Tuesday, January 28, 2020

In science,
a fact
must be verified.

In politics,
an act
must be justified.

Philosophy does not
speak the truth. It
sheds light into darkness.

Poetry doesn't tell
us what is just. It
tells us where it hurts.

(Cf. "The Cramp")

Friday, January 24, 2020

The truth is discovered
in perception.
It does not decide.

Justice can't make discoveries.
It is decided
                       in action.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Observation is to knowledge as negotiation, to power.

"What is it?" is a scientific question.
"Who are we?" is a political question.

We observe things in search of truth.
We negotiate with people for justice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


"It's raining."
This is an observation.

"Let's dance."
This is a negotiation.

Cf. Quine 1993.

Friday, January 17, 2020

A man is a boy
who has come of age.

A boy is a child
who is to be a man.

A child is a being
who is newly born.

A being is open
to becoming old.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Your receptivity to poetry.
Your capacity for philosophy.
Your facility with words.

the intuition
under an institution
rules adrift on waves

See also, "A Drift" and "Getting my Own Drift"

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Philosophy seeks a clear thought.
Poetry seeks an intense feeling.

Both aim to be precise.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

I've long sought the pangrammatical analogue for "rationality". For reason, it's passion. For logic, it's pathos. Reasonable, passionate. Logical, yes, pathetic. But what's on the other side of "rational"?

I owe the answer to Louis C.K. Rationality is to knowledge as hilarity, to power. Philosophy is rational as poetry is hilarious. Wittgenstein hoped that his thoughts might "shed some light into one mind or another"; Pound described poetry as "an art to make light the heart of man". Indeed, "the very existence of poetry should make you laugh," said Kenneth Koch, "what is it all about, what is it all for?"

As for philosophy ... It makes you think, doesn't it?