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Chris
Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
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Hi Joe, Many thanks for adding your comments here; I'd like to respond to a few of your remarks. "However, the right or the truth is ever changing and has no finish line until death." This is a curious line, one that my instinct was to assent to, but then I had to pause and wonder about which right or truth we might be talking about for there are many conflicting senses to these terms. There is a sense of 'truth' that is never changing... the same sense of truth as in logic. But the never-changing truth can be so precisely because it is removed from the real. Even if the truth is never changing, our relationship to it is always in flux, and I suspect this is what you are elegantly gesturing at here. Regarding the 'marriage of these two schools' (which is a wonderfully poetic phrasing!), many are claiming that this marriage has already occurred. But the result of this is that analytic philosophy becomes the only school, absorbing continental practice entirely, like an abusive spouse who controls the relationship entirely. It is thus not a case of needing a marriage, like the Capulets and the Montagues requiring a doomed romance to bury the hatchet, as it is needing to recognise a difference, so that there can be respect for different practices. This is something mirrored, I might note, in many situations today. Once again, thanks for sharing your thoughtful remarks! Chris.
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Hi Mari, This is a thoughtful commentary on the issue! I feel you have summarised nicely the divide here, as also comes out in part two of the dialogue, which went live today. The complexity of truth is, for me, always a key issue - although I am influenced by both traditions, there are so many situations where the analytic method strikes me as limited because it tends to reduce context - yet there are also situations where the complexity of the context can be a barrier in itself, and it can pay to develop a new perspective along analytic lines in order to have a viable line of approach. I am, for very much the reasons you outline here, sceptical of attempts to throw continental methods into the analytic bag because to do so is to risk denying the complexity of truth. And while I agree that questions do indeed begat further questions, I think there is much to be gained from sketching a topic through the questions that it raised. I cannot call myself a continental philosopher in so much as my language skills are nowhere near where, for instance, Babette's are - yet I would never think that this distinction was not important. For me, it has been critical. Many thanks for your comment! Chris.
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Last week I asked Babette Babich what characterises the (dying) tradition of continental philosophy, and why so many philosophers feel the need to ‘claim’ the term for their work. This week, the discussion continues as we move towards a positive... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Only a Game
Hi Gregory, It's interesting to read your impression of this being a 'binary box'; for me, this is not so much the case, as there are other forms of philosophy (Taoist, for instance) that aren't engaged in either of these European-language traditions. The situation is akin to the juxtaposition of Popular music and Classical music: this is not necessarily a binary box if you look at the music , but it is a division that has some weight behind it, and one that has a history; one that can be defended and justified, even if it is sometimes more obfuscating than revealing. Nonetheless, the structure erected does have the effects you allude to here in terms of alienation. But a peculiar problem here, as my discussion with Babette gradually brings out, is that analytic philosophers all too frequently deny that there is any kind of significant continental tradition to talk about. It is not the case, for instance, that dropping this distinction would solve any kind of problem: the practices of continental philosophy are under threat of extinction; dropping any reference to 'the box' doesn't resolve this problem! If I may make a provocative comparison: dropping all reference to race in the United States does not help anyone suffering from the alienating effects of cultural prejudice. Here again is a 'binary box' ('White' versus 'People of Colour') that is far from binary - and the same point could be made with gender identity. Indeed, there is perhaps a general pattern here of alienating boxes that seem as if the box is the problem - but the very box itself serves to conceal the deeper, complicating issues. Many thanks for your comment (even accepting that it occurs under academic 'duress'!). Chris.
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Greetings students of Babette's who have been ordered to comment! :) I have to say, this is an interesting exercise for a number of reasons, not least of which is that I cannot expect either of you to respond to any reply I make. :) Nonetheless, I shall do so. Taylor: the general problem of accepting alternative perspectives is one very close to my heart; I think the analytic-continental divide in philosophy differs in at least one key aspect: there is a majority view (analytic philosophy) and it denies the very legitimacy - or even existence - of the alternative method. This is slightly different from the situation of not accepting different ideologies (or, as I prefer to say, mythologies) since in few other contexts is there a clear and unchallenged majoritarian position. In the Liberal versus Conservative political split, for instance, the failure of one camp to attempt an understanding from the alternate perspective does not amount to a denial of the existence of the other camp - although it can and does lead to a dismissal and decrying of that alternative. Joseph: your conflation of continental philosophy with the romantic movement(s) seems to me somewhat misguided - it creates the impression that analytic philosophy is dispassionate pursuit of the truth, while continental philosophy is more idealistic. From my own perspective, analytic philosophy is just as easily distracted by its own internal mythology - specifically the mythos of the truth of dispassion, which you buy into here in making your conflation. Objective truth is the truth of objects, and by definition it is thus a collection of truths of a very limited kind. Precisely the value of the continental philosophical practices are there willingness to raise further problems rather than to attempt to 'boil down' to a potentially over-simplistic truth. While I do find a place for both methods, I feel it would be an error to think that truth was on the side of the analytic methods. They are just as capable of misleading, particularly by simmering down complex situations into a mere smear on the petri dish, rather than embracing their inherent and indissoluble complexity. Thank you both for your comments! Even if they were delivered somewhat against your will. ;) Chris.
