Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Self-Discipline in Philosophy

I've been reflecting on things I consider proper self-discipline in philosophical/political discussions, in particular areas where I've failed and others around me have failed. It's very difficult, with certain topics, to be as careful as one should be - the greatest difficulty, I think, is avoiding letting a need for catharsis cause one to say things that are just rude (and, depending on what's said, not representative of one's views). In a recent flesh-and-blood conversation about the ex-Cuban exile community in Florida, I stepped over this line, and now I'm embarassed and curious if those who were there think that that was what I actually think. By no means do I consider them harmless for the world, so I can't say that there's nothing in there I meant - it's more that what I said was a smooth mix of the meant and the unmeant. I don't do this kind of thing often, but sometimes... I'm used to seeing it in other people - it takes me some time to filter out what's meant from what's not meant with some of them. I wonder if the character of Rupert from Hitchcock's Rope was meant to be in the midst of such a misunderstanding. There have been some people I've known who take this so far that even people who know them for a long time can't easily separate things. There's also the matter of incivility - responding gracefully when presented with different attitudes/values/etc and one can't argue further, being reluctant to become personal, keeping a conversational tone, these are things that I strongly believe in, and some part of me considers people to have disqualified themselves for conversation for awhile when they jump this line. .. I haven't always been successful on this front either though. In recent years, I do my best to remain able to say "I'm becoming heated/stressed, let's continue this conversation later" to avoid that - it's still a shame, but a lesser one, I think. Another thing I try to avoid doing is saying that things are "just wrong" - there's a difference between saying "I hold this as a base value" (which marks it as an unassailable "given" in value philosophy or anything derived from it) and saying "that value/perspective/etc is wrong" in a way that implies actual fact (rather than a conclusion derived from values) - the latter is a conceit - that one's values are true and others are wrong. Distinction: values are held by people, and their actions are understood through their configuration, not that they are true.These are part of my notion of virtue-as-philosopher.

Amusement: misuse of the term "hypocricy" to refer to a perceived inconsistency based on simplification of another person's views down to a set of regularities they don't hold, and finding two aspects that disagree. This is disturbingly common. The various means people use to manipulate other people really get to me sometimes, especially when they're so transparently broken. Political and common-person public discourse is mostly fluff of this sort. There's something almost endearing about it though.

Soccer went well today. There were very few people, so I was running around a lot more - I'm getting better at taking the ball from opponents. I'm going to try occasionally playing midfield in the pickup games when energy permits. I've been playing with ideas of soccer with two teams and a number of floaters who originally have half assigned to each loyalty but reallocate after every goal to automatically keep uneven teams balanced. Mechanics of 3+ team soccer would also be interesting, from receiving points for any foreign goal to only receiving points for the goal clockwise to theirs (or other arbitrary goal choice). The idea of, for time-blocked games, having shifting advantages/disadvantages that teams must weather would be interesting too. .. and this reminds me of playing a Calvinball variant at the last Wikimania - it was fantastic.

Thinking about going to Ceremony tonight - anyone else up for it? I haven't danced for too long...


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