posits his premise with his ultimate justification as his own self-dependency, A must always agree based only on his own ultimate justification of his own self-dependency. But as was already proved, this will always be different! Therefore, A can always disagree with B a priori at every step! Hence, A’s reasoning everywhere challenges B, and B’s reasoning will everywhere be challenged by its presuppositions. (QED!)

¶27. Two things are noteworthy about my main claim (that one’s reasoning is everywhere challenged by its presuppositions). First, empirical proof is monumentally quicker and briefer than its a priori counterpart. What I proved empirically in the last paragraph in 1 or perhaps 2 sentences I required the rest of the paragraph to prove a priori, itself with prior reference to the entirety of my foregoing argument. Second, a priori proof depends, ultimately, on some human agreement between prover and he who witnesses the proof - good faith. Good faith is a formal affair insofar as it demands an attitude of both writer and reader to seek “truth.” And yet, it is contentful insofar as this attitude depends on mutual admission of at least one premise in common: that premise on which the entirety of all subsequent reasoning proceeds. This is none other than a special case of the problem of intersubjectivity: A and B never agree in toto; instead, A must choose to bracket portions of his own experience to admit himself into the experiences of B [@deweyExperienceNature1929]. It is this choice which amounts to good faith as a formal attitude and a contentful admission of B’s most basic premises.

¶28. The integration of systematic thinking faces this necessary human choice most robustly because the system-poser B admits of many basic premises and reasons of them widely and deeply. For this reason, any A can look on any part of that system, compare it to his own experiences, and immediately reject it. Hereby he has grounds for rejecting the whole system: for, indeed, if the part is false and the whole depends on the part, the whole cannot be true.

Solution 2: Systematic Pragmatism

¶29. Now, a whole can depend on its parts in four ways: possibly, necessarily, sufficiently, and absolutely (that is, necessarily and sufficiently). Pragmatism brackets necessity, sufficiency, and absolute dependency provided that they lack an empirical moment. Any claim to necessary dependence which is a mere relation of ideas (to use Hume’s phrase) still lacks truth, pragmatically understood [@humeEnquiryConcerningHuman1990]. Only the possible relation, for pragmatists, is of any worth, since the possible relation between word an deed is the justification for the truth of the word (for this is a juncture between concept and experimental proof). Hereat, only a pragmatist (or any philosopher of a similar penchant of whose beliefs I’m unaware) can systematize in good faith with the hope that others follow him along. For the pragmatist systematizer, the truth of his system is not (1) its logical validity nor (2) its experiential soundness in the mind of the abstract reader sitting still, doing nothing but reading. Rather, these internal, necessary and sufficient truth-relations are ultimately possibly justified only by the (experimental) practices of the systematizer and the reader. Now, the possible justification must depend on the last analysis on soundness and validity. However, because practice is the final justification of truth, no critique from absence of validity or soundness is sufficient to deny the admissability of the system - it is only necessary. Only a first-person-practical enaction of the system, whereat for that first-person the system fails, is sufficient. 6

¶30. Thus, if some critical A wants to deny any of my premises, I ask that he look at the whole of my system and see the pragmatic functioning of the part (any one premise) within the whole (the system of premises). Then I ask him to examine how my whole system is nothing other than a part of human life, and to wonder how such a partial system could fit itself into a whole, complete human life and perform its work therein. Whoever has failed to do both and has levied abstract criticism based only on the discordance between his own experiences and my own or on the “invalidity” of my reasoning has failed to think pragmatically and has, instead, fallen back into the metaphysical dialectics of all thought which preceded Kant. He has regressed to the level of the Church Fathers, debating the hypostases of Christ meanwhile the sheepfold languish in squalor. I am not interested in mere words. I am interested in words that result in deeds. Show me where my words culminate in malformed deeds, and I will follow you. Show me anything else, and you will be thrown to the wolves!

Transition: Preambulatory Purposes

¶31. The aim of these problems in advance of all rigorous term-making and stage-setting is to assert the programmatic grounds on which I will justify all subsequent work. I, as one man writing in his free time, cannot claim that all writing compiled here will be of the greatest depth or breadth, soundness or validity, for all readers. Nor, moreover, can I claim that all I have to offer is both factually accurate and logically coherent. I will have striven for both by the time of this publication, though my success will inevitably be deeply limited.

¶32. This said, my limits as an individual, both ontological and biological, are no reason to prevent my doing work in the world. For me, a better world is possible because it is given to me in my consciousness - I sense it, I hope for it, I want above all to create it. I cannot help such thoughts, nor cause them to stop. This is a biological eccentricity on my part, but I have no reason to believe it hampers or stymies my active power as a human being. Rather, I take this eccentricity as a point of departure, one which, on pragmatist grounds, allows me to justify my own writing at this very moment as an initial practice for the sake of the world I envision [@babichNietzscheGayScience2006]. 7 This better world is my final end-in-view [@deweyHowWeThink2020]. Indeed, what I write at this very moment is the first step on the long road towards social revolution, if only embryonically. Hereat I am entirely justified as a pragmatist: this writing is my practice, and its consequences will be further practice still. No finitude of my being as an individual man can change this pragmatic fact. Nor, indeed, can eccentricities of my vision or my mode of cognitive operation, much of which is lacking, stop me. I struggle more often than not with maintaining a breadth of view in my thoughts. For this reason, I will carry arguments into weeds and select information according to its recency in my memory. Thoughts had now will even in 1 day’s time seem alien to me, for I dive so deeply into them as I produce them. For this reason, I cannot guarantee that what is compiled here amounts to my final view, nor that it will remain unchanged.

¶33. What I give now is a step towards more overt action, towards an integrated, critical praxis. By building this praxis on pragmatist epistemological grounds, I have silenced all critics from (1) finitude of (a) knowledge (b) biology (2) insularity and (3) finality before they have spoken. Moreover, I have still more strongly refuted them on the grounds that such ground allows me the justified belief that I can progressively reconstruct my system as I enact it. My system is thus no prematurity. Rather, it is the embryonic step towards a fully developed, living body of critical knowledge. Much as Hegel produced the Phenomenology as a Propaideutic to his Encyclopedia and as Kant produced the Prolegomena as the same to his First Critique, I hereby inaugurate the “System of Premissive Philosophy in General Outline” as a propaideutic towards a work as yet unconceived, a work of greater depth and breadth whose philosophical and critical powers will make this compilation pale in comparison. With this hope in view, I ask all readers to proceed with the generosity and skepticism that my youthful age and privacy of undertaking, I believe, engender. All which follows is one difficult step on the royal road to a better humanity - I invite you to take it with me.

Formal Mind

¶34. Unlike the illustrious philosophers of old, among them Aristotle, Boethius, Ockham, Aquinas, Ramus, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Boole, Frege, Russell, Mercier, Dewey, Peirce, Quine, and many others, who sought to explicate logic either as an organon of all possible rules of thought, I aim at no such work. Rather, like Hegel and Dewey, although I count them among the old logicians, I am after logic in a speculative mode, albeit one with a pragmatic character. Hegel’s speculation is, unfortunately, mystical at its core - as Marx rightly remarked [@marxMarxEngelsReader1978, Critique of the Hegelian System of Philosophy in General]. For this reason, Hegel considers the movements of thought as moments of determinable social totalities whose realities themselves take on a logical, incontrovertible character. Despite this, however, as Marx critiques, Hegel lacks an empirical moment to his thinking and suffocates individual men beneath the heft of his social syllogistic. Dewey’s pragmatic logic is, similarly, although self-described as an “organon of criticism,” rather primitive in its self-understanding [@deweyLogicTheoryInquiry1938]. That is, Dewey’s ultimate work in his Logic is to form a criticism of experimental practices. And, while he includes herein a “Cultural Matrix of Inquiry” technically capable of critique through his methods, his emphasis on the nature of probabalistic propositions and the relation between facts and values makes clear that his pre-occupations are not with cultural criticism but scientific criticism. In this way, Dewey leaves much to be desired in furnishing a critical organ for the critique of individuals as cultural items rather than as mere scientists. Indeed, though the pragmatic-experimental method described above is my point of departure, I am not at all times and all moments a pragmatist, nor am I always experimenting. I am within a culture which makes of me manifold demands, and my method must be able to bring itself to bear on them in a many-sided, rather than a one-sided, manner. (As an aside, this is in terms of sidedness and self-consciousness the essential reason for the failure of Marxism as a universal philosophy of society. At least in its Bolshevik form, It allowed no moment of self-differentiation. All differences of opinion, under Lenin’s construal of the Party and Politburo, were to be subordinated beneath the strictest “centralism,” so that iron discipline could move the party forward at all costs [@leninLeftWingCommunismInfantile]. This was for reasons of advancing the dialectics of history in toto - the Bolsheviks had no time to waste in enabling capitalism’s “necessary” demise [@leninStateRevolution].)

¶35. Now, unlike these thinkers, who either concerned themselves with the direction of the mind (un-self-consciously) apart from all cultural affairs (Aristotle, Ockham, Frege, etc.) or (un-self-consciously) limited their cultural sphere either temporally (Hegel) or practically (Dewey), I limit my cultural sphere self-consciously. What I am interested in, herein, is not a milquetoast “everyday” logic, or a logic of everyday acts of mind. Rather, what I am interested in are the necessary and sufficient conditions which must be in place such that everyday acts of mind are possible. What accretes from this is an everyday logic of “critical thinking.” However, this arises not as an isolate theory to be practiced “as a good citizen,” a “critical thinker,” or as some other individualistic abstraction. Rather, critical thinking arises inter alia as a consequence of the a priori determination of the conditions for its possibility. Put causally, in stating both the antecedents for critical thinking and their relations to their consequents, we determine those very consequents, critical thinking itself.

¶36. This step makes all the difference: it asserts the practices of good thought neither as some vague “toolkit” for thinking well (as in modern theorists of informal logic), nor as a barren and dialogically stifling dialectics (as in Aristotle and the Scholastics, already long-ago critiqued by Bacon), nor as a dense woop and wharf which cannot be disinterred from its structure (as in Hegel), nor as a set of conditions for material-scientific experimentation (as in Dewey). Rather, my attempt at setting forth a speculative logic here comes closest to, as said above, Hegel and Dewey. In the simplest of terms, I conceive of it as a middle term between them which brings in elements of Marx’s insistence on collective praxis. That is, whereas Hegel understands logic as a moment of reality, Dewey understands it as critiquing scientific investigation of matter, and Marx understands it as the infrastructure of class struggle, I place myself between these three poles. From Hegel, I pull logic’s culturally-grounding function. From Dewey, I pull its critical-investigative function. From Marx, I pull its infrastructural-agonistic function. My logic, then, as said in the Forward, is neither dense, nor materialisticlly scientific, nor diachronic of classes. Rather, it is loose, socially scientific, and synchronico-diachronic across premises and the individuals who affirm them.

