- Modern stupidities are more irritating than ancient stupidities because their proselytes try to justify them in the name of reason. --Dávila
Woke up wondering about the relationship between things that can't be and things that can and must be, i.e., the impossible, possible, and necessary, respectively.
In particular, I wonder if impossibilities can nevertheless yield positive metaphysical knowledge. Bear in mind that we don't yet know the answer, but I suspect there's something to my suspicion.
Among the most consequential impossibilities are called beings of reason. A being of reason is a rational concept that nevertheless cannot properly exist; it is essence deprived of existence, for example, a unicorn. We can describe what the word means, even though it has no referent in the real world. In fact, even "triangle" or "circle" are beings of reason, since we never find a perfect example in the real world.
Circle and triangle are formal beings of reason, but there are also purely logical or mathematical examples, such as, say, the square root of negative one.
So, some things that really exist can exist only in the head, hallucinations being another example. But if there are hallucinations and beings of reason, this is only because there is Being, full stop. If this weren't the case, then we could never distinguish between existence and fantasy, reality and tenure.
The Yves Simon Reader has a helpful chapter on The Distinction of Thing and Object. In the parlance of our times, these two are used synonymously, but in reality, things come first, objects second. In other words, things have to first exist before we conceptualize them as objects of thought. For example, a woman must exist before a man can pretend to be one.
Now, some objects relate to things, others only to other objects. I don't yet want to descend into the insultainment portion of our program, but consider "the patriarchy," "white privilege," or "equity." Each of these is a being of reason -- an object of thought -- which refers only to other objects within a certain ideological framework, but not to actual things, AKA reality (the same goes for "trans" man or woman).
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that ideology as such is a complex being of reason with more or less tenuous relations to the Thingdom of Reality. Many more such examples come to mind, and you could say that this is one Hayek's biggest big ideas -- that the term "social justice" isn't even wrong, just nonsense:
Look, I've got certain information, certain things have come to light, and uh, has it ever occurred to you, man, that given the nature of all this new shit, that, uh, instead of running around blaming me, that this whole thing might just be, not, you know, not just such a simple, but uh -- you know?
Wait. Wrong nonsense. That sounds like Biden's babbling spokestoken, who is Diversity Hire Incarnate.
All three volumes of Hayek's Law, Legislation and Liberty are on the permanent syllabus, so it's difficult to narrow it down. Volume 2 is called The Mirage of Social Justice, and it is indeed a mirage because it is an ideological being of reason with no connection to the real world. It is an idea, and may even be a beautiful idea, but it
is simply a quasi-religious superstition of the kind which we should respectively leave in peace so long as it merely makes those happy who hold it, but which we must fight when it becomes the pretext of coercing other men.
But progressives always exempt themselves from the separation of church and state.
Bottom line: social justice "does not belong to the category of error but to that of nonsense, like the term 'moral stone.'"
Moreover, it is used as a pretext to impose an order from on high, so it is neither social nor just. "Antisocial injustice" is more like it. And if you don't have time to read Hayek, just reach for this aphorism when they try to bash you over the head with their idea of Justice, and you won't go wrong:
“Social justice” is the term for claiming anything to which we do not have a right (Dávila).
In case you were wondering how Biden, the Obamas, the Clintons, et al, became wealthy. It certainly wasn't by creating anything of value, least of all justice!