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“You Would Never Guess” Meme

October 11, 2009

I’m starting a new meme: you have to tell me something unusual about yourself that I probably wouldn’t guess about you.

Here’s my unusual thing: you probably wouldn’t guess it, but one of the philosophers I’ve learned the most from was G.W.F. Hegel. Reading Hegel was like reaching my own “Copernican Revolution” in philosophical thinking, as Kant put it.

First, it was because of reading Hegel that I abandoned empiricism and Kantianism, or what Hegel calls “reflective philosophy.” Basically, I began becoming a social constructionist when I read Hegel and realized that we don’t discover the world, we make it, dialectically. To put it differently, things don’t have identities—there is no “in-itself”—rather, identities are constructed in a dialectical relationship between humans and the stuff of the world. And, in addition, Hegel taught us that humans are actually part of the stuff of the world, rather than divided from it, as Kant seemed to suggest. We didn’t have to wait until Richard Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature to have an explanation of what’s wrong with reflective/mirror philosophy.

Second, it was because of Hegel that I thoroughly abandoned liberalism. He’s got such a smashing critique of the emptiness of liberal ways of thinking—that critique sunk in and I never looked back.

So, what is your unusual thing I would never guess about you? I’m tagging Brad at “Brad’s Words,” Alderson at “Directionless Bones,” Jim at “Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop and Tea Room,” the vulgarist at “Vulgar Marxism,” Deane at “The Dunedin School,” and Buffy at “The Gaytheist Agenda.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2009 4:00 am

    About me: I am a vegetarian with a new leather jacket.
    About Hegel: The “W” in G.F.W. stands for “Wayne” and was the inspiration behind the swanky W hotels franchise.
    About you: Look out behind you!

  2. Dr. Jim permalink
    October 13, 2009 11:09 pm

    Just saw this now. I will post something soon, but if I get arrested for it I will expect you to send me a cake with a file in it.

  3. October 14, 2009 6:07 pm

    I enjoy needlework (crochet, cross-stitch) and I look more like a mousy Christian librarian than I do a radical lesbian atheist activist.

  4. October 21, 2009 3:08 pm

    I gotta’ keep up with my Google reader, or I’m gonna’ miss out on stuff like this!

    My unusual thing that you probably wouldn’t guess: I grew up impersonating Elvis Presley. All of my dance moves are derivations from his and Michael Jackson’s.

    In terms of my brain-life: I’m a total math nerd. I was awesome at math in high school, and then I took one semester in college (Algebra II), and I was bored to tears. It just couldn’t stand up to the excitement of literature, philosophy, and religious theories.

    I’ve recently come to re-discover my skills in math in the form of logical syllogisms. You can find some of Lewis Carroll’s logic problems here:

    Mathematical thinking is fun again!


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