¶37. Premissive Logic as I conceive it is, therefore, not interested in typical Aristotelian terminology and problems like the distribution of the subject over the predicate via the copula, categoregmata and syncategerogmata, analytic and synthetic terms, and so on. Nor is it interested in typical Analytic concerns such as System K, possible worlds semantics, and the truth-functional properties of the material conditional. Rather, picking up on Hegel’s emphasis on speculation as a self-conscious mode of philosophizing and as a temporal affair and Dewey’s articulation of this as a cultural affair, I sketch a logic which draws from the aforementioned disciplines and orients their findings into a systematic unity for the sake of the ends I have in view. As Kuhn has adeptly argued of scientific methodologies [@kuhnStructureScientificRevolutions2012] (and perhaps as Nietzsche skeptically argued before him in his On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense [@nietzscheNietzscheTruthLying]), this is the essence of all science - the rallying of data together to satisfy questions, aiming at particular ends in view. Thus, my mode of logical articulation follows upon the heels of Idealism and Pragmatism, as my Preamble has articulated in further depth.

¶38. Why this preamble? For this reason: what I set forth in the following sections is neither a textbook on Logic as understood by any previous philosopher nor an explication of any such philosophers’ own logic. It is, at least at the current moment, a bricolage of thoughts put together so that I might circumscribe the formal laws whereby self-consciousness takes up self-hood as its own content and configures itself into autonomy. Before I can make claims to such material movements of mind which assumes itself and its own personhood as content, I must state the forms whereby such material movements are possible. As said above, Hegel, Dewey, and Marx are my theoretical antecedents. I combine them with insights drawn from Nietzsche, Martin Buber, and numerous writers on the topics of oppression and rhetoric (Friere, Wiskerson, hooks, etc.) to develop a theory of premises which articulates their truth-claiming and practice-motivating functions. It is these two situating functions of the premise which I aim to explicate. Hereby premises situate both (1) themselves (2) their referents (3) their claimants (4) the reasoning of those claimants into discourses and practices. The emergent, self-coherent structure of these two aggregates is the apex of my logic, whose details will be sketched at the end of the section on inference and arguments.

¶39. One should not, therefore, expect, at least at the current stage of development of this work, a rigorous outlaying of terms, definitions, and arguments. Why, for instance, terms must exist at all is a fact which I will only attempt to argue for a priori. In the process, I can only hope that the arguments I adduce are convincing. Should they fail to be so, further progressive reconstruction will be required. I am confident, however, based on the average-everyday character of the use of the architecture I plan to deepen - terms, premises, and arguments - that the a priori validity of these discursive moments will require little justification.


¶40. Although it was said above that the truth of all thought is the premise, it requires no deep philosophizing to state why such a truth is premature. One can only assert a premise, make a judgment, provided he or she does so in terms. No one can judge of a subject unless there stands before him a subject of which he might judge. Here, by “subject,” I mean the subject of a sentence. Nor, moreover, can one predicate of that subject unless he has in hand a term with which he can perform the act of predication. Therefore, if one is to make a judgment, assert a premise, he or she must do so with terms in mind. What, then, are the terms with which one can judge of a premise? 8

¶41. Although both Aristotle and Kant list categories, I am not interested here with the high-philosophical attempt to derive categories ex nihilo, or, more properly, out of thought’s own substance. Such a work must be reserved for a more intensely philosophical project, whose confines will concern not average-everyday discourse, but the determinations of any possible discourse. Such a robust work must concern all possible modes of thought and is, moreover, a task already undertaken by Kant, Hegel, Frege, Tarski, and Quine. I am not, at the moment, interested in such a task and will, as my argumentation concerning the finitude of consciousness and integration of system attempted to show, proceed idiosyncratically. My method in the above argumentation and its respective solutions might be called pragmatic humanism. By this, I essentially comprehend two premises productive of the argumentation at the outset: (1) nothing can be spoken of apart from an implicit invocation of everything else (2) this invocation is holistic and intentional, so that any assertion bears meaningful content in a manner which he-who-asserts must bear responsibility for. Indeed, (1) means that any cognitive act whatsoever entails a moment of responsibility, given that the implicatures of universal invocation denote that the very act of conceiving is subject-dependent. This responsibility is more subtle than that involved in (2). In (2), rather than the very act of cognition entailing responsibility, it is the public, social integration of several acts of cognition together into a coherent system which entails responsibility. The first is a mere act of reason, any judgment whatsoever; the second is inferential, an interlocking constellation of premises which circumscribe reality beyond the confines of a mere predicate. Both (1) and (2) comprehend both pragmatism, as my initial arguments set out, and humanism. By humanism, I mean only the foremost cultural upshot of pragmatism - that cognition depends at each step on human subjects, and that argumentative attempts to get beyond the threshold of the subject are not of my concern.

¶42. The second upshot is scandalous to most philosophers, who generally take their work to be a search in and for objectivity. Absent of this, such thinkers believe, all collapses into otiose subjectivity, or relativism. I side with Rorty and Marx on this point, although the former is by and large more extreme than the position I intend to take. (Rorty is himself self-avowedly a relativist. For him, ontological content is entirely subject-dependent, such that a subject-independent world is not only incoherent, but objectively empty.) Contra Rorty, I am not interested in speaking of the subject-independent world. No, I am only interested in a world of subjects created by those subjects. As Marx writes in the 18ᵗʰ Brumaire, “men make their own history” [@marxMarxEngelsReader1978]. I add - they further make their own future. What is in and for us, for the time being, but which is other from us, as subject-independent, is the task of the special sciences and rigorous philosophy to undertake. Some time in the future, I will integrate this system with that of one of a greater philosophical rigor, asserting at theory of discourse which takes up the all-important question of subject-independent, or absolutely objective, reality. For now, I maintain that such a question is unnecessary for me to proceed, a position I take based on the following argument.

¶43. If I concern myself with another human being, I am concerned with him or her as a human being. Thereby, I comprehend them in part as a reflection of myself. How? I have no point of reference for the abstract “human” nor the concrete human “being” closer to myself than myself. I cannot point to anything before me with greater knowledge than me. Thus, between me, another person, and the middle term “human being” a syllogism forms. I am the major premise, “human being” the minor, and the other person the conclusion. We might sketch it as follows: “I am a human being; they are an “I”; therefore, they are a human being.” The I-They relation is related in and through the category of “human being.” Hereby, I need not concern myself with anything beyond the content of “human” nor the content of “being,” since I am able to form the syllogism in and through the I-They (or, if one prefers the singular, I-You) relation. Hereby. the face-to-face existential-social relation between myself and another is sufficient for giving content to the categorial term “human being.” Now, such a syllogism arises, of course, in history, such that my consciousness of another person, of the term “human being,” and so on cannot appear at this very moment without implicit knowledge of all else I have experienced. At this moment, for instance, I cannot think “human” without also thinking “man” “woman” “animal” “intelligent,” and many other things. Yet, I need not explicitly appeal to these things, nor even to the ground of the speculative syllogism itself, at work in my proof. Is it even a proof? Hardly, except that it demonstrates a possibility of thought considering a human relationship, an I-You relationship. Thus, that I can explicitly write of the syllogism itself is the existential proof, since it is present before your eyes at this moment. It is a sensible proof, and not a formal proof. For, though I cannot give a definition of “human being,” I do not have to - you and I are human beings; it is what we are. This is the force of my argument - the very immanent existence of you and me is sufficient for a use of the term to apply to the two of us.

¶44. Thus, I am not after relativism, but a politicism. By this, I mean that the point of departure for my formal logic is the immanent presence before consciousness of the “I” and the “You.” I might, like Hegel, enter upon a deep series of epistemological moves justifying the presence of these two terms. For now, I abstain from this, and begin with another existential proof. Close your eyes. Open them again. You have obeyed my orders (or perhaps you haven’t). The very act of reading, for this rather vulgar philosophical enterprise, is proof enough for the “I” and the “You.” I prove them thus - you closed your eyes when I said so, and opened them immediately thereafter. (Or perhaps you didn’t, and you resisted my order!) Such is the method of Samuel Johnson in refuting Berkeley. The validity of these terms is cached out in their already-being-necessary, a fact with which I could use to justify any term in my writing. I appeal to the I-You relation, however, because of its creation of a unique epistemological space warranted by the speculative syllogism adduced in ¶43. Namely, it has created a space between two individuals, you and me, and a universal, the human being. I have created, here, a space of discourse, a universe, in which we and our middle term are all that exists (for the moment). From this, for this vulgar, partial project, I can and will proceed to deduce the whole of human relations. Thus, because the I-You relation is taken as primordial, I politicize my epistemology. Even though the very possibility of epistemology has been described in ¶41 (and the sections on epistemological and systematic pragmatism) as a pragmatic humanism, this abstract account is concretized as political. How? Because I take the I-You relation as fundamental, I can make no appeal before this relation. Pragmatism and humanism must be justified on the primum datur of the I-You, the mode in which I relate to you and you to me as instances of an “x” which unites us, the term “human being.” Again, for now, human being is only “what we are.” Thus it is a political relationship. I have chosen it as my point of departure since, at this moment, it is unavoidable. You cannot read without the political relationship between us, and we need not found this relationship in anything but its own self-existence at this moment. The transcendental apperception of consciousness, the problem of identity philosophy, or any of the more abstruse aspects of philosophy as hitherto conceived, if one can bring them to mind at all, bear very little on this for the immanent conduct of action between men. Even if I called it to mind, could I then call to mind all the work required to cache out its relation to my current project? No, and this is the point. The immanent acts of men in and between men take a certain primitive universe of discourse as their point of departure, and this primitive point is the I-You, and whatever can be rapidly derived from it without reference to the rest of the world. Hereby the world of men becomes a thing unto itself, takes on a logic of its own.

¶45. We thus begin with three terms: “I” “You” and “human being.” But the use of these terms in the syllogism of ¶41 uses terms beyond this - “am,” “a,” “an,” and “are.” In order for the I-You relation to cohere as a relation, we must have a binder which unites the two coherently. This binder must be “is,” or “being.” And, indeed, this is how the syllogism proceeded. Thus, if we are to relate to each other as human, we must have a copula, or a term of “being.” (Term 4 below). But you are not me, and we must be able to distinguish the two of us if the relationship is to be other than a mere self-relation. Thus, we must have a negative term, or “not” (Term 5 below). And, we must be able to distinguish between universal and particular, or you and I are both “human being.” We thereby are not related to each other, but merely self-related, since I = x and you = x, therefore I = you. But this is not what we want to say. I am an x, you are an x, where x = human being. Thus, we must have a term to particularize an x. This is a/an (Term 6 below). But suppose we want to talk of everyone who is like us; we then need “all” (Term 7 below). And what if we want to describe each other without “being”? Well, then we are human (Term 8 below). These, then, are the first 8 arbitrary terms of my formal system founded on the I-You relation:

  1. I
  2. You
  3. human being
  4. is/being
  5. not
  6. a/an/there-is
  7. all
  8. human

¶46. I note, in this way, how the premise and term mutually presuppose each other. I cannot assert “this” or “that” without an act in which they cohere, the act of judgment. I might conceive of primitive forms of this act, such as pointing something out. Hereby my gesture takes on the status of something like a judgment, the being of my hand pointing taking on the status of something like a term in that judgment [@meadMindSelfSociety1934]. Again, here, the premises and terms at work are political, such that they make implicit reference at each step to their fundamental condition, the I-You. Whatever denies this implicature has ceased to be human and has entered upon the realm of empirical objectivity, falsely. Here instrumentality begins, as the otherness of the You from the I is lost in the designs of the I, the instrumentalities whereby the I can conceive of the You in its own terms. Hereby the You is denied of its own content and is subsumed under the I as its posit. Here the I enters into a sphere of discourse all its own, sundering the I-You in favor of an I-It [@buberThou]. What has begun is no longer a premissive system, where the premise is the first moment of mind in and among men. Rather, mind has entered upon mere judgment, indifferent to its public aspect as a premise.

