Argument or Insight?


“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer was of that school of thought, the singular, that argument without insight is useless and a waste of a philosopher’s time. I’ve seen it. Many books on philosophy, psychology, neurosciences etc. that I read of late have excellent argumentation which is beyond repute and full of eloquence and design, but Insight? No. Most of it repeats the arguments and insights of others without ever adding original thought to the mix so that one is left in the end with why I read this work which gives so little but says so much. How many thinkers today actually have anything to say? Where are the insightful ideas and concepts today? Philosophers at the moment seem to be repeating the gestures of the past two hundred years, moving in circles within circles trying to outdo Kantian thought with every form of Analytical and Synthetic argument seeking a way past this old buzzard who has set all the traps beforehand. Some have given up the ghost of philosophy for the sciences, others are in bedlam of linguistic and analytical hell, others discover the curse of Hegel, while still others seek to do away with the problem altogether in a non-human, inhuman, posthuman, or transhuman Outside. In the end what is there left?

Concepts always stand in for something already absent: an insight, which comes only through singular experience. The Philosopher as the supreme conceptualist tries through language, mathematics, or logic to capture and trap that original insight in a concept, then through argumentation seeks to clarify and communicate this. If he succeeds, he adds to our knowledge and understanding. Most fail miserably in one form or another which is why we return over and over to certain thinkers more than others: this is the canon of Western Philosophy that seems to gather the insights that sustain this whole endeavor.

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