Why am I here?


This is an experiment.

I retired another blog (The Aboniblog – archived here). It was ill-conceived from the start, but helped me figure out how this ought to be done. This go around I am narrowing my focus to issues that I believe are worth writing about and are of interest to me.

There will be posts about anarchy of course. But my goal is to think about the subject from an ethical/philosophical point of view rather than merely political. There are plenty of others out there that are much more articulate critics of the state than I am. I will link to them as this goes along.

I blog under the pseudonym Abonilox; a name that has a long personal history that is of no interest here. I considered using my real name since I don’t expect to post anything that I would not own in “real life”. But I’m still attached to the nom de plume. If you are concerned to know my real identity, drop me an email and we can discuss it.

I do not consider myself an expert writer by any means, but I have a decent mastery of my native tongue, and occasionally I have observations about philosophical topics that are worth discussing.

My philosophical training was as an undergraduate and whatever additional understanding I have has come from my own reading since college (about twenty years ago). I take philosophical questions seriously. By that I mean I think they are relevant to our general understanding of the world. There are many approaches to these questions. Doing philosophy is only one of them, and I do not believe it has some special elevated place in the intellectual sphere. But for some it is the natural way of looking at things.

The name of the blog of course comes from Heidegger who I have been reading for about four years. It has a formal meaning in his philosophy, but for me it is a general term that reminds me that the ultimate destination for all of us is to perish utterly. The idea of death as a theme in life has a long history in various cultures, but is an idea that is rapidly becoming alien to our culture. We are quickly mastering the art of distraction described by Pascal long ago.

I have other interests. I have yet to read a decent philosophical account of human emotion and its relation to intentionality. I have an intuition that a well-defined account of individual autonomy could be the basis of an ethical system (and of the moral necessity of an anarchistic culture). I have a background in aesthetics and art so I may take a stab at keeping up with that topic.

This effort will be greatly helped by discourse with other interested folks. I hope that some of the excellent interlocutors that visited the old blog will make there way here eventually. It was a tiny audience, but then the pool of people that take any interest in these things is pretty small to begin with. And those in academia tend to be so specialized that they don’t have much interest in general topics. Nor would most of them deign to comment on a blog hosted by a layman. There are wonderful exceptions of course, and I will link to them as we go along.

So wish me luck! I hope to be here for a while.

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6 thoughts on “Why am I here?

  1. Good luck! Will update WoW’s bloglist when I return to the motheship [i.e., return from vacay]. re emotional life & intentionality: take a look at the work of Martha Nussbaum. Her “Upheavals of Thought” is insightful, esp. w/r/t literary/aesthetic relations to emotions.

    Best,
    Jim H.

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    • Hi Jim! Thanks for the visit. I love Nussbaum. I’ll look for that book/paper and check it out.

      I’ll be getting the blogroll going pretty soon. Not even sure if I like this template yet, but I like the picture and can’t find another template looks good with it.

      Cheers!

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  2. good luck

    about death – i am in the process of reading larry rosenberg’s book ‘living in the light of death’ –

    one concept or metaphor i found there – one can think of one’s death as a destination – but another way to think of it is as a companion who is always with you

    i have been an orphan for five years, but the death this year of my mother’s sister reminded me of my mortality even more poignantly than any earlier experience, as i have now some biological symptoms of discomfort and diminished functional capacity, of starting my slide down from the middle age plateau, as i did not have when my last surviving parent died a few years ago

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    • I have always appreciated your comments at some of our mutual haunts.

      The death thing is a big deal and I’m looking forward to writing about it a lot. I’m pushing 50 and haven’t been sick a day in my life, so I know I’m done for.

      We treat death, conceptually, in strange ways.

      I hope your health doesn’t slide too rapidly and that you enjoy many more productive years.

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      • Pushing 50, eh? Within a year, by any chance? Perhaps, like me, you’re leading-edge Generation X, or maybe on the cusp between Generation Jones and Generation X.

        Also, thanks so much for a spot on your blogroll!

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      • I still have a couple of years. Same age as the Super Bowl. But yes, I’m definitely in that group of early Gen-X’rs. And as a representative of that group, my vexation with the Boomers grows stronger with each passing year. Unfortunately, my lack of interest in preserving my health will probably mean I won’t live long enough to see that generation finally go quietly into that dark night.

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