Conceptual Pragmatics and Conceptual EfficacyThis problem deals with how concepts can have affects in various different domains. Philosophers often evaluate, ground, and critique claims on the basis of the concepts they presuppose. Descartes discovered the power of conceptual clarity and distinctness, Spinoza of a concept’s adequacy, Hegel of a concept’s dialectical capacities, and Deleuze of the dynamism of Ideas. Philosophers can qualify any empirical claim or ethical trajectory on the basis of the structure of the concepts that ground it just as statisticians can evaluate the quality of a scientific study on the basis of the structure of how it is carried out. While distinct from scientific method, it is still capable of qualifying claims and pointing to missing pieces of the puzzle. At this point, we all know the problems reductionist concepts have caused in agriculture, ecology, and any complex system to which reductionism is not an adequate conceptual lens. I am deeply interested in how resolving conceptual inadequacies leads to developments in science, mathematics, new technology, and personal growth. Lastly, I am deeply interested in the ontological status of Ideas and how recurring structures or patterns (i.e. convergent evolution) could occur in distinct and non-related systems without some structural determining factors being of paramount importance. Attempts to think and solve this problem links with the subject above on Telos and forms the major arguments of the book I am writing on the subject.
The Hard Problem of ConsciousnessThe Hard Problem of Consciousness is the problem of how conscious beings can arise our of “non-conscious” matter – or said alternatively, how individuals can and do have an experience of “innerness” or “sentience.” I explore this problem from the perspective of attempting to answer what structures are necessary for consciousness to exist. Lastly, I attempt to show how self-organizing processes from physical and chemical scales inevitably lead to increasing degrees of sentience and consciousness and why this is the case.
Expressionism in philosophyExpressionism is the perspective that for every existing thing, its existence is an expression of something greater than its manifest existence. For example – in organisms, the phenotype is the expressed developmental manifestation of the genotype. Consciousness too is an expressive structure – each conscious element is supposed to be expressing some subconscious or unconscious process which makes it possible. Another expressive structure is belief-experience – beliefs are often the latent “underlying expressed” which conditions and interprets our experience. It thus has been said that there is nothing we can experience which is inconsistent with our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world. The problem of expression is an attempt to properly think this relationship between what is, what is latent, and what is manifest.
There is always an implicit image of expression implied by any concept. The expressive paradigm has massive implications for epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. If everything actual is considered an expression of something non-actualized, then thinking what is latent becomes more important than thinking what is actual, and concepts which are hinged to the actual are inherently limited and limiting. This is why Deleuze calls the world an “egg.” It is also why I agree with the idea that actualism (and its realism) “is nothing more than a socially validated form of pessimism.”