In the preceding essays I have laid out in detail all of my philosophical views. I will now go over them again more quickly in a high-level summary:
Per my pragmatist metaphilosophy, all practical endeavors have at least a distant instrumental use for philosophy, in that all practical work can be analyzed in terms of using some tool to do some job, where:
- Administered by technologists, and
- Created by engineers, best informed by the discoveries of the
- Physical sciences, which in turn best employ the products of the
- Philosophy of reality and knowledge
- Administered by businesspeople, and
- Created by entrepreneurs, best informed by the discoveries of the
- Ethical sciences, which in turn best employ the products of the
- Philosophy of morality and justice
The job of philosophy is thus to seek wisdom, meaning a way of discerning better from worse answers to questions about both reality and morality, giving the physical and ethical sciences the tools they need to do their jobs of enabling the creation of further tools and jobs with which to drive all manner of practical work.
Per my essay on action, the possibility of success at any endeavor requires trying, but assuming either that success is impossible or that it is guaranteed means that there is no reason to try, and so renders success impossible. We must therefore always act according to a tacit assumption that success is possible, but not guaranteed.
Doing philosophy successfully thus requires that we assume what I call commensurablism, or universalist criticism, which is the position that, to questions about both reality and morality:
- It is possible to achieve such wisdom, in other words it is possible to give genuinely correct answers to questions, a position that I term "universalism"; and
- Such wisdom is not guaranteed, in other words no proposed answer is ever definitively correct beyond all question, a position that I term "criticism".
Universalism, being the commitment to there being universal answers to all meaningful questions, is the negation of what I term "relativism", which in turn encompasses:
- Solipsism and egotism
- Particular types of idealism
Criticism, being the commitment to always being open to critically questioning anything, is the negation of what I term "dogmatism", which in turn encompasses:
- Appeals to authority
- Appeals to popularity
Universalism demands always allowing the initial possibility that some proposed answer might be the correct one rather than rejecting every proposal at the outset, a position I term "liberalism"; equivalently, rejecting relativism demands also rejecting what I term "cynicism", which in turn encompasses:
- Scientism and constructivism
Criticism demands appealing always to experiential phenomena to judge proposed answers to questions without appeals to faith, a position I term "phenomenalism"; equivalently, rejecting dogmatism demands also rejecting what I term "transcendentalism", which in turn encompasses:
- Supernaturalism and "supernurturalism"
- Particular types of materialism
Commensurablism thus demands phenomenal liberalism, which is to say the rejection of both transcendentalism and cynicism. That in turn demands a philosophy of language that:
- Differentiates between descriptive and prescriptive propositions (so as not to fall into cynicism), and
- Grounds both types of proposition in different experiential phenomena (so as not to fall into transcendentalism)
Phenomenal universalism, which is to say the rejection of both transcendentalism and relativism, demands:
A philosophy of mathematics that:
- Grants some kind of universal existence to abstract objects, but
- Does not locate them in some kind of transcendental realm
A philosophy of art that:
- Grants that things can be universally beautiful, but
- Does not ascribe any kind of transcendental quality to such beauty
- An empirical realist ontology
- A hedonic moralist teleology
- A functional panpsychist philosophy of mind, and
- A compatibilist philosophy of will
Critical liberalism, the rejection of both dogmatism and cynicism, demands:
- A critical rationalist or falsificationist epistemology,
- A liberal or libertarian deontology,
Having read through my philosophy in detail once, and again reading through this high-level summary, I recommend reading this entire Codex through once more in detail with this bigger picture in mind, to better see how each smaller piece fits together into the unified whole that I hope you now understand.
Back to the Introduction.