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You’ll hear all sorts of crazy things coming out of the games industry at the moment, largely because the ‘social games’ bubble has burst, and so everyone’s talking VR, because that bubble is still being blown. No-one, in my view,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Only a Game
You’ll hear all sorts of crazy things coming out of the games industry at the moment, largely because the ‘social games’ bubble has burst, and so everyone’s talking VR, because that bubble is still being blown. No-one, in my view,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at ihobo
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Babette Babich's philosophical writing is exuberant, poetic, and very much in the spirit of Nietzsche. Hardly coincidental that she is director of The Nietzsche Society and editor of the journal New Nietzsche Studies. In these series of dialogues, we talk... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Only a Game
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Along with Façade and Shadow of the Colossus, Tale of Tales’ ‘massively multiplayer screensaver’ The Endless Forest was one of the key games that made 2005 such a banner year for artgames. It went on to inspire Jenova Chen’s team... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2016 at ihobo
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Along with Façade and Shadow of the Colossus, Tale of Tales’ ‘massively multiplayer screensaver’ The Endless Forest was one of the key games that made 2005 such a banner year for artgames. It went on to inspire Jenova Chen’s team... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2016 at Only a Game
Hey D, Welcome to the Game! Apologies for the slow response... I've been on my social media break. But ye gods, you plan to read it from the beginning? That slightly freaks me out... I've written a punishingly large amount at this site, and not all of it worth reading! :p But you are, of course, free to do so. As for Facebook, alas no, that particular social media terrifies me, whereas (say) Google+ merely disgusts me. My most public mask in terms of social media is Twitter, which I have extremely mixed feelings about. You are more than welcome here, however you wish to use the facilities. Chris.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2016 on Five Flash Games at Only a Game
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Taking my Autumnal break from social media, but feel free to leave comments in my absence and I’ll reply as soon as I get back in December. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2016 at ihobo
As the festival of the Wheel of Fortune approaches, it is time once more for my Autumnal Social Media Break. No blogging, no LinkedIn, no Google+, and definitely no Twitter. It helps me focus upon life to disconnect for a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2016 at Only a Game
Hi Nikos, I quite understand - time is our most precious resource! Lovely Heraclitus quote, by the way. :) All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2016 on God's Dice at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, "What if that which is not objective, should not be taken as morality?" Since objects do not have moral qualities this proposition seems to be either false, meaningless, or in need of substantial explication! :) Most attempts to build an 'objective morality' rely upon conflating the logical truths of mathematics for moral truths. My critique of this is in Chaos Ethics. Once again (however), you should probably look into my critique of 'subjective' and 'objective' in Wikipedia Knows Nothing and see what you make of my concept (building on Isabelle Stengers) of 'objective knowledge'. My (current) position depends upon this. Historically, though, the Victorian quest for moral absolutes was what opened Nietzsche's nihilistic abyss - although Nietzsche, I should stress, was not a nihilist. Again, Chaos Ethics tells this story in full. Take care, Chris.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2016 on Thought for Food at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, "However some 'marxists' indeed practised a religion called 'marxism'." This claim depends upon the definition of 'religion', of which there are many options. Marxism does generate a community of care, and certainly could qualify as a religion, but I think my term nonreligion is the more generous one here. "One should distinguish between Early Christianity and Christianity after it became a State (actualy Empire) Religion. Most of what are called Christian metaphysics are of that later period. The Early metaphysics (if there were such), are largely not known since Christianity as State Religion and the religious wars with what was to a large extend the Early Christianity." I utterly agree with this remark! We do indeed know nothing much about Early Christian metaphysics, except that there were so many different variations that it was unsuitable as a state religion without some imposition of order... The Council of Nicea is the critical historical juncture in this regard. "That there can be false and true narratives (note plural is used, true narratives). In other words truth can have the form of a narrative. A lie as well. Labeling something as just "narrative", says absolutely nothing about its actual semantic content." I agree with this claim. I tend not to use narrative at all - as you can see here (some ten years ago!) I was already leaning towards 'mythology', and now I mostly use 'mythos'. One minor niggle: the truths in any mythos (=narrative) can be mixed in with the alternative... it is not really a case of testing with litmus paper for 'true' or 'false' mythos, so much as it is a case of fractional distillation to see what comes out of it. Cheers, Chris.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2016 on Marxism at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, Try as a I might I cannot make 'acceleration' work in the original metaphor's fictional world. I am probably missing something that gives your comment its sense... Chris. PS: apologies for slow response times... things are hectic right now!
