12 August 2016

Self-delusory realism vs. idealism

Analytic philosophy is based on a self-delusion: the distinction between realism and idealism, which is the same as the dichotomy between subject and object which, in turn, is equivalent to the purportedly self-evident dichotomy between inside (consciousness) and outside (the external world).

The cliché of inside and outside consciousness is a product of Modern Age metaphysics first articulated by Descartes. Henceforth, even the ancient philosophers have been subjected thoughtlessly to the indignity of being classified as 'defending' 'idealist' (e.g. Plato) and 'realist' (e.g. Aristotle) 'positions' in philosophy. Hence, analytic philosophers write such trite nonsense about these two great philosophers.

Analytic philosophy functions entirely as a discourse of opposing -ism-positions (deriving from the fundamental split between realism and idealism) and the arguments traded among them. The tacit fundamental ontological presupposition for analytic philosophy, however, is the split between inside and outside. Without it, analytic philosophy would collapse, dissolving into quaint meaninglessness. Therefore, don't expect analytic philosophy to admit its fundamental delusion any time soon, especially since it would lose its main client, effective modern science, with which it shares the basic self-delusion. Neither is able to reflect upon its own underlying hermeneutic-ontological cast without self-annihilation.

Just as at the end of the Middle Ages, medieval philosophy entangled itself hopelessly in the theological niceties of scholasticism, so, too, could today's analytic philosophy descend onto an extinction path due to the sterility of its multiple subtle positionings and arid formalisms.

Further reading: Thinking in Clichés from A Question of Time.


  1. Who do you mean by "analytic philosophy"? Are there many people even doing "analytic philosophy" any more?

    1. Analytic philosophy is your common or garden variety of philosophy throughout the Anglophone world's universities. It predominates also in many other countries where the Anglophone philosophy has become hegemonic, e.g. Germany. So you can't avoid analytic philosophy in the academy. It was launched around the turn of the 20th century by Bertrand Russell and friends.