¶47. In a later iteration of this work, I will show how the 8 terms above are sufficient for the universal derivation of the content of discursive consciousness. That is, I will show how the 8 terms above can both a priori and empirically give rise to all possible terms. For now, let it suffice to show that from human and not we we receive not-human, whereon we enter on nature. With “a” and “nature,” we receive tendency and probability. Via “not-human” and “nature” we can talk of animals, and so on. These combinations’ a priori aspect means only that the content of average-everyday perception can be given with only the explicit relations evident in the 8 terms above. “Animal,” then, will be comprehended as an a priori derivation from the I-You relation, and will be invoked as such. This means, then, that the use of the term is ultimately founded on our political relation and, thereby, can mean nothing beyond that relation. A derogation, therefore, receives a priori falsehood, insofar as it breaches the limits of the I-You. For, You to treat me or I to treat you derogatively is for either of us to brook with the a priori possibility of our communication at all and, from the standpoint of philosophy, this is the explanation for the intensity with which insults strike us - they are a use of language which negates its immanent-active universe of discourse, namely, deriving and perpetuating the I-You relation. Likewise, the empirical derivation of these terms is intended to show the possible usefulness of them outside of the a priori semantics, in that such limitations are insufficient for the totality of human agency. Meant herein is an attempt to show the immanent heteronomy of reason, or the fact that one cannot use terms exclusively according to a priori principles. The possibility of informal speech, of speech which arises at the very moment of execution, will be shown to always be a possibility. This, moreover, will be shown to be the necessary condition for mutual a priori understanding of terms. That is, term-use will be shown to always have an empirical moment, such that one cannot conceive of a universally-valid use of a term without thereby conceiving of a possibility of a particularly-valid use, or an exigency which cannot be comprehended universally. For now, let it be sufficient to accept human agency as a transcendental datum and that, for the I-You relation to stand, neither can derogate the other, drag them beneath the status of equiprimordial and thereby equal, free, and equally free. In brief, this must be so if each of us is to render our speech mutually intelligible. Indeed, if there is a possible term private to me which you cannot understand, I thereby sunder the I-You relation, since I comprehend you under a category beneath me, namely, that of misunderstanding. Hereby I exclude you from the very possibility of our discourse, and I enter into contradiction. (For I have turned our discourse into my discourse, which I cannot have without you.) Because I cannot logically exclude you, you must be autonomous from me, or incapable of exclusion by way of circumscription by me. You must, therefore, in an empty and formal sense which is the backbone of all contentful perception, be absolutely free and equal to me in every respect. I understand this as a humanist-existentialist (Sartrean?) rendering of Wittgenstein’s insight that private language does not exist [@wittgensteinPhilosophicalInvestigations2009]. 9

¶48. By way of conclusion, then, pragmatic humanism concretized as a political project entails 8 primordial terms via a syllogism relating I to You through the middle term “human being.” Hereby, all possible terms can be derived a priori and empirically, a fact which explicates the equiprimordial character between us. Through the term, I demonstrate that each I-You is inviolable, each subject incapable of reduction, or else the very possibility of intelligible discourse collapses. Terms, construed politically, have as their necessary and sufficient condition mutual intelligibility, or else they are no terms at all. This, then, is all that is required for a thing to be a term - mutual intelligibility as such between an I and a You. Hereby, not only linguistic forms as traditionally understood are terminological; rather, everything which performs the semantic functions defined by the 8 terms above (defining the I-You, uniting us under a common universal, means of particularization, means of copulation, etc.) is terminological. Thus, behaviors, facial expressions, and so forth might be called terms with the proper semantics in place.


¶50. With this said, following the character of the I-You relation established in the section on the Term, the Premise can now appear both within the syllogism which unified that relation into a whole and as a moment of communication within the entirety of the structure. Put another way, the syllogism in the previous section is no mere explanatory device. Rather, in addition to its terminological-ontological capacity of unifying any possible communication between an I and a You, it serves to explicate the very structure of that communication. That is, at the premissive-linguistic, or premissive-communicative, level, this syllogism articulates the structure of human interaction. This occurs at three levels, which will be described in turn.

¶51. The facing of the I-You premissively entails a triadicity which is itself composed of dyads. In each premise, we see the relation of a subject to a predicate. Once more, you and I relate to each other through our being human. This immediately strikes us at the level of the premise insofar as we comprehend the potency of this relationship. That is, the syllogism means for us in our relationship insofar as we understand the possibilities and power opened up to us. In predicating myself as human in the major premise, I turn my consciousness upon both myself and its most brutal immediacy and in its self-mediation. That is, I cannot consider myself more fundamentally than as a human being. For, to be a self-conscious I is just thereby to be human. How is this so? Have I recognized an “I” in the cat? Have I recognized it in the dog? In the plant? In the sky? No. The only category, the only term, in which the “I” can inhere is that of the human being or, for the moment, the “x” about which I recognize myself. And, having seen some others like myself, I say that we are both of a common “x” - I say that we are human. This is none other than an historical account of the terminological view of the I-You relationship, of the expansion of my self-consciousness to include others like myself. Hereby, by the term “human being,” I do not simply fill a term with an external sense-data and imputed concepts, both beyond me, as I do with nigh every other term. Instead, from the first, the content of the term is filled in by my self-consciousness, the activity of which begins with my self-understanding in terms of the predicate. That is, by asserting myself as that category, I not only create that category, but thereby give it the only condition necessary for its recognition in and by me - my self-consciousness as an “I.” The immediate power of the major premise is just thereby to potentiate my self-consciousness - to raise it out of the level of brute self-identity. For, in the “I am I,” I do nothing but retain an empty immediacy. But, in the “I am a human being,” I determine myself categorially and, at just the same time, create the very category fundamental to that determination. I determine myself as a subject.

¶52. Upon recognizing you, however, I descend out of this inner potentiation and begin a process of othering. That is, by recognizing you as a being over and against me which bears I-hood just as I do, I immediately invoke the conclusion. However, to remain for this instant in the moment of otherness, I mean something else before this. For, the recognition of “you” is a concrete-interpersonal form and, for my purposes, fundamentally epistemic form, of all acts of judgment. By this, I mean that recognizing you as an “I,” I differentiate the “I” from itself. For, while in the major premise I was only determined via the positing of an abstract not-I, the “human being,” here, in the minor premise, the I is dirempted, split in half, between the I-that-is-self-same (me) and the I-that-is-not (you). And yet you too are self-same, though this is the content of the conclusion. For now, in the moment of one-sided otherness, I am sundered as an entity, since I am not the entirety of the world. At this moment, there is but one I, and it is both self-same and not. It contradicts itself. For, you too are an “I” in your own world, and this renders me non-identical to that world, for you are the challenge to that identity. (This is none other than Hegel’s master-slave dialectic, at least as Kojeve recounts it, in a slightly different garb [@kojeveIntroductionReadingHegel1980]). This self-othering is fundamental to all acts of judgment, as it is the beginning of the recognition that all conceptual determinacy depends on the very same. That is, no term is ever recognized meaningfully in its self-identity. That A=A is a banality. The import of A = ~A, where ~A is any predicate, appears only upon the realization that any B = ~A and that, consequently, to identify A and B is to sunder the absolute unity of A. For, again, the empty vacuity of self-identity is an infinite vacuity - nothing challenges it, determines it, differentiates it. It is only with B in opposition to it as a ~A, via the use of the NOT operator, that A comprehends something other than itself. And in order for this to be recognized abstractly, it must first be experienced in consciousness concretely in the opposition of the “I” to the “You” that stands before me. At this moment, therefore, I begin a process of actualization, as I begin to fill myself with the sight of you, and you are the initiator of my own final self-determination over and against you. For, without you to see me, I appear as nothing, and am an indeterminate nothing preceding my self-recognition in and through the “human being” predicate. Thus, here I copulate with you, and at the level of the psyche, we share in a kind of noetic intercourse.

¶53. The contradiction that I have become facing you collapses in the conclusion, for you too are a human being unique in yourself. Where in the major premise I was faced only by my own determination, in the minor you faced me. In the major I felt the dead letter of the concept; in the minor I felt the living face of the person. As I stared into your eyes, I saw you for all that you were, and recognized that the very determinant in me which won me my self-determination as subject wins it for you as well. For, here, it is no longer I that determine me as subject, but I that determines the both of us as subjects together. For, in this mutual determination, I free myself of the unity of the I, allowing that the two of us together can stand in free relationship to each other. For, through the human being as middle term, I define the two of us. This remains, therefore, a one-sided determination and, for this reason, it cannot and will not last. (More on that below.) For the moment, I have returned to myself as a unity, albeit one that now comprehends you in your otherness from me. I am no longer a vacuous infinity as I was before I determined myself, nor am I a merely determined thing in logical otherness from itself. Rather, I recognize you, and it is good. Hereon I comprehend my substance as subject, to use Hegel’s phrase. This, I argue, is the archetype for all conceptual determination, the necessary condition for all thought which is to occur in and among men. For, at this moment, I realize that anything I say will face you and you me, and that my determinations will be limited by all the things you are, have been, and will be. This, then, is the onto-epistemic limit of faith, since I can have no more faith in myself than I can in the very comprehension of your being over against me. Here, you are my condition, and I must assent to you in what it is for you to be that condition, being human. This is none other than reason. Here, I actualize myself.


