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16 October 2009

My Philosophy, In Brief

My social and political philosophy teacher back at KU told us that a philosophy proceeds through various levels. Metaphysics is at the top, and it informs Ontology (the nature of being), which informs Epistemology (the nature of knowing), which informs a whole lot of other things (including ethics, but I'll save all that for another post). Since we've been discussing this kind of thing a lot in my classes, and since I've been struggling with the questions on my own recently, I'm going to post a really brief outline of my own philosophical framework using these three levels.

To put it simply I am a Realist. That is, I do believe that there is a world "out there" independent of my consciousness. This is in contrast to solipsism which, as I see it, simply degenerates into nonsense. There's a whole lot more to my Realism than I want to go into here - ask if you want more depth.

I'm interested in a processual ontology. I see the universe as consisting of relationships and processes rather than objects or essences. I need to do more research on this, but right now I'm really interested in Manuel de Landa's assemblage theory.

Here is were it gets tricky. While I believe that the world does exist independent of my mind, I also believe that my knowledge of that world is shaped my my own interactions with it and by my ideas about it. I think it is impossible to separate myself from whatever phenomenon I may be studying. However, I don't think that my act of studying Determines the nature of the phenomena. That puts me somewhere in the middle of the subjective/objective spectrum with a slight leaning toward constructivism.

That's it for now. I might post some more on these issues a little later. Feel free to discuss.

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