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Multiple draft philosophy

Multiple draft philosophy

Should you be puzzled if you find yourself one day admiring the thoughts of Plato and another day those of Aristotle? One day of Hegel and the next day of Wittgenstein? One day of Einstein and the next day of Lee Smolin? One day of Obama and another of Trump? Do these shifts of your admiration show weakness in your reasoning? Namely: how can you admire the thoughts of those that oppose the thoughts of another that you admire as well? And when I say admire, I mean: incorporating somebody else’s memes in your personal reasoning, personal memetic field.

There is no need to be puzzled. There is no inconsistency as long as you appreciate a multiverse of systems not trying to find a common denominator of all thoughts, a reduction of thought. And as long (even worse) you don’t suppose that your thoughts are eligible to represent that common denominator. Your thoughts, concepts, and theories (if they are expressed) are not in any kind of meta position to any other; they are (like every other) parallel to each other. Socrates is parallel to Thomas Aquinas, is parallel to Descartes, is parallel to Newton, is parallel to Maxwell, is parallel to Marx, is parallel to Darwin, is parallel to Nietzsche, is parallel to Groucho Marx… The illusion that you can create a common denominator leads to eclecticism in one direction and to an illusion that, for instance, the Higgs boson really is a kind of god particle that will allow a grand unifying theory to emerge.

It is not hard to see the resemblance of this reasoning with the multiple draft scenario of Dan Dennett. Like consciousness should (could) be perceived as emerging multiple draft property of human being (here, I follow a notion that consciousness is a property of human being and not of brains), so are thoughts of humankind neurons (individuals) to be understood as an emerging property of humankind consciousness emerging in a parallel multiple draft memetic field (memetic cloud). And cloud here should not be perceived as having a physical locus – since it is “only” emerging property.

In the memetic world, positions are not hierarchically ordered. Not only does consistency not rely on external reality it is also internally improbable. My internal memetic environment changes as much as the environment changes. For it is the sole function of any living organism and its subsystems down to genes (and perhaps even lower) to sustain changes in the environment. And one can not relate to changing environment but to internal changes. Only fools have the privilege of staying consistent.


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