¶54. Being now a member of the species with you, I recognize that you too are a member with me. Being with each each other, we could remain in an empty vacuity, or we could return to the terminological. That is, we could begin with each other anew, and make for ourselves a world between us. That is, we will make terms our own and carve up the world at its joints as we speak. But how can we do this? Surely we must say what we want, and surely we must judge if we are to say something meaningful. And, if I am to understand you, what you say must be reasonable. Now, that this must happen is once more a matter of the determinacy of either the term or the premise; however, because both fall into determinacy in the same fashion, either might be taken as the point of departure. Above, the final judgment witnessed the two of us together. Yet, I have made nothing of this but an abstract deduction. For, assuredly, we are both human beings, but what has this meant? What has been proved hereby except the power of our being as such, as said above? For, surely it is actual that our power lies before us, but it does so only, so to speak, in first potency, and not in second (which is first actuality, in Aristotle’s scheme). Thus, ontologically, we sit idle, and my deductions have meant nothing. I reach out to nothing, my hands stiffly still and my throat deafly mute. In order for the essential character of our being-together (established by the premise) to appear, we must speak together. And this is reason, whose appearance takes the shape of the inference. The inferential character of the syllogism moves about in 3 phases, as before. In the first phase, we transition from nothing to being, or the brute immediacy of my being human. In this transition I synthesize being out of nothing, I create a world ex nihilo, and it is my world. Hereby I begin egoistically, facing you as me and only me. But I cannot continue to face you in this manner, or else I cannot achieve the mediation you demand of me. That is, I cannot recognize you as other from me when my power of self-creation sits idle.

¶55. Thus, so that it move, I transition away from myself and comprehend you beneath me, if only for a moment. Here, in this transition, I analyze my world into self and other, the self-same and the I-that-is-not. Here, formally speaking, my contradiction once more arises, and I remain unstable in this analytical frame of mind.

¶56. Finally, in recognizing you fully as a human being independent of myself, I give you the ability to surprise and contradict me, to say other than I could possibly conceive. It is in this final transition that I speculate of you, that I allow the open possibility of dialecticity between us. I open up a realm of freedom considered anew, determined out of the empty vacuity of all that I was before the moment of my self-determination as a member of the species. It is at this moment that I begin a final, incoherent transition into this vacuity anew, allowing the two of us freedom determined in and by my inference. For this is freedom of our being together, our wanting to do and be with each other in all the ways we feel each other alive. But in this final transition an instability remains.

¶57. In the transition from nothing to the major premise, therefore, I reveal the character of all judgment in and among men as a creation, an act of will to determine the world in some respect. At the terminological level, this is always an act of the I and, at the premissive level, this is always an act of subjectivity. This comprehends the synthetic-inductive work of reason. In the transition from the major to the minor premise, I have sundered my world and limited it, allowing space for you against me. What you are is as yet alien to me and, for this reason, I have only analytically deduced you. Finally, in recognizing you as a human being with full autonomy over and against me, I have dialectically abduced you, for I have not yet entirely proven the facticity of your essence as a human being - this I can only accrue in experience with you in dialogue. Yet, I have reasoned to you, found you, and felt you real - I have reasoned to the best explanation, or abduced your being.

¶58. The final transition back to nothing is unlike the rest, for it has lost the import of the syllogism. That is, it has not recognized how reason has made possible our being together, and has felt free to abandon it as soon as reason has done its work. Reason, hereby, is lost in a new empty vacuity where all things seem possible. But such seeming has only rendered itself apparent precisely because reason’s work has terminated. The fourth transition, then, is a transition out of reason. For, if reason were to continue its work, the conclusion would be picked up as the major premise of an entirely new syllogism, and the process of recognition would reconstitute itself ad infinitum, the “free and open encounter” between us mediated, at every moment, by the inductions, deductions, and abductions of inference [@miltonAreopagitica1990]. Thus, the world made reasonable would only be possible if the two of us further determined each other in our freedom, created for ourselves a world rationally constituted. And, as we have seen, this could not be a merely formal reason, a formal logic, but must pick up and determine the content of human existence itself. Indeed, it is this determination which would be the proof of your being to me, and would create for the two of us a richer, more complex view of our being human at all. For, determining you through your being as human, I would determine humanity through you, and understand what it is to be alive in this world as the very being that I am in an entirely new light. I would see through the lens of you, and feel as you felt. Hereby terms would explode, and we would each be enabled to create the world anew. But, once more, this can only be so if we give reason further content on which to operate. This can only be: material mind.

Material Mind

An Attempt at Self-Consciousness

p1. What I have without thinking is the point of departure for all subsequent thought.

¶59. Without running into weeds an defining myself as does the illustrious Descartes, I enter the philosophic conversation in media res. Hereat I accept my own existence a priori for, relying on the trite Cartesian banality: because I think, I am. But, once I think, I must think something - for to think nothing is not to think. This is so because thinking is a relationship betwen thinker and thought and, if nothing is thought of, then no such relation exists, regardless of whether one concretizes “nothing” via quotes or one does not. One cannot think of nothing, for to think at all is always to think of something. Call this the first corollary to p1: p1c1.

¶60. Thus, before I begin thinking, I have nothing in mind. Nothing in mind, then, is the point of departure for thinking. But something must be the point of departure for thinking, since thinking is always of something. Now, if this something cannot be in my mind, it must be elsewhere; namely, it must be a spatio-temoral object. Thus, in brief terms which gloss the entirety of German Idealism and Deweyan Pragmatism, thought begins with experience, or having nothing in mind as spatio-temporal objects approach it. Call this p1c2: one experiences with nothing in mind.

p2. Experience is reducible only to the subject in which it subsists and the objects which stimulated it.

¶61. This follows directly from p1c2. If experience is a conjunction of subject and object, then experience is only reducible to those things. It, therefore, cannot be reducible to subjective premises, since experience has nothing in mind. Attitudes or affects of mind, here, are construed as one such nothing: these are not in mind but of the mind. I will touch on this later.

p3. Thought is reducible only to its own laws and to experience.

¶62. Now, if thought is a relation between thinker and the thing thought of, something must make possible this relation. Clearly the thing thought of reduces to experience, since one can only think of a thing insofar as he experiences it. But how is it that this reduction occurs, and how is it that the thinker enters into the opposite of that reduction, its integration into a thinkable thing? The answer to both questions is logic, whose referential aspect enables the reduction of a thing thought of to experience and whose inferential aspect enables the entrance of thinker into manipulations of references. The first aspect I call semiotics, the second aspect I call dialectics. Logic is, thereby, the laws of thought, whose content is experience. If logic is hereby a relation of thinker to thing-thought-of, it is also its own thing-thought-of, since one can think of that relation. And, since things-thought-of always undergo logical maneuvers, experience is nowhere absent of logical laws. From these premises, I conclude that the relation-content opposition of logic to experence is false, since all experience is logical and all logic is experiential. (For more on this, see [@kantCritiquePureReason1955], [@hegelScienceLogic2010], [@deweyExperienceNature1929]).

¶63. Thus, since thought is reducible only to a complex whose relational and contentful aspects are in constant antagonism, bound up with each other restlessly, we might say that thought is irreducible, since it always maintains a unique combination of form and content - a unique experience always adduces a unique inference, both of which (the experience especially) are unrepeatable. But hereby nothing is thinkable, since infinite uniqueness across thoughts destroys all commonality in thought. Thus, I say only that thought is irreducible in sum, reducible in part. For, if it were reducible in the whole, it would be nothing itself. But it is something, so some final condition must make it so independent of all its reducible constituents. And this final condition is the coherence of the thing into a whole, that one can experience it as a whole. I demonstrate this empirically through the fact that one cannot have his own thoughts twice: whatever a thought is, it nowhere can be retread in the future - thought in the same way, expressed in the same terms. He who says otherwise must depart from me on this point!

p4. The final condition for the coherence of a whole is *time*.

¶64. If I think of x, then I both refer to it and infer of it. But when I am thinking, I am experiencing myself thinking. Similarly, when I experience that x, it gives itself to me according to the limitations of my senses - all that it can show to me, it does. Now, experience is an event, or an a-temporal “inclusive whole” (to use Dewey’s phrase) whereby I and my object interpenetrate [@deweyExperienceNature1929]. The final condition for this event is, despite its being atemporal, time, since it can only “emerge” spatio-temporally. All experience is indeterminaly spatial - all experiences differ from another a priori according to the space in which it arose. Such spatial differences are continuous, since all space is continuous. All experienece is, however, also determinately temporal. These determinations are discrete, however, since time occurs in experience discretely, countably. This primordial determination of experience differentiates one from another discretely, so that “this” and “that” experience can be distinguished. But because this can only be done temporally, it must be that such a differentiation has time as its final condition. Thus, applying this rule to the case of wholes, a whole can only emerge in time. Applying tha rule to the case of thoughts themselves, thoughts are differentiated from each other discretely in time.

p5. No thought can be had twice.

¶65. Said above without premissive rigor, I now say it with such rigor. Because no two moments of time are the same (a fact I accept a priori), and because thoughts are only discretely different in time, any two thoughts will occur at two separate moments. And because separate moments are different moments, any two thoughts will be different. That is, no thought can be had twice.

p6. No two thinkers A and B can think the same thought.

¶66. No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. A and B are such objects. By (p1-p5), because A and B think only by their own experiences. All experiences are spatio-temporal. A and B’s experience of x at time 1 will always be different, since A and B cannot be in the same place at the same time. Thus A’s thought of x and B’s thought of x will always be difference, since A and B’s thoughts are decomposible only into their relative experiences of that x (p3).

p6c1. A can never know B's thoughts.

¶67. A and B think only by their experiences, which are always separate (p6). These experiences are separate in space and time (p5). Thus, A cannot think B’s thoughts since A cannot have B’s experiences, even hypothetically. Thus all of B’s thoughts are unknowable, as thoughts, to A. A can think of B’s thoughts, but then A is taking those thoughts not as thoughts but as objects of thought.

p6c2. Motives, a type of thought, of any B are unknowable to any initial person A.

This is only a specific case of p6c1.

¶68. It ought to be the aim of every well-meaning public figure to disclose as much of his thoughts as is possible with as much candor and self-appraisal as he can muster. If he does not, he leaves himself open to endless speculations, wherein the unclarity of his activity presents itself to those around him as evidence of whatever hobgoblins these weird brothers and sisters have toiled and troubled to conjure out of their cauldron of idle rumination! Now, we cannot reproach aggregates of individuals for what is essentially a private cognitive move - the act of motive speculation. What can be reproached is only what is in the public figure’s own control, namely, his self-understanding and thereafter his disclosure of that understanding to the public.

¶69. I have ascribed above the formal aspects of my self-understanding, or what I call my “ownmost philosophy,” or the rules for the direction of my life as I understand it. Hereat I take as a fundamental premise the fact that my thought arises from my experiences, and that I cannot reduce these experiences without violating their integrity as experiences. From this premise I derive the entirety of my worldview, namely, that I am free to think and to judge as much as I might within the confines of my finite experiences. For me, this means that my thoughts and feelings are valid insofar as they conform to the limits of possible experience, much as Kant prescribed some 300 years ago.

¶70. Crucial about this move is its facticity - insofar as I can ground an inference on a first-hand experience, I am justified in making that inference. This means, thereby, that not only is all subsequent reasoning immanently justified insofar as it is my ownmost point of departure, for no one else can have my experiences!, it is transcendentally so insofar as the facticity of my own experiences is a point of return. That is, the unrepeatability of my experiences means that they have a virtuously circular function - they circumscribe my reasoning as my own. This circumscription is a limitation insofar as it opens me up to discourse with others whose experiences I lack. It is an opportunity, however, insofar as it gives me the freedom to apply the laws of thought indefinitely within my own confines.