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2016 on A Deck of Realities at Only a Game
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Over on ihobo.com, a playful rant about the liberation of games. Here’s an extract: Whenever you make a box and say “this, this is what games are!” I will show what you excluded and why others love those games just... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Only a Game
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Games are about choices! Games are about challenge! Games are about avatars! So many banners line the battlefield of games, so many visions of “what games are”. Yet no-one who attempts to boil down games into a simple formula preserves... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at ihobo
Hi Nikos, I have a lot of love for these kinds of thoughts. :) The Hindu concept of 'lila' (god at play) goes in a similar direction. Many thanks for your thoughtful contributions, and for digging up some of the older pieces here at the Game. It's fascinating to see my earlier thought processes excavated - especially when they eventually became part of one of my books in one form or another. Makes me feel as if the time I have whiled away here hasn't been entirely wasted. ;) I would encourage you to take our discussion further by tackling one of the books - perhaps Wikipedia Knows Nothing since the PDF is free, although in fact it is possible for me to give free PDFs of all my philosophy books for either academic purposes or review purposes, so there are many possibilities. Have a think about it, anyway... It might be that you're just enjoying having a trawl of the website here and aren't ready to sink your teeth into something more substantial like a book. But at some point, if you're getting on with my ways of thinking, the books would be a logical next step. Many thanks for taking an interest! Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2016 on God's Dice at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, Whether the second is or isn't depends upon the definition of 'religion'. At the moment, I would say even (1) isn't actually good enough at what religions do well to qualify as a religion, since it fails to generate a community of care which is the basic social property of all religions. I would call both (1) and (2) nonreligions. The most complete discussion of this topic is in The Mythology of Evolution. I think the distinction you are trying to make is between theological practices, which (1) embodies, and ideological practices, which (2) embodies. In this sense, I can understand the claim you are making. But not all religions are theological, so using this as a boundary condition for religion is of limited effectiveness, and reflects the extent that our thinking on 'religion' in the West is conditioned by excessive exposure to Christianity - and with it that concept of 'reality' that the two recent pieces addressed. (The association of 'religion' and 'belief' in particular). For a really well thought-out take on defining 'religion', Ninian Smart's Dimensions of the Sacred would be my recommendation - although reading between the lines, I don't think this actually is your interest here! :) Thanks for sharing your perspective, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2016 on Science and the Sacred at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, I've been a vegetarian for a long time now, but I do not engage in vegetarian evangelism, which I find is mostly counter-productive. This piece is ten years old. However, some of the ideas traced here did get polished up and appear as part of the discussion within Chaos Ethics. This would also be where I deal with the question of whether 'morality is objective'. You can certainly argue this - but the arguments only go so far, and generate further problems upon whichever line you follow. Again, Chaos Ethics is where I deal with this. Since that book, I have rethought the concept of 'objective' (in Wikipedia Knows Nothing) and on this new conceptualisation morality cannot be objective, and that's a rather good thing since 'objective knowledge' is the knowledge we have of objects, and objects are the wrong measure for moral value. Crucially, WKN argues that 'subjective' should not be a means of dismissing knowledge. Moral knowledge is subjective, which makes it authentically knowledge when it is reliable. The question of when moral knowledge is reliable is, however, rather interesting, and something I am currently working with. You've certainly been digging up some old chestnuts here at the Game! :) Cheers, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2016 on Thought for Food at Only a Game
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Hi Nikos, The only connection between my use of a phenomenal multiverse and the physicists Many Worlds interpretation is that both got the word 'multiverse' from novelist Michael Moorcock. There the connection ends. The way I am using the term is older, though, and can also be traced through the work of William James. I therefore claim 'home field advantage.' ;) Note also that by Popper's milestone the Many World's interpretation would be excluded from the sciences and treated as metaphysics. Since this is how Intelligent Design and various other things are currently excluded, there is an interesting debate here that no-one is having. (I owe my thoughts on this to Cathy Bryant, who first introduced me to philosophy). Full discussion on the differences between the two concepts of 'multiverse' can be found in Chaos Ethics, although it's a chunky read that one! Thanks for asking about this, Chris.
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Hi Nikos, I am not seeking in these two pieces to provide an exhaustive catalogue of approaches to reality, but only to provide the background to the contemporary concept of 'reality' (part 1), and discuss the pressures currently upon it (part 2). A complete summary of approaches to 'reality' would be a giant undertaking, and would take me far beyond my interests. I just wanted to make the point that (a) reality is a relatively new concept and (b) it is a concept we can change. However, I perhaps came close to attempting a catalogue in this piece A Deck of Realities. But my thinking on reality and ontology was still quite vague at this point, I think, and I would probably approach this differently now. Thanks, Chris.
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Hi Nikos, Interesting commentary, although definitely tangential to the thrust of this piece! I think you're talking about reality in a way most people would recognise and appreciate, but it's not where my head is with regards the real, as this two-parter indicates. Cheers for getting involved! Apologies for slow response times... horribly busy right now. All the best, Chris.
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