[These writings were originally posted on a well-known philosophy forum, responses to someone in academia. As the forum rejected the last post I sent, I am reposting the whole series here, including the rejected post.]
2012-05-22 (Original posting date)
Perhaps an ethnographic analysis, of the relation between history and chronologically related philosophical practices, noting conceptual emphases and ‘ommissions’? The relationship would not necessarily be strictly contemporaneous, philosophical practices operate largely in spaces of their own construction, the ‘inner’ momentum of respective traditions being, arguably, the greatest influence. but extraphilosophic factors cannot be entirely dismissed. It may be that there are philosophically significant links between Occidental ‘forms of conceptuality’, as it were, and its colonial practices. The issue certainly merits investigation.
The nature of historical influence is not always readily apparent, especially when its consideration is distorted by an interpretative animus, invariably selective in nature, parochial by design. Such select parochiality often has purposes far from any ‘philosophical’ altruism.
Gianni Vattimo spoke of “empiricist imperialism” in a debate with John Searle and David Farrell Krell.
It may be insightful in this regard to note the interests of the triumvirate of British Empiricists, who have been so influential on the tradition of modern, Occidental philosophy.
Locke, English: Statecraft and Money.
Berkeley, Irish: Ideas, hosted by God. He was a bishop, after all.
Hume, Scottish: Scepticism and Billiards
Ireland and Scotland, being colonial acquisitions, lends an almost humorous aspect to the above: the Englishman is concerned with political economy, the Irishman is left with God, the Scotsman, not believing any of it, turns to simple amusement.
It might be that the ‘love of wisdom’ is very much a contingent affair, not amenable to the kinds of standardisation associated with the various ‘universals’ offered over preceding centuries.
“On the heights of despair”, (the) One sighs(,) does not fit All.