¶71. What this hereby means for my own self-consciousness is that the givenness of an experience, the fact that I have had it at all, is a justifiable point of departure for consideration and point of return for alteration. That I was able to experience something at all is justification enough for my attempt to change it. Such, in windy terms, is the first aim of all of my subsequent work - to alter that which was given to me in experience because it attempted to alter me.

¶72. In his Philosophical Fragments, Soren Kierkegaard speaks of a series of moments in which premises strike subjects [@kierkegaardPhilosophicalFragmentsJohannes1985]. For Kierkegaard, the premise in question is that of Christ’s historicity, a premise which shocks the reader either into resentment against or faith in the premise. We might say that all premises thought of in consciousness, with irreducible experiential content, adduce the same two possibilities - resentment or faith. Faith, or belief in the premise, is nearly always pragmatic in average-everyday life - one believes in what works for him (cf. ¶64 about inclusive wholes). Yet, for many of us, premises reasoned on yield an ineluctable resentment, a distaste which cannot be shaken. These, as given in inclusive experience, are thereby subjective in the fullest sense, and yet they are the points of departure and return for all action. Hate, as Lenin says, is the beginning of the revolutionary sentiment [@leninLeftWingCommunismInfantile]. Indeed, in resentment an indeterminately negative notion in consciousness is afoot. Experience, having turned in on itself as thought and become conscious of itself as reason, now looks about and wonders - must I believe this, or can something else replace it? Hereat it is turned onto Plotinus’ sea of beauty as it imagines the most wild alternatives to what it is given in experience [@plotinusEssentialPlotinusRepresentative2008]. Hereby it becomes a radical of the most crude and solipsistic type - the indeterminate negator, the critic.

¶73. What, then, has struck me to my core? What experiences demanded of me an indeterminate negation? The most primitive of these was my time living in poverty. The second, the immense differences I noticed across minds as I was younger, and how such differences adduced vastly different consequences for them. The third, the fact that many through no fault of their own needed face conditions which they could not change, born and raised to reinforce phenomena studied but left unaltered. In this abstractive ascent I came to the totalizing view, immanent to the last thought, that human society as presently concerted was in no way dependent on human freedom, but rather was a set of “named” freedoms, objects of scrutiny, which circumscribed subjects for performance in systems controlled by other subjects. What hovel-dwelling man has freedom of speech when he has no bread to eat? I should love to see the starving speak!

¶74. Now, I consider all subsequent thought a priori according to the premises laid out here, such that this thought is both (1) primordially given (p1) (2) in and through experience (p2-p3) (3) holistically (p4) and unrepeatably (p5-p6). The holism of my thought and its subsequent unrepeatability pose the deepest problems for reasons hitherto mentioned - if a whole is unique in time, it cannot be reproduced but is fixed to the time at which it emerged. I solve this problem one-sidedly through the acts of self-consciousness. I assume hereby that no full-sided solution to this problem can be given, since (as already said) time and the inclusive experiential whole are the object in question in all sides, and this is bound to the time of its emergence. Thereby, no ex post facto solution can be given holistically, as already said - no thought can be repeated. One-sidedly, however, self-consciousness can attempt at the collection of the manifold relations of thought as they emerge.

¶75. How does self-consciousness attempt this? Plainly: through the broadening and deepening of all consciousness. How does one achieve this? Plainly: through steadfast reading, writing, and self-reflecting. In reading, one accrues the collective experiences of mankind in all their otherness from he who reads. Hereby, as demonstrated in the earlier premises, he also accrues such expeirences as bound up with an ownmost logical framework, itself also other from the reader. Reading, thereby, opens the reader up to experiences and logical moves which he could not otherwise pose, since experience is subjectively-dependent, and the reader is (almost) never the author of that which he reads. Writing, similarly, crystallizes the exposure of the reader to the author’s experiences and logic, since it fixes in space what is otherwise given determinately in time, namely, unrepeatable thoughts. By fixing these indeterminately in space, though they are never self-same, they can be retread as a means to stimulate the mind to return to the paths once trod. Self-reflection is the transference of the habits of mind accrued in reading and writing from the authorial text onto that ownmost text, one’s self and one’s own life. Hereat one progressively writes the story of himself, thematizing himself and narratizing himself thereby. This expands self-consciousness by determining it: whatever is premised in writing thus becomes a crystallization of consciousness, itself once more possibly retread. This determinacy nomologizes the self - it gives it its own laws, bringing it into autonomy. But this is an intentional autonomy and thereby, albeit one-sidedly, a self-conscious autonomy. This is no bootstrapping of the self - the self pulls itself up through making use of the inertia evident before it via the works of others. This is self-formation through the accretions of social intelligence.

¶76. With such statements in view, the initial premises which I established as my point of departure can now be returned to. That is, given that I have established such premises not merely as abstracta, but have situated them within a determinate teleology, the project of accruing self-consciousnes, each premise can now be read within such situation. By this, I mean that, for instance, the reduction of thought to experience and logic is not merely an a priori datum. Rather it is, in addition, a psycho-humanistic datum which, functioning as such, enables hermeneutic deconstructions of self and other. It is, no longer, a premise to merely be admitted a priori; rather, it is also a point of departure for empirical investigations within the project of self-consciousness. The importance of such a move lays in its fecundity. Instead of deriving premises rhapsodically, one after the other, from empirical experience, I have given myself a framework which moves premise to premise, the relations of which are like the whoop and wharf of a knit fabric. These frame the project of subsequent attempts at achieving self-consciousness, as the outset of these remarks illustrates. I am hereby able to investigate into myself as justified a priori by the admission of my premises. For instance: I do not take my own experience as a first datum ignorantly, nor can I deny that experience at any point. Rather, because I have stipulated it as the first premise on which self-consciousness proceeds, I cannot upend this premise without thereby upending all thought which subsequently depends on it. I cannot, in any case, make a claim to absolute truth: I have abrogated such a claim from the first premise with which I speak.

Hereby all my thought becomes an architecture, a building with definite foundations and mezzanines. With this we must proceed to:

An Attempt at Pragmatic Architectonics

¶77. Within the sphere of thought, via terminology inaugurated by Kant, the architectural metaphor is no mere linguistic fancy. Rather, it is an epistemological and metaphysical datum referred to by the term “architectonic.” When thought proceeds as such, it bears the character of an unrepeatable whole as the above premises attempt to clarify. It does so on two grounds. First, as unconscious, architectonic thinking is always a thinking of consequences. Hereby, it assumes premises a priori and unquestionably and, thereafter, seeks to draw out of them what necessarily follows from them. Thus, unconscious architectonics are often ill-conceived, since all consciousness is finite and one-sided. Because architectonics, as wholes, are many-sided, however, any attempt at an enunciation thereof will bear in itself a one-sided character whose logical invalidities and unsound experiences will pull it internally apart. Derrida has called such one-sidedness’s “traces,” the method of reducing all one-sidedness to an infinite cascade of multi-sided incoherence “deconstruction” [@moranPhenomenologyReader2002]. There is no flaw in Derrida’s method - as a suspicious hermeneut, he draws out, like Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud before him, that all unconscious architectonics is incoherent, a fact for which he must be lauded. Yet, in doing so, Derrida returns us to the Hegelian identity of being and nothing - if all self-proclaimed holistic thought (each architectonic) can be deconstructed into incoherence, it is always nothing [@hegelScienceLogic2010]. That is, deconstruction sunders all truth-claims of a text through analysis of their immanent self-contradictions. Such a method is nothing other than totalizing nihilism - if everything is not perfect, everything is worthless. Indeed, this is true. It is itself, however, beyond a move of last analysis, worthless, since it sunders all possibility. Indeed, if all truth-claims can be rendered contradictory, so be it. We, as beings who continue to think anyway, must at some point make do with our contradictions - we must attempt to progressively resolve them. Else, we may as well kill ourselves and cut short the time between our entrance into nothinghood. (Criticism, on my view, is nothing but a flirtation with death!) One cannot ruthlessly criticize into oblivion and maintain his own self-hood at the same time. For, if one deconstructs at all, he must deconstruct himself; the final act hereof is suicide. Any critic who continues to live must justify his living and, might I add, he must do so architectonically, for his thoughts are given in time and he is a whole. And, because wholes coherent in time are always architectonic, anyone who could continue to live with all his memories, actions, and intentions across time must think in holistic architecture. No one, not even Derrida, forwent his native tongue and all memories associated therewith to live in dumbly mute silence, much as Pirandello’s main character did at the end of “One, None, a Hundred Thousand.” We persist in our memories across time - we must do so architectonically.

¶78. Now, because most of us will create our thought-architecture without consciousness of the contents of our experience and the relations across them through logical laws, we will be consistently one-sided in our formations. We will build bricolage Babels pulling on each other from left, right, and center. Thus, as said, the deconstructive-critical move is necessary as a last analysis, as a final sundering of all pretensions to absolute truth, many of which creep into particularly well-constructed architectures. Nothing constructed well, however, is without flaws, and the Hegelian identity of Being and Nothing is the a priori justification of this fact.

¶79. We can consider the first moment (unconscious architectonics) consciousness’s uncritical self-unity, its Being. With Hegel, we can call the second moment (critical deconstruction) its self-othering, its Essence. Deconstruction is essential to consciousness because it is always a self-consciousness. Put humanly, any man is aware of something because he is aware of himself: I see the red brick, I see you. I cannot conceive of being in another consciousness except hypothetically through an act of empathy [@moranPhenomenologyReader2002, Stein on Empathy]. Aside from this special, social, case, all acts of consciousness are acts of self-consciousness. Put in terms of architectonics, the unconscious holism of the moment of Being posits itself without a conscious view towards is totality. This is because consciousness is immanent to each act of architectonic thinking - it does not consider the whole as separate from itself, it is not conscious of that whole. Deconstruction, however, is always aware of this, since it cannot begin its deconstruction except through the testing of the unconscious claim to Being immanent to the architectonic. Essentially, all criticism says: “Here is your whole. This part contradicts that one. Your whole collapses.” Deconstruction is thus the othering of consciousness from its object, the architectonic, so that it might view it as a whole separate from itself.

¶80. But binaries do not remain. Deconstruction is itself a claim of wholes, since it must depend on premises which enable its dialysis of the whole into parts which it finds contradictory. Indeed, deconstruction must justify itself against premises (such as the law of non-contradiction) warranting it. Hereat, deconstruction forms of itself its own uncritical, one-sided, unconscious whole! Can not another consciousness hereby deconstruct the deconstruction, criticize the criticism? Of course it can, ad infinitum! Hereby, deconstruction negates the Being in question, but does not determine it thereby. For this reason, deconstruction always remains a one-sided, indeterminate negation. This, as Hegel calls it, “bad infinity” of one criticism after another is only sundered by its recollection into its own totality, the Concept. The Concept is, hereby, its own Being which can be criticized infinitely. However, because the Concept has included in itself an indeterminately negative moment, it attempts its own self-determination as a determinate negation of Deconstruction. In determining deconstruction as an infinite “forever and ever,” it allows it and says: “Yes, but I must go on Being anyway.” In human terms: “Yes, critics, I am not entirely coherent. And yet I must go on Living anyway.”

