Rejected Philosophies

I reject the following philosophical positions/beliefs (aka “isms”), and I’m redesigning this page to take that into account…these “isms” are being placed under the 5 broad categories typically recognized by philosophical study, 1.) Metaphysics, 2.) Epistemology, 3.) Ethics, 4.) Politics, 5.) Aesthetics (art)

This section will grow over time as I begin to make explicit what for now has been primarily implicit for me. Please keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive at this point…

Note: I use the term *man, in a gender neutral sense, in that it applies to both woman and men equally, unless otherwise clarified in a particular point.

METAPHYSICS:

Materialism/Physicalism
Are man’s senses broad enough in scope and power, even supported w/ tools, to teach that we exist in a closed-physical system w/ certainty?
Can all experiences, events and phenomena be reduced & explained at the material/atomic/physical level with our limited senses/tools?

EPISTEMOLOGY:

Postmodernism / Skepticism (taken to an extreme/absolute)
Can one really propose to firmly deny the existence of objective truth, without at the same time abolishing their own position utterly?

Scientism
Since when is science the father of philosophy or the arbiter of all knowledge (or inspiration for that matter) and hence the only true way to knowledge?
Isn’t there a ‘Philosophy of Science’ in fact, but not the opposite?

Nihilism
Is believing in nothing worth affirming it as a heart-felt belief?
Does someone lacking any real positive utility, produce anything worthwhile?

ETHICS:

Hedonism
This seems to be one of the easier ones for me to to reject, and it’s not at all because I dislike feeling pleasures, etc…it’s simply that it rings as a very shallow thing to hold as a true foundation concerning one’s beliefs/ethics. I equate it not only to be one of the most SELFISH (in the subjectivist sense) of philosophies, but also one of the LAZIEST.  It’s as if the ‘thinker’ is saying “this is too hard, I am too tempted and so what’s the point, let’s go make love and be merry and make it a rule to do so.” it’s really unattractive intellectually.

My personal “feelings” on it aside, I also think holding any natural process “aka: pleasure” to be intrinsically good is too simple (aka lazy), and commits a Naturalistic fallacy, as well.  I agree strongly with AYN RAND on this, who said:  ‘To take “whatever makes one happy” as a guide to action means: to be guided by nothing but one’s emotional whims. Emotions are not tools of cognition.’ and ‘The task of ethics is to define man’s proper code of values and thus to give him the means of achieving happiness. To declare, as the ethical hedonists do, that “the proper value is whatever gives you pleasure” is to declare that “the proper value is whatever you happen to value” – which is an act of intellectual and philosophical abdication, an act which merely proclaims the futility of ethics and invites all men to play it deuces wild’.

Consequentialism & Rational Egoism

Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the consequences of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgement about the rightness of that conduct. Thus, from a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right act (or omission from acting) is one that will produce a good outcome, or consequence. The idea of consequentialism is commonly encapsulated in the English saying, “the ends justify the means”.

I reject this for fairly obvious reasons, as the ends don’t always justify the means and countless common sense examples for anyone approaching a sense of morality can be brought to bear on this fact.

Contractarianism

To be fleshed out at a later date…suffice it to say that the ‘individual’ always trumps the “state” in terms of rights, and strongly so in my view.

POLITICS:

Utilitarianism
Does outright denying the existence of absolute/universal values/virtues/principles make a better man, who in turn then goes on create a better culture/society?

Egalitarianism
Why uphold a man to his highest standard (and reward him thus) when you can just lower the standards for everyone else, until no standards exist to stand in the way of mediocrity?
Does having equal rights mean we must unjustly diminish the great accomplishments of ‘specific individuals’ for the sake of a “fairness for all” doctrine?

Pragmatism
Should we just abandon our most cherished values and principles because social-dictum deems it expedient, or because knowledge about some things is less than certain?
Is it wise to embrace a position that holds all principles as being inherently agnostic and subject to whim/circumstance? Is this advisable to a man’s life who wishes for integrity both from himself and others?

Collectivism
Do we replace our individualism with the collective whims of a WE? (group)  Do we allow those other minds to rule our own, not because it’s good for us (man), but rather is best for “men” and our individual rights be damned?

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