can’t see the forest

Project -ism

Posted in knowledge, philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, writing by Curtis on 9/23/07

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Blank Book

There’s grand shenanigans in the works here at Can’t See the Forest, see. I’ve collected my notes, dragged out about a dozen intimidatingly dense nonfiction volumes, opened at least two million Firefox tabs, made a couple of drafts, and am just about ready to begin publishing Project -ism.

What is this nonsense? First, let me lay on you the ToC:

  1. Dualism and Monism (ontology)
  2. Rationalism and Empiricism (epistemology)
  3. Theism and Atheism (cosmology) {in progress}
  4. Nationalism and Globalism (sociology) {belayed, but coming}
  5. Capitalism and Socialism (economy) {belayed, but coming}

Well, you say. There’s a perfectly fine list of false dichotomies if ever I’ve seen one. Not exactly, though—hear me out.

-Isms can be any of numerous things. A wittic -ism is a cheeky remark; nepot -ism is plugging one’s friends and family into positions of power. I’m not talking about those kinds of -isms.

The -isms I’m talking about are, essentially, types of Weltanschauung (Ger., “world view”). I am going to discuss opposing sets of viewpoints on each of five issues which can shape an individual’s or a society’s world view within the applicable domain of thought.

It’s important to realize that, inasmuch as these viewpoints can be interpreted as opposite to one another, there are also certain aspects in which they are complementary. That being said, I have a definite preference in each of these five categories (generally the latter position, as they are listed above), and I intend to make very strong arguments in each case.

This survey of human thought will be cumulative—that is, by my design, each discussion will be critical to the later ones in at least some respects. I’ll be drawing from the works and ideas of notable historical masters, from Pythagoras and Anaximander to Dewey and Chomsky, but a big part of my modus operandi in putting this thing together has been to keep the thought process as clear and as free of presuppositions and undue influences as possible.

So, in the coming weeks, you’ll find these five essays posted here—probably among miscellaneous course-of-the-day posts—and I hope you’ll be able to make time to read and discuss any of these issues which are interesting to you. They are separate quandaries, but there exist important relationships between them, and the vista we’ll be looking down upon from the top of this philosophical mountain-climb might surprise you!

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3 Responses

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  1. TAR ART RAT said, on 9/25/07 at 1:53 am

    quite an undertaking, looking forward to the result-
    good luck.

  2. Curtis said, on 9/25/07 at 9:37 am

    Much appreciated. We’re already having a product recall on the first one, if you noticed . . .but no matter. These things take time.

  3. […] Anti-Americanism and "The New McCarthyism" Jump to Comments In an upcoming essay of Project -ism (It’s coming—it’s on its way, I tell you–none knoweth the hour!), I will […]


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