¶81. Now, the totalizing nihilism of the critics might well be right in the long run. But, as JM Keynes says: “in the long run, we are all dead.” We are confined to life. Again, he who would criticize to oblivion must criticize and kill himself, since his own Being is a contradiction. Thus, since each of us is a walking, living contradiction, we must accept the irreducibility of our contradictoriness a priori if we wish to go on living. Hereby, all our thoughts can be reconciled as contradictions, since they are ours.

¶82. The dialecticity of the Being-Essence-Concept triad, however, enables the architectonic a living, self-moving power, since the final Concept is not set in stone. Quite to the contrary, the Concept remains always unfinished and is, like human life, a work in progress. The progressive labor of birthing the Concept is no different from the progressive agony of life - we are always growing, maturing, becoming. So too is the Concept.

¶83. The Conceptual Architectonic is thus the determinate, self-conscious whole. Having returned to its own Being through the descent into the Hell of endless Criticism, it picks itself up as a work unending, a bad infinity made good by the life that it lives. It is at such a moment that I make my pragmatic turn and say that the finality of Conceptual Architectonics is tested not by logical validity and experiential soundness but, rather, by first-person power in experiencing that Concept which is thereby furnished. I thus not only allow criticism, but I invite it! The architectonic as Concept requires the many-sided power of collective intelligence, poking holes in all directions. Hereby it takes up your criticisms and engrosses itself, growing into an ever-larger totality. Your criticism is my strength (unless, of course, it drives me to suicide)!

¶84. Again, such architectonics are pragmatic insofar as their inner differentiation is not ultimately justified by a Hegelian absolute but, rather, through a set of practices which descend out of the Concept. Deconstruction is, then, not only a moment of the private human being thinking, but a socio-rhetorical act in the life-world. Conceptuality is not merely an integration of thought into a self-conscious whole, but a socio-psychological premise for practical syllogisms, for self-conscious activity in the world. It is the justificatory event, the practice of the Concept, which leads us to:

An Attempt at Conceptual Practices

Of the Self-Same

¶85. As already enunciated in the “Attempt at Self-Consciousness,” all work conducted here is aimed at the broadening of self-consciousness, both for myself and for my readers. Now, this is so for me as I write and crystallize my thoughts, for readers as they broaden their reasoning to include my own, and again for me insofar as these two facts enable me to take action. For, thought left only in mind is liquid, freezing around limber limbs and keeping them in place: both through the unending worries of self-rumination and the unending anxieties of public motive-speculation. Thus, the Conceptual practice of self-consciousness is, as there said, a set of acts which broaden the mind: reading, writing, and self-reflecting. These “liberal” acts are the foundation-stones of the liberal arts, and it is in and through them that one’s being fully himself, one’s self-conscious formation of his self-concept, occurs. To fit my prior remarks on this practice into a Hegelian grid, my Being is lived unconsciously. When I read and write, I transition from Being to Essence as I critique my absence of self-conscious living through the self-consciousness of others. Self-Reflection carries me into my Self-Concept, those habits of mind and body which make me what I am through what I repeatedly do. Hereat, Self-Concept is one-sidedly Self-Reflection and one-sidedly Action. Considered in its manifold self-movement, it is both: for all self-reflection is intentionally enacted, and all action (if it follows from my Self-Concept) is self-reflective, for it reflects my Concept.

¶86. We note, here, that my self-concept contains a moment of self-differentiation, of dialectic between my own experience and those of others. Put otherwise, I cannot define myself except in and through my jostling with others’ definitions - I am not an island, even in the privacy of my own consciousness. My privacy always has a public moment - it is, in fact, Essentially public. Hereby I say nothing more than Aristotle’s statement of man as zoon politikon in a Hegelian garb.

¶87. On this realization, I must ascend out of my privacy and begin to act in the public sphere, the social sphere, whereat my intentions will be speculated on, since I will be present to others as an aesthetic object. I must, then, conduct myself not only as self-same, but as self-othered. I must conduct myself essentially as a public being, or else I do not arise out of my Cartesian shell, locked away beside my melting wax [@descartesMeditationsFirstPhilosophy1990]. Away with wax and candle-light! Let me exit this cave and see instead with the light of the sun [@platoRepublic1990]!

Of the Self-Othered

¶88. My actions and practices as self-othered themselves bear a self-other-return structure as, I believe, all entities do considered from this speculative, architectonic point of view. It is at this moment, as self-othered, that I begin to act with a view towards others. I already undertook this embryonically as I read. There, however, my view was ultimately towards myself as self-same and was, therefore, egocentric. Here, because my ultimate view is towards myself as others perceive me, though a primordial egocentrism conditions me, the fruit of such conditioning is ethical consciousness. By this, I mean that my view is in and towards my publicity, my appearance as a noumenon before others to inquire into. Here, then, I take action as a man among men, willing their good. Or, at the least, I must appear to will others’ good, since others cannot know my motives, but will always speculate of them. As a public being, however, it is my duty to harmonize motives and acts. Otherwise, I am not merely an ontological contradiction (as said in the Pragmatic Architectonics), but an ethical contradiction. The publicity of this contradiction hereby makes all my reasoning and being suspect, since I have hidden what it was my duty to proclaim. This, and this alone, is the reason for the depths of hatred men face when called “hypocrites.” Here, their ethical contradiction sunders their public being, thereby opening the flood gates for hermeneusis into privacy. That is, under the assumption of “good faith,” men overlook others’ failures as ‘genuine’ mistakes. However, once hypocrisy is exposed, men begin to dig into the ethical contradiction that is the hypocrite and, finding him ontologically contradictory, they expose all acts he took as signs of his ethical contradictoriness - they take his manifold, infinite otherness from themselves and squeeze it into the ethical contradiction, so that all acts “should have told us all along” that the hypocrite was as he was. One can only begin to engage in this hermeneutic work because of the ontological contradictoriness of subjectivity - because it is infinite, it always invites wonder into its potential coherences. Ethical contradiction, as a breach of the Essence of subjectivity, leaves nothing left but its Being. And, because this Being is uncritical and one-sided, criticism’s work is practically finished before it even began.

¶89. Ethical faith, or acting according to one’s principles, is, we might say, the first premise of man’s Concept. Indeed, because this Concept as self-same was only egocentric practice, as self-othered it must therefore be public practice. And, because all publicity is social and because all sociality invokes the subject ethically, all public action must begin with ethical action, or else the subject faces a sundering unto his contradictory Being.

¶90. One does not, however, act in and through himself alone when he acts ethically. Rather, action stands on a practical syllogism, itself mediated by a first, theoretical premise. And, this premise must accrete from experiences, which occur spatio-temporally. Thus, a man, unless, perhaps, he is Robinson Crusoe, is incapable of acting ethically on his own terms. Instead, as the Self-Same Concept demonstrated, he picks up his Essence and self-reflects in and through others. Now, as Self-Othered, he must do the same, or else his Self-Othered activity is barren and idiotic - it always redounds only to egocentric concerns. Just as the subject invested himself into others’ thoughts when he read, now must he invest himself into others’ actions as he publicizes. This fact demands of him that he enter into determinate relations with others in groups, or totalities of men.

Of Determinable Totalities

Friendship, Civil Society

¶91. The first totality which any self-conscious subject freely enters into is that of friendship, not of family as Hegel has argued [@hegelPhilosophyRight1990]. For, subjects are unconsciously given to family life and, though their self-consciousness is formed by it, their first act of self-consciousness is not entrance into it. No: befriending another is the first act which youthful consciousness, itself barely self-consciousness, enters into. But men do not live through friends alone. No, their families stand behind them winning bread and enabling sustenance. Thus, all that is left for one to do after he has made friends is produce for himself, so that he might not die.

Productive Enterprise

¶92. For this reason, any association subsequent to friendship is always productive, since it results in something other than mere association. School-relations, business-relations, labor-relations, and even club-relations are all productive enterprises in this respect: they are unions among men for the productive fulfillment of various interests - something always comes about from men’s associating. The club is perhaps the first association which follows friendship and, likewise, many groups of friends take on the moniker “club” in imitation of this fact. The “clubhouse” emerges as a space of friendship, where the agreed-on terms can be practiced. These practices, however, are not mere face-to-face ethical exchanges. Rather, they are practices productive of collective experiences. Whereas the face-to-face practice of friendship is always ego-centric, the many-person’d production of clubs is always club-centric. That is, the union of the two friends cannot be a thing unto itself, unless, of course, it crystallizes into companionship, the last productive association before one enters into the state. The quantitative consciousness of the club comes in direct response to the qualitative consciousness of friendship - where the latter sees each face stare into the other, the former sees each man look into another as a member of the club in question. It is this one-over-many relation which converts quality into quantity, friendship into a club. Produced hereby is quantitative experience, or an experience of solidarity beneath the unity of the club as a social entity.

Formal Clubs

¶93. If such solidarity emerges in and through common practices, then one has initiated a formal club. At this level, practices are recognized as a merely heteronomous conformity to law or bylaw. That is, the formal club merely evidences law as something imposed from without.

Material Clubs

¶94. When form reflects on itself and re-inscribes itself democratically, a material club has begun. At this level, the practices of the club are sufficiently recognized by club members to warrant a group consciousness and consensus. Hereby, members believe in the club as something they co-create, albeit with a moment of heteronomy.

Play Clubs

¶95. Drawing on the work of FC Schiller, I designate the Play Club as the highest form of a club, since it represents the club as its own self-consciousness, at least in the ideal, in restless dialectic between form and content [@schillerAestheticalPhilosophicalEssays]. The play club emerges once heteronomy has been dissolved into autonomy, such that the club does not demand of its members democratic participation, but rather the members give themselves over to it, for the shape of the club has been reflected into them. At this level, the club has become something like a family, although not in a vulgar-utilitarian sense. Rather, to the same extent that family members care for each other, the club’s members have accrued in and through each other a degree of solidarity, of “us against the world.” Indeed, this consciousness remains partial, and for this abstract reason cannot sustain itself. Concretely, this club-character ultimately passes over into politics, which itself demands the universalization of the club. Such a passing over can only be forestalled through the most scrupulous self-criticism, addressed below.

¶96. All Communist parties attempted to organize themselves as Play Clubs - players in the so-called march of historical-materialist dialectics. Yet, as J. Huizinga has adeptly argued, all human activity can be considered sub specie ludi, or from the standpoint of play [@huizingaHomoLudensStudy1980]. Thus, even the formality of rite-bearing clubs (Religions, Unions) and the materiality of labor-inducing clubs (Businesses) has an element of play insofar as the members of each dwell on themselves and the club as a whole. Water-cooler chat is, if only in an alienated form, a mode of business play - banter about the incoherencies and inefficiencies of the organization, sharing in them mutually, self-consciously.

