Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

An area where I'm sloppy with terms

I need to be more careful with how I talk about philosophy sometimes. Nobody has really called me on this to the extent that I should be called on it (in terms of low philosophical standards, but then maybe people don't see the standards I'm aiming for, or my blogstuff being mostly unrevised never reaches these standards, but that's another topic entirely).

Internally, when I think of intent, it's a gradated term. There's the intent that's conscious, and then there's accessible intent which is reachable through introspection and possibly inferred from outside. I normally call both "Intent" in English on my blog, in kind of the same way that my concept of "Will of the People" refers to the idea of what the people want on some nonvisible were their needs/interests reconciled and crafted into a philosophy. The latter's admittedly a bit airy, but the former's reasonably concrete. The latter concept of intent is probably a bit far from what "intent" normally means in English though. Maybe I need a better word for it, because it's pretty important in some discussions. Ideally a word that recognises that I see it as being a close cousin to mentally visible intent, and recognises that jurisprudential concepts of intent are nearby. Maybe.

There's frequently a difficulty in philosophy in avoiding creating a plethora of new terms that people need to learn before they know the shape of your argument, and avoiding using words in seriously alien ways to how people already use them. Everyone does both to some extent, of course, and people also generally will both use the world-of-terms given them by their culture and create some new ones (or choose their subset) based on values, whim, and expressiveness.

I am frustrated with myself for always needing to replace my simply-translated "intent" with the spread-out set of concepts that compose "findable intent" whenever it comes up in discussion. There's got to be some better way of doing it that doesn't have me sounding like I'm part of the French existentialist movement (which, like Hegel, is very new-term-heavy).

Almost ready to do a series of posts on what I think it means to do philosophy seriously.

Tags: philosophy

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