Teun

@teunvanson

Writing is hard. #100days

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11.

I'm writing at a decent time today, and not at 2 at night like a savage, which is nice. I'm going to try something new today: no backspacing. No fixing typos, no correcting grammar, nothing. So prepare for a nearly unreadable ride. Today I read 32 pages about love. It wasn't straightwforward. It was abuout 2 questions: what love is, and whether it can be justified. What love is, I still have no idea of after reading these pages. A lot of people think a lof of ldifferent things. (unrelated: I'm constantly reflexively fixing my typos and then undoing the fixing, ugh.) I feel like love is ome of these things that just cannot be satisfactorily (?) defintes (defined). Wittgenstein talked about the concept of"game" being impossible to define, but rather twe understand what it means through familial likeness (I actually have no idea what the English term is). Basically, games overlap in certain ways, but there's no single characteristic that applies to all games, which makes them so hard to define. If you say " games are supposed to be fnu", you can give russian routelle (ruolette, my god I suck at typing) as a counterexample. And I think so it is with love. There's not really a "core" to love, no single thing to unite all that we call 'love'. Rather, we know it when we see it. So there might be no point in trying to answer the question "what is love" (obligatory baby don't hurt me, don't hur me, no more). So if this is true, a big chunk of the philosophical discussion about love might be completely pointless. I don't know if this is such a bad thing. A philosophical discussion on love might actually not make bpeople better at loving. I think this goes for a lot of things. Knowing the theory doesn't mean living a better life. Studying ethics doesn't mean bein g virtuous . Studying nutrition doesn't mean being healthy. There's a significant part to living which is just... living. Theory is definitely not enough. So there's thousands of self-help books that tell you how to love  (live, goddammit), but they can't guarantee a good or happy life. People claiming to give you a happy life, or the solution to all your problems, are therefore almost certainly fraugds, because they ignore the fact that the good life requires practice. This is what the Greeks called phronesis: practical wisdom. I think that this is an exceptionally wise position. They saw that studying is one thing, and living a good life another. Aristotle, for example, thought that the highest possible goal for humans is to become one with the transcendental rationality (basically his way of describing god: a n eternally rational force that compels all living beings towards achieving their goals). But he also saw that humans are so flawed that this goal is unavailable to them. Therefore, the practical goal to strive for is phronesis; living wisely. 

I wonder how different this 'wise living' was for Aristotle than it is for people nowadawys. His society didn't have a problem with slavery, and Aristotle didn't spend mch time defending it; he simply didn't think about it. That doesn't make him a bad person, I think, beause that position would make almost every person in history bad. But we also like to think that we're making progress as a society; tat abolishing slavery is good, and that equal rights for men and women are good, etc. But based on what can we make that claim? What do we base these evaluations on? If you don't have a very sturdy system of morality, you won't be able to answer this quetsion. 

I could continue my quasi-philosophical, error-ridden rant, but I'm getting tired of myself. I'm just glad that it's not 2 at night.


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