¶97. A Play Club proper, however, makes such self-conscious discourse the aim of its very existence. This was, at every step, what Lenin and the Bolsheviks attempted - raising the proletariat to self-consciousness through the ruthless criticism of the bourgeois order. Yet, as Lenin’s iron discipline shackled that self-consciousness, the Hegelian core of Marx’s writing was lost under a garb of endless revolutionary fervor - playfulness had lost its position as the aim at every step and had, instead, been relegated to left-wing infantility [@leninLeftWingCommunismInfantile]. Power, Lenin argued, had to be fought with iron power. I argue otherwise, considering self-consciousness and social recognition events sui generis. That is, they cannot be reduced to moments of discipline (in Lenin’s case), labor (in Marx’s case), or work (as in Durkheim’s case) [@durkheimMoralEducationStudy1961]. Rather, like Hegel, Goethe, Levinas, Heidegger, Buber, and Huizinga, I affirm that the play-functional aspect of life is a cultural reality which subsists of itself and which reductionist accounts must eventually violate and constrict if they are to maintain their validity. Thus, for the communists, revolutionary zeal had to displace everyday living. For the capitalists, endless, useless toil is conducted in displacement of the same [@kolocotroniModernismAnthologySources, Useless Work and Useless Toil]. What is the solution to both sunderings of the sui generis reality of play, especially within the play-group?

Self-Criticism ¶98. Upon entering the play-club, men must recognize their finitude as conditions of play. For, if anything else but finitude is recognized, then the very character of being together and of mutual recognition becomes a task. Why? For, the task is something done in the formal club. In the material club, tasks have fallen into delegations through democratic election. Formally, finitude was not even recognized. Materially, it was recognized implicitly as warranting consensus-based procedures. In the Play club, however, finitude receives explicit recognition, so that all else in the club cannot but face it. Hereby, the moment something does fail to face finitude, it becomes a task, for it has regressed past even the threshold of material life, democracy. (I, concretely, place here appeals to virtue, order, and all other thought-stopping implicatures). Self-criticism, in this way, is a universal recognition of the impotence of each other before the club, and that one at every moment has duties towards it. In its most self-othered form, this is criticism of the club itself, which cannot be shirked. A failure to criticize the club means dogmatic drivel, a level which warrants the most regressive circling back to formality. Under such regression, leaders call what members experience play, despite experience categorizing it as mere formality. (Here, concretely, I place communist propaganda).

Free Dialectics ¶99. Self-criticism passes over into free dialectics as the club’s passing over into material mind. That is, what happened at the level of the I-You now repeats itself at the level of the club, and rules of playful discussion are established. This playful discussion is free dialectics, since it has been self-determined by club members. This determination is freedom, since it sets the rules of possibility ahead of time. This is, of course, only one freedom, and not freedom simpliciter. It is freedom considered from the logocentric history of western metaphysics, a project which may not itself be universally sufficient. Hereby, regression to the vacuous, unthinking, unreason of pre-inferential thought can arise, and the whole affair can be perverted into empty talk. The task, then, is to embed dialectics into a value schema with tokens of meaning, so that what it is to express oneself freely is just thereby to keep oneself alive. At this level, the club creates something like a remuneration system based on artfulness: of living, of speaking, of creative output. This, in full, would be free dialecticity - men living and creating with each other, speaking and feeling each other, in mutual recognition.

Collective Subjectivation ¶100. Such dialectics would pass over into collective subjectivation when the procedures enabling play, self-criticism, and free dialectics are sufficiently formalized that they become a second-nature. Hereby, men can expect to feel each other organic members of the community, living not out of fear of death but rather out of love of life. Hereby, the masculine mechanisms of fear would be sublated into creative stimuli - competing for the most artful product, showing off the most splendid body, etc. Hereby, the feminine mechanisms of fear would also be sublated, as women create products for each other to augment their natural beauty. All would be free and joyous, perhaps with moments of shame and humiliation for those whose work failed to meet the threshold of community expectations. None, however, need live on pain of death, since all would be remunerated based on the creative work they had done to sustain the life of the community. Hereby, the club would become a subject unto itself, living and breathing through the work of its members. Here, life would itself become play, and the universe would disclose itself to all players of the game. Men would still retire from the club, however, and for this moment it must be momentarily left aside.

¶101. Turning now to clubs at large, as the club grows, it becomes an association. As multiple associations speak in common, they become a community. Hereat the production of experience remains first and foremost. Once, however, association passes into creation and securitization, however, experience takes a back-seat to tangible outcomes. Somehow, in rough dialectics, a co-emergence of labor-association and law-association emerges, so that ethical practices between individuals and within groups regulates both of these and the work that these groups can do. At the same time, however, the tangibility of material needs regulates the passage of law. Thus, as men see possibilities in each other, their practices are codified laboriously and legally. Theorist of culture Juri Lotman has called such recursive alterations in practice “cultural explosions,” mediated first and foremost through representational structures [@lotmanCultureMemoryHistory2019]. It thus stands, and any mass movement is an empirical confirmation of this, that as a group associates and formalizes practices which penetrate into the mass of society, that such practices will undergo codification as culture standardizes them. Hereby, like individual men of their Concepts, society as a Concept recollects itself through its finite representations, groups, which themselves recollect themselves through their practices. Here, in brief outline, is the entirety of cultural history as it has ever occurred - men associate, practice, undergo surprise representations which they codify, then diffuse those codifications throughout society until they are ultimately either barred or sanctioned by the State.

¶102. Men must, however, at some point disinter themselves from these groups - they must descend into the quietude of hearth and home. Hereat they return to qualitative consciousness and choose companionship of some kind or another, recognizing in each other a definite union whose character is neither club nor friendship, but something beyond both of these. The companion (or in general parlance, “love” or “marital”) relation is higher than friendship and clubs since it retains the quality of the former and the productiveness of the latter. Friendship cannot produce anything but itself. Clubs cannot accrete genuine qualitative recognition among members, since all, to be in that club, must subordinate themselves before it. Only companionship realizes genuine recognition and productivity, since the companions live together. It is this cohabitation alone which warrants companionship - the potential production and rearing of another life, a child, is secondary. Hereby, what is reproduced is not only the companion-relation, but daily experiences of recognition which are impossible among friends. Why? Because the friends do not live together, experiencing space and time together. The moment friends do this, of course, they become companions.

¶103. But, in order that any productive relation be held together, the codification of law cannot remain bound up in the productive sphere. Rather, like the self-othered’s Essence, it must complete itself through a final reflection on itself. Law, hereby, becomes the final determination of productive and friend-based relations - the reflection of friendship into itself, the universal friendship of all groups - the State.


¶104. Statal relations stand as the culmination of (1) my entire project (2) the Attempt at Self Consciousness (3) Conceptual Practices and (4) Determinable Totalities. This is so because, in the last analysis, no practice is possible without Statal determination - anything a man does, at least under liberal bourgeois practices - is either sanctified with State approval or damned by State disapproval. Indeed, even the companionship relation does not finally reflect itself publicly until it has been “made official,” that is, sanctified by the holy bondage of the state.

¶105. To be sure, other configurations of life are possible, nor is my wording without moments of cynicism. There is nothing religious about the state. Rather, because the state, according to our present anthropological configuration, stands as the final term in a long series of syllogisms warranting practical inferences, it holds a place in consciousness as a final arbiter of right and wrong, true and false, is and not. Who but the state funds the protection of life through the military? Who but the state secures the growth of life through healthcare? Who but the State picks up all necessary life-functions? What else is this but the task of a God among Men, a final One over Many? Hence the quip in the notes from a student who attended Hegel’s political lectures: “The State is the march of God on Earth” [@hegelPhilosophyRight1990].

¶106. While Hegel may or may not have said this and may have meant it with full metaphysical force, I mean no such thing. Instead, I mean only that the finality of human praxis, its final arbiter practically and conceptually, is the State. In this, I find a position which is God-like in its cognitive-inferential functions.


¶107. Above, I take myself to have established my positions things in an embryonic, primordial form. By this, I mean that what has been established above is sufficient but unnecessary for future action. Necessity for action will arise when my reasoning above is basically inviolable. By this, I mean, to use Aristotle’s understanding of the term “basic,” that the first premises from which I write my system and the concluding premises which result therefrom are both above reproach. By that, I mean that anyone who would pass judgment on the soundness of the premise, who would aim to commensurate it with his own experience, would find the content of the premise in agreement therewith. I do not, now, take it that anyone can agree with what I say - only those who have judiciously followed me along might be able to do so. I cannot say that, even now, I can read through all of my thoughts and follow them adequately. Many of them strike me as alien. Yet, I take it that what is established here composes all theoretical bases with which I can proceed. This is the sufficiency of their basal character - I can proceed with them, I am able to do so. To achieve necessity, so that I and those who read with me must follow them, the embryonic vulgarity of the system must be overcome.

¶108. As of 08/19/2022, this is no easy task - the system, in its embryonic state, does not articulate all of its positions in clear, concise, and univocal terms. Such a task will demand the utmost clarity, ruthless cutting of verbal fat, and smashing of waffling prose. Everything noncommital and half-hearted must be executed in a violent revolution around clarity - nothing short of a verbal 1789. No stone must be left unturned, no empty phrase left in place. Everything must be solid as stone kept firmly in place by the mortar of reason. Lenin claimed that taxation was a millstone with which the communists would grind the bourgeoisie to death. Reason and clarity will, for me, be the millstone with which I do the same to even the most viciously critical thought - I will pulverize it and create out of it a flour for the breaking of bread. In my system, that criticism will be heated under the heat of the sun, concentrated with the lens of clear prose into a beam of light; thereafter reason will cut it into slices for those who follow it. Together at table those who read will eat, and those who remain blind to the face of their neighbor will starve.

¶109. In order that this happen, I ask that all who care to do so write to me, and chop of the heads off all that glares them. Be like Caroll’s Queen of Hearts! Show no mercy! For, whatever stares at you with repugnance must be destroyed. Anything which faces you, which smacks of idiosyncratic and ideological posturing must be doomed. This is to be a condensed system of interpersonal logic. As such, it must allow those who would most viciously criticize it to do so if it is to live in and through them. To this end, please contact upon your having read this with any glaring ambiguities and obscurities.

