24 December 2021

Unthinking a thought?

Is it at all possible to unthink a thought once it has been thought?

Isn't the unthinking of a well-thought thought unthinkable?

Who is to judge whether a thought has been well thought, if not the thoughtful?

In these democratic times, however, it seems that 'people' are the adjudicators of well-thought thoughts.

For 'people' an ill-thought thought is one inaccessible to average understanding, whereas 'people' insist on easy, barrier-free accessibility for average understanding. The modern media are there to enforce and fulfil this 'democratic' demand of 'people', to render thoughts palatable.

Where does this leave the radically thought, unheard-of thought of a thinker?

It leaves it there in the openness of historical time for, once thought, it can no longer be unthought.

Further reading: Challenges for Today’s Thinking.

22 December 2021

Sustainability and Extinction

The media are awash with news about the global movement to rein in CO2-induced global warming. The aim is to bring about, at the last minute, a sea change in the direction of sustainability, of keeping the temperature rise within sustainable limits. The use of the Earth's finite resources is to be managed in an economical, recycling way to enable the sustainable reproduction of human beings along with all the species of plants and animals on which human beings depend and deem valuable for their continued survival. The end goal? The message hammered in daily through the progressive media: The survival of human beings as a species is at stake! Extinction looms on the futural horizon! 

(Conservatives deny that there's a problem at all. Why? Because their highest value, that they will defend bloodily to the death with all means possible, is thingified value. As long as they own their thingified possessions securely and generate income in the gainful game, they remain content with the status quo.)

You mean our only option is to achieve our survival AS a species of animal??! Can't we do better than that?? (Mind you, I'm not advocating a trans-human version of humanity on an algorithmized silicon basis as some A.I. propagandists enthuse.)

Are we stuck with understanding ourselves AS a species of animal in some kind of evolutionary continuity with so-called lower species of animal? Are we content to continue understanding ourselves as a kind of whats among all the other whats inhabiting the planet? And then striving to master all kinds of movement scientifically, suitably, sustainably to ensure our survival as an animal species?

Haven't we painted ourselves, our mind, into a corner, the corner of whatness, from where it seems inconceivable that we could ever even begin to think and recast our selves within the ambience of whoness?

Hasn't modern philosophy failed us utterly and become along the way — since the triumph of empiricism, positivism and pragmatism — an obsequious, toadying lick-spittle to the sciences? It has well earned its status of despicable irrelevance, remaining responsible only for ethical clean-up jobs after the fact.

Is the emergence of neurophilosophy as probably the most recent branch of philosophy a sure sign of Western philosophy's irremediable capitulation to the modern sciences, both natural and social?

In view of the never-ending end of philosophy, we humans need to learn to rethink from scratch.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Further reading: Challenges for Today’s Thinking.

19 November 2021

Philorock: Ontological Difference Ver. 3.0

Third time lucky?

Here is the third version of my philorock song:

Ontological Difference

You could say it's the theme song of my new novel-in-progress.

Hopefully for your pleasure.

31 October 2021

Rachel Eldred's review of Challenges for Today’s Thinking

The first thing you notice about Michael Eldred's Challenges for Today’s Thinking is its cover by Anna Ninck (Untitled 1993). It’s strikingly beautiful, reminiscent of a rare gem, so exquisite in its simple perfection. 

An apt metaphor for a gem of a book that offers the reader something entirely new to contemplate as humanity rushes deeper and deeper into its cyber reality, eager to embrace its celebrated perks (efficiency, productivity, a more convenient way of life) while often dismissing its alarming flaws (privacy, algorithmic control, information overload). 

Guided by thoughtful questions from MG Michael and Katina Michael, Michael Eldred offers an antidote of sorts, a way of seeing that asks the discerning thinker to slow down, take a deep breath and think through how we got to where we are today so we can more thoughtfully consider the ‘big’ questions; most importantly, the question of what it means to be human. 

A philosopher of more than 40 years' standing, Eldred knows his stuff. I know he knows his stuff because he’s my father and I have witnessed his deep engagement with Western philosophy since I was a child. When my third class teacher asked me what my father did for a job, I replied, ‘He studies what it means to be human’, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Indeed, a most important job. 

Forty years later, I still think it’s ‘a most important job’ even if at times I’ve been doggedly determined to outthink my father. Every time I’ve inevitably had my mind blown with an entirely different way to view what I thought was an ‘incontrovertible truth’. 

Be prepared to have your mind blown too if you consider any of the following as unquestionably true: 

— That the only way to know the world is through the senses; 

— That human being is synonymous / interchangeable with a machine / computer; 

— That consciousness is located in the brain; 

— That facts equal truth; 

— That only science has the answers to the ‘big’ questions; 

— That AI will rule the world one day; 

— That ‘cause and effect’ is the only way to view human movement; or

— That knowledge is the accumulation of information. 

In Challenges for Today's Thinking, Eldred introduces some of Western philosophy’s most renowned thinkers - Plato, Aristotle, Adorno, Descartes, Marx, Heidegger, Hegel and Kant - to illustrate the underlying philosophical thinking that has led to our digital age. Eldred shows how thoroughly this way of thinking has infiltrated many areas of life, including economics, psychology and, of course, technology, disregarding other possible ways of thinking that stand in its way.  

Challenges for Today's Thinking is your opportunity to take a step back and see for yourself how efficiently humanity’s potential can be undermined when human beings refuse to engage with thinking outside the status quo. 

Thanks to MG Michael and Katina Michael - fine and discerning thinkers in their own right - Eldred’s philosophy has been distilled into a highly digestible and accessible way to give anyone with a questioning mind the opportunity to truly explore the ‘big’ questions rather than explain them away because they don’t fit today’s established patterns of thinking.  

Challenges for Today's Thinking presents the reader with a philosophy that is ready for the 21st century. 

Is the 21st century ready for it? 

Rachel Eldred

Available at amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.com.au and other online bookstores.

29 September 2021

Fakt und Wahrheit

Wer versteht heute (noch), daß ein Fakt absolut korrekt und dennoch zutiefst unwahr sein kann?

Der Empirismus und der Positivismus machen diese Einsicht unmöglich. 

Weitere Lektüre: Social Ontology of Whoness, von Amazon.de erhältich

Fact and Truth

Who understands today that a fact can be perfectly correct and yet be deeply untrue? 

Empiricism and positivism make this insight impossible.

Further reading: Social Ontology of Whoness, available from Amazon.com

05 September 2021

On the Digital Age is out in paperback

A short and pithy introduction to my thinking, with extensive bibliography,
in an interview with MG Michael & Katina Michael
is now available in paperback (84 pp.):

Michael Eldred on the Digital Age: Challenges for Today’s Thinking

Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.com.au and elsewhere online.