Is this esoteric? I mean the previous 3,859 posts? I don't think so. While it may at times seem esoteric, it's just common sense pushed as far as it can go.
As we've said many times, most people either stop reasoning at an arbitrary point and then deny what their system excludes, or else assume at the beginning what the metaphysic can't explain. Both are circular, when man is always in need of an inspiraling narrative which we try to provide here at One Cosmos.
I suppose I first encountered this problem in a biography of Schopenhauer by Bryan Magee, since it was one of the many things that got on Schopenhauer's nerves: that most philosophers simply stop asking Why? at an arbitrary point.
Really, it's just the principle of sufficient reason writ large, which in turn is one of the first principles of philosophizing per se: that things have reasons, or causes, which must be sufficient to account for them. Deny this principle, and the very possibility of philosophy and science is denied. For what is knowledge but knowledge of causes?
As there are philosophical preambles to the faith, there are preambles to philosophizing, e.g., the principle of non-contradiction. Another principle or assumption is that there exists an intelligible reality that is external to us. These two principles alone render any number of philosophies null and void -- these latter are better termed philosophistries that mainly fool the people who are paid by foolish parents to fool their children.
Most modern philosophies are relativist, or nominalist, or reductive, and can only satisfy the intellectually incurious. There are plenty of intelligent people in the world, but most bring a thimble or bucket when even a lake can't contain the ocean of intelligibility.
But it's not just a matter of "size," or quantity; rather, it's a matter of dimensionality, so scientism (for example) is like a two-dimensional map of a three-dimensional space. It has its uses, but the menu isn't the meal.
Another characteristic of reality is that it is complex (which is not the same as complicated). This principle, although as obvious and accessible to common sense as the others, is just as widely ignored. It basically says that one cause can have diverse effects, while one effect can have a multitude of causes.
For example, it wasn't that long ago that biologists presumed a linear, one-to-one relationship between genes and their expression, but it turns out that few traits are that simple, and that the genome is full of nonlinear surprises -- boo! -- making it not just complicated but complex.
It used to be thought that complexity was the exception, linearity the rule. Turns out it's the other way around, and that, in the words of theoretical biologist Robert Rosen,
organisms possess noncomputable, unformalizable models. Such systems are what I call complex. The world of these systems is much larger and more generic than the simple world we inherit from reductionism.
Instead of simple I would say simplistic, not merely in a pejorative sense, but as antonymous to complex. Note that the world of complexity is both larger and more generic than the small and simplistic world of scientistic reduction: simplicity is situated in the context of complexity, not vice versa.
Rosen writes that "Any question becomes unanswerable if we do not permit ourselves a universe large enough to deal with the question." So, it's not so much that the answers are too small as the questions aren't big enough.
What are the Big Questions that co-arise with man and which never go away? Before attempting an answer, this is precisely the material object of philosophy: the great and primordial WTF?! You could say that philosophy both starts and ends here, but this doesn't mean it's merely absurcular. Rather -- quick, is there a poet in the house?!
We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.
Interestingly, this "greater knowledge" is inversely proportional to humility, such that the more you know the less you know. Sounds paradoxical, but it's just more common sense, for as Hayek explains, linear "constructivist rationalism" confers "a sense of unlimited power to realize our wishes," whereas the intrinsic complexity of "evolutionary rationalism" entails
the insight that there are limitations to what we can deliberately bring about, and to the recognition that some of our present hopes are delusions.
To be precise, the always delusional hopes of the left. Allowing ourselves to be deluded by this vain hopenchangery always results in a diminution of what man can actually achieve. Which is why the left always wants to "divvy up the pie," with no curiosity whatsoever as to how the pie came to be.
Just as understanding the laws and limits of nature is what allows us to transcend nature, it is "recognition of the limits of the possible which has enabled man to make full use of his powers" (ibid.).
The Morning Indoctrination from the NY Times is a nutcase in point. In it, the author explains how the Inflation Reduction Act will also, by the way, save the planet. First of all,
The climate bill will make cleaner energy cheaper for everyone.
Cheaper for everyone. I'll bite: how?
The bill’s climate provisions are mostly a collection of subsidies for energy that does not emit any carbon, like solar, wind and nuclear power.
Wait a minute: who pays for the subsidies? Who made the money tree? Santa Claus? Never mind.
I'm old enough to remember when the Times was addressed to a 10th grade level of intelligence instead of 5th grade.
The bill is also a sign that the U.S. is starting to take climate change seriously. That will give American diplomats more credibility as they ask other countries, such as China and India, to do the same.
Make that a pre-K level of intelligence.