¶110. Now, to properly conclude, what is it that I take to have established embryonically, and how is it that I take it to be sufficient for action? (1) In the forward, I have established 6 premises on which my entire system is based. Hereby I have given what I take to be dogmatically primordial, what I do not question, what I take to be first and foremost in any act of reason and thought. Anything which challenges these premises is, for now, a decisive blow to the entirety of my system. (2) In the preamble, I have established solutions to the problems of (a) finite consciousness and (b) systematic integration on pragmatic grounds. In doing so, I have shown (a) that no man can know everything and that, consequently, two men will always have differing knowledge and (b) that my knowledge aims to condition any such knowledge established in (a) through its insistence on experimental action as the final test of its own truth. (b) therefore creates a virtuous circle, a base of thought, on which whole systems of thought can be practiced. This is decisive for the entire system, since it allows me to say (as I proceed to) that this system, even upon having achieved necessity for action, does not thereby bind all action, but only that action which follows from it. This is, then, no universal panacea for all men. My system and what I take myself to have achieved here is a consistent method of knowledge and practice compatible with other methods - it is by no means universally exclusive. (3) A logic of the practice of thought in (a) terms (b) premises and (c) inferences, all as they follow from the recognition of the “You” by the “I” through their both being “human.” (4) A content within which that logic operates, as (a) self-consciousness (b) pragmatic architectonics (c) conceptual practices. (c) is most decisive, as it has facilitated the epistemological grounds for (i) the broadening of the self through the liberal arts (ii) the sufficient conditions for ethical faith (iii) the description of social facts to have in view as one practices the logic of the practice of recognition.

These are summarized as follows:

  1. the programmatic bases of my system
  2. solutions to
    1. the problem of finite consciousness / intersubjectivity
    2. conditions for experimental truth-testing, for the validity of systematic thinking
  3. a logic of recognition in
    1. terms (I-You)
    2. premises (I am human)
    3. inferences (Thus, You are human)
  4. A content for that logic, which gives one
    1. self-consciousness, or awareness of one’s limits through exposure to others
    2. pragmatic architectonics, or the epistemological particularity of one’s own thought and the necessity of collective intelligence
    3. conceptual practices, as the manifestation of social concepts of others in determinate modes of social relationship, through
      1. liberal education
      2. the practice of ethical faith
      3. the content of an ideal social order

¶111. Allow me to put the whole in synthetic view. Through this system, I have not taken myself to establish any universal laws of history, thought, or science. Rather, I have established a set of arbitrary premises, human premises, and reasoned about their meaning through a set of arbitrary contexts. These premises, through a more complete iteration of this system, will be shown to give themselves their own meaning. To speak with the German Idealists, these premises will be shown to be the self-legislation of Reason and, thereby, the only viable path for Reason. (In brief, I will show that these premises are the first fruits of all productive human intercourse, and that they forestall corruption per se. That is, only these premises allow themselves to appear and, for this reason, they give themselves their own existence. These premises account for their own origin as a human origin, something I attempted to demonstrate in the section on Formal Mind. This will be shown through the notion of dialogue and competition over premises, whatever “best explains the facts.” Hereby, a logic of particularity will show that function is the only test of the truth of a fact, or its operation. Hereby competing theories will be shown to have partial truths and that, to the contrary of their haughty claims to universal truth, the only claim that can have such validity is a human claim, or a claim about humanity and discursivity as such. This was shown in part in the Preamble’s section on intersubjectivity.) I have, therefore, made the first attempts at showing the universality of my system. As that system currently stands, however, no such universality can be claimed. Again, as the system stands, it is arbitrary. I conceive of this arbitration as a fiat voluntas, an act of will whereby I have created a world out of nothing. This is nothing short of the recursion evident in the section on Formal Mind, in which I generally explicate the epistemological space opened between you as reader and I as writer, after which I enunciate the origin of this space in our mutual recognition of each other as human beings. Such recursion was intentional, and attempted to show the virtuosity of arbitration - by beginning from recognition, I ended with recognition. In doing so, I created a closed loop of equality between us, a loop which remains in your consciousness and mine perpetually. At its best, this loop encompasses all other loops as a logic of equal recognition. Only further work can demonstrate its universality. At its worst, where it presently stands, it remains an ideal type. It is, currently, something merely posited. In either case, it must be made real - it can be so ever more strongly as a consequence of its logical universal validity. Even without it, however, as said in ¶107, as an arbitrary act of will, it remains sufficient for action. For me, therefore, I have set out a system sufficient for egalitarian human action based on the arbitrary dictates of my will.

¶112. For the reader, however, I have asserted my will and disclosed it to him. This is nothing other than the beginning of a concrete instance of self-criticism and free dialectics enunciated in the section on Play Clubs. Indeed, by making this system public, I will begin what I believe to be the first instance of a free dialectic - that between whoever wishes to correct me and me myself. This dialectics is “free” between us, because it begins on the assumption that you and I have similar ends-in-view - truth, consistency, clarity. There is no squabbling here about possibilities, for they are not on the table. Now the olive branch has been set upon the wind - only the human spirit will be its dove. I have given in this system, therefore, a primordial instance of what I hope will be later instantiated in documentation concerning the nature of play clubs and, ultimately, my play club.

¶113. What public figures hitherto have attempted is the worst kind of human association - brute unconsciousness. Only the Marxists have attempted otherwise, and their world-historical successes have been the only nigh-centuries’ long attempt at creating a new world in the shell of the old. Nothing, not even the most repugnant fascism or virulent monarchism, can say the same. This historical fact alone is sufficient for my faith in the Marxist method, if only selectively. This method, more or less, depends upon Hegelian explication and recognition. I have attempted to put that method into practice here, with minor alterations. I cannot, at this moment, guarantee its conformity to all Hegel and Marx have elucidated. I can, however, state that I am attempting to retrace their steps, albeit, in and through the technology awarded to me by my being alive in the 21ˢᵗ century. The influencer is now more than an opportunist of a cult-like variety. He or she now has the power to erect audiences before themselves, to create spaces of interaction as he or she wishes, and to mold men’s minds after their own. The fecundity of this opportunity cannot be lost on any astute observer of the social and of the public. There is before us an immense opportunity to create a brighter future - it is an opportunity like no other. It is a rhyming verse of the worker’s movement. It is, however, not that movement. What we have today is something much more dangerous, something which may prove much more sinister. What we have is a flow of capital so free and diverse that opportunities to shape society now rise and fall like the tides of the sea. If we want to seize this opportunity for the liberation of the species, and I do, then we must follow in the footsteps of our forbearers, while correcting their mistakes. In addition to Marx and Hegel, Abraham, Christ, Muhammad, and Buddha have been deeply influential on my thinking, and for great reason - no one has captured the world much as they within the past 2000 years. They alone stand above thousands of years of pagan history; they alone stand now as figureheads for centuries of cultural-ideological development. Marx and Hegel are their successors, and I attempt to be theirs.

¶114. What is in place here is a vulgar, arbitrary, willful attempt at creating that success. All human acts must begin with such acts of will - I cannot do anything unless I first will that it be done. I cannot, therefore, say anything more than this, and will lay prostrate at the hands of anyone who sees it fit to levy criticism upon this system. That criticism is not only deserved, but necessary for the system’s own purification. This, of course, is the logic of peer review. But, as the thought presented here is endemically transgressive against all pre-existent systems of thinking and living, it is only the public as vicars of the human Spirit who can review for me.

¶115. Once more, for me, this opportunity of both review and reading creates a new socio-ontological space between us, myself and you (dear reader) as a member of the public. You in your anonymity now relate to me as you nowise could have before - this is the metaphysical alchemy of reading. Such alchemy has only been augmented by the internet, and it is for this reason that it has been made so dangerous. (This is the thought behind the fright of all legacy institutions towards the internet, and their desire to take the internet under their wing.) But, hereby, I have acted to create something new in the world, a new space for you and I to speak to each other, for the two of us to recognize each other. This again is a new dialecticity, a new bridge between you and I. Such spaces of open communication can become real - they must only be made so. My system, in the last analysis, is the justification for that belief. It is the theoretical framework for I and all who agree with me (which, upon the final iteration, I will intend to be all of mankind) to self-consciously speak with each other, open ourselves to each other, recognize each other. This will be concrete freedom - a space where men can feel at home with themselves, feel truly that they belong in this world.

Thank you for reading.

  1. The point departure for the idea of premissive philosophy is the private realization that whenever I speak of something or think of it, I judge of it by myself internally. In so doing, I judge not of the subject by the predicate, nor the function according to its argument. Rather, the predicate/argument is given of the subject/function through me. Herein, I become a middle term between the subject and the predicate – I am the copula that unites the two, I am the functor who solves for the unknown x. As Descartes said, I think therefore I am. Wherever there “is,” there am I to say it is so. Hereby, the point of departure for premissive philosophy is the primordial facticity of myself and my ownmost givenness. That I am given to myself at every turn and in every judgment; that I cannot judge without myself existing, that each copulation of subject to predicate invokes my own existence - these are the brute, ineluctable data with which permissive philosophy proceeds and which it must therefore justify itself upon. I call the foregoing the “subjective relativity hypothesis” of my system. 

  2. Peirce makes a similar argument, as cited in [@chandlerSemioticsBasics2022, 38]. My argument is thus neither novel nor revolutionary, but a mere reiteration of some well-worn arguments against the pretentions of men. 

  3. Implicit herein: God is not a person, not a thing, and not a “being.” God is only, for my purposes here, that which has perfect, infinite knowledge, if such knowledge is possible. I do not claim this entity exists, nor do I claim that the possibility of infinite knowledge is “actual.” That is, I do not take myself to be bound to the claim: “There is such a Being with Infinite Knowledge, and that Being is God.” No, as I have shown, God, as said here, is something else altogether. For God, on this reasoning, Knowing is always Being. God is thus nothing other than all that he knows. This is in every respect not the finite knowers of which you and I are. Insofar as I am committed to any claim about whether or not God “is”, I do not use “is” in the same way that you and I “are.” That is, I nowhere claim that God is some Being “out there” or “in us.” No - such language is imprecise and vulgar. I do not yet have a coherent view as to what God “is,” nor the content of the “is” with which I speak of it. I am no theologian. For now, God is only as I have claimed him here. Anyone else who would speculate otherwise speaks not for me, but for their own reading of me. 

  4. cf. Peirce’s Collected Papers 2.231, as cited in [@chandlerSemioticsBasics2022, 54] 

  5. E.g. Aristotle’s Physics, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Bacon’s Nuovum Organon, Locke’s Enquiry and Descartes’s Meditations. Each of these set the stage for subsequent scientific endeavors. To this day, for instance, Kantians exist in scientific inquiry, much to the chagrin of quantum physicists. 

  6. Thus, I can live a good life thinking in faulty terms. This upshot is crucial for the practical character of my system, and one might call it its lynchpin conclusion - one can be “factually” wrong and yet “live” rightly. The core question is never - “was it wrong?” but always “has it been corrected?” 

  7. This is essentially Nietzsche’s reasoning in the Gay Science

  8. As yet unclear here is the general ontology of terms,. judgments, and inferences. I preliminarily assert these pragmatically, though I must at a later time work out a tract on such matters. What does it mean, for instance, to have a term “in mind”? What kind of action is that? I do not yet have the answers for such questions. 

  9. cf. Also Marx’s remark in §3 of Capital I.1 that Peter only recognizes himself through recognizing Paul 

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