atheoryof.me

Casey S. Schroeder

Tag: philosophy

How I Have Failed Others

I don’t intend to list the ways in which I have failed others. What I want to understand are the conditions under which I have failed them.

When I have a sense that people are judging me wrongly or with bias, I get defensive. When I am on the defensive, I may be quick to take credit where only partial credit is due; I may be more critical of others than they deserve; I may wallow in self-pity and give little of myself to anyone else; I am quickly indignant and questioning of motives; I am quick to accept adversaries as an explanation for what is wrong; I feel that “If I do not stick up for myself, who will?” overcompensating myself, for lack of a sufficient network to vouch for the credit I deserve. All my time and energy is spent on the ready, in a consistently heightened state. Perhaps unnecessarily so.

Logically, depending on the duration and the appropriateness, the above is an example from resources “diverted” or “misappropriated” or “over-committed”. I am not always so willing to use my resources, however. At times I can be petty. I can fail my commitments purposefully. I can feel slighted or not appreciated or annoyed, and intentionally not do something I committed to doing for the sake of “getting back” or “setting aright” or even revenge. I am not usually so callous. Rather, I let things slip, and do not feel bad. I put things on the back burner and never do get to them, because there were others I’d rather do things for. I may feel so personally unimportant to those I am committed to that I just don’t care whether I do what I said I would or not.

Other times I am aloof to the significance of keeping commitments. I don’t think at all about what I had said I would do that day. I am so easily diverted from any schedule that I don’t even look at my calendar and when I do, I push everything back or decide it was unimportant after all.

There are external and internal issues with resource contention, there are the games we play, and then there is that feeling like you are seeking that something or have found that something which is far more important than anything that could be on the schedule today. You can’t plot a course if the person steering the ship may very well at any time decide to go back to the dock and buy themselves a puppy.

Still, there are too often times that I feel I “just can’t” do something today and in reality I am much more energetic doing something else, that I give into the notion that it really is ok in such not-so-rare moods to give into commitment breaking. But if I cannot handle the commitments I have made, I should fulfill them and make commitments which end those kind of commitments eventually, in the future. I should not relent so whimsically to breaking the existing commitments.

Diversions and resource contention will always be an issue. One must always be judicious in their game play, but that will likely always be an issue too. I can, however, decide to stick to the schedule and not go fishing to try and reel in the big one. I am, after all, not easy-come-easy-go or happy-go-lucky, even if I sometimes can’t keep myself on track.

The Philosopher’s Eye

In the basic toolbox of any philosopher is the capacity to check the reasoning in an argument (validate a proof); the capacity to find counterexamples; and a third part which too many ‘thinkers’ lack. I call it “The Philosopher’s Eye” because it is more akin to the artist’s eye than it is to any deliberate peculiarity.

What they see could be seen by others, but it is not seen by others, because others have not fully practiced inference. In this, it is not unlike the person who first learns to draw faces. If you begin to draw faces (in an experiment which will not take more than a week to conduct) you will see faces different. You will note that perhaps you could have seen them that way all along, but that you now see them quite different. The bridge of the nose, the shape of the chin, the angle of the eyes… And if you are old enough, you will notice that what you had seen when you were drawing faces is something you may lose if you stop.

The Philosopher’s Eye could be understood like the scientists, who while studying or looking for a peculiarity, or testing a hypothesis, may literally see things others do not. But while the scientist may see things within their domain, the philosopher has no domain per se, and practiced in inference, applies that inference like the artist, everywhere.

The Philosopher’s Eye is not to be confused with the indoctrinated who cannot see things any differently than what a ‘theory’ or ‘philosophy’ tell them. Like the scientist’s eye, they are informed and on solid ground. But their foundation is on only the most general principles of logic, inference, and psychology – a solid foundation for an open mind. They can see, and quickly, to the deepest conclusions available from the surface by these basic principles. And are thereby able to quickly identify counter-examples and peculiarities which form the start of interesting theories.

Admittedly, all great thinkers do not and cannot live at all times with this Eye, less they go mad trying to reconcile all the peculiarities they have seen.

© 2019 atheoryof.me

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