Hey David, interesting how what you wrote sprang from a dream you woke up from a few nights ago and what I am about to write was something I scrawled down just before going to sleep a few nights ago, literally wrote these ideas in a notepad with my head on the pillow. I wrote the idea several ways and have not yet settled on one summary version, or slogan, if you will.
You may not have considered that you were proposing a philosophical project when you suggested we need to give reasons for why we say “this is good” but I think the idea stands within the history of human philosophical musings very nicely.
I’ve been reading some Western philosophy recently, to help my chew over my own ‘first principles’ in my own meaning making project and perhaps the first of my first principles is that any attempt to explain ourselves to ourselves must start by recognising and embracing the reality that our humanity is embodied and that our truth seeking must also be embodied from the foundation up.
I breathe, therefore I am.
All human knowledge is embodied.
Reason is a bodily function.
Philosophy without shit is bullshit.
Emoting and thinking are one.
Feeling is primary, thinking is secondary.
Reason without body is nonsense.
Just a few of the things I scrawled before falling asleep. I apologise for the few “must” words I used a few sentences back, I rarely use ‘must’, it rarely aids a conversation. In this instance I’ll simply say that I’m really talking to myself when I say that my philosophy “must” start with embodiment and adopt a process that is explicicitly an embodied process. I am not suggesting anyone else in this conversation ‘must’ do anything!
To be honest I’m not super clear on what an embodied philosophical process will be, which is part of the adventure, but I do know that an embodied process is one that recognises that dividing our interior experience into “thoughts” and “feelings” or “reason” and “emotion” is a false division and is a fundamental mistake at the very foundations of Western philosophy. The mistake is not merely in the distortion of describing a single process as two processes but in the further groundless demand that one of those fake distinctions be valued as more useful and more reliable than the other.
Western society continues to declare to itself that reason and thinking are reliable, testable, trustable and that emotion and sensation are unreliable, unstable, problematic. Groundless assertions but ones with character references all the way back to the early Greek philosophers.
My idea of an embodied philosophical process recognises that the ‘knowing’ process going on inside my skin is ONE process that is layered, complex, systemic and grounded in my flesh, bone, sinew and nerve.
The “correctional” way of putting this might be that my philosophy will take my body and my feelings and sensations as seriously as traditional philosophy has taken “reason”. I don’t really like the correctional explanation as it continues to use the binary of ‘reason/emotion’ and I consider that to be a mere linguistic artifact that serves, among other things, the current construction of gender roles and the alienation of humans from their own bodies.
In practical terms in the current discussion, if I were to answer why I think such and such is “good” my answer must start with information coming up out of all of my body, not merely with sentences being generated in my “brain”.
This might not seem like it really is connected to what you wrote David, but I immediately concieved this blog on reading yours, so that’s how I’ve played it.
Truth is embodied or it’s not true.