Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wrestling With A Name For My Evolving Philosophy

For years now, I have been wrestling with a name for my evolving philosophy and what I am trying to do here. You may see a multitude of different -- or partly different -- names given to it in different essays. Some technical, others less technical. Acronyms are dangerous because unless you fill your reader in quickly as to what the acronym means, it will have no meaning. I might as well be writing in Latin. I've tried to alleviate this problem by briefly saying what I mean by 'Hegel's Hotel', 'Gap', and 'DGB' in the sub-text just below my title.

'Hegel's Hotel' can be viewed as an online book of philosophy essays divided into about 25-30 different blogsites on different topics, with about 10-20 essays per blogsite. These different blogsites and the contents within each of them are under construction as we speak, some more further advanced than other.

There are certain themes that will return in my work over and over and over again.

One is the danger of 'uncontrolled, rampant narcissism' on a personal level, a family level, a business level, a social and cultural level, and a political level. I do not advocate -- like many religions do -- suppressing and/or repressing all forms and levels of narcissism and hedonism (the two are inter-related: 'narcissism' equals self-centredness or basically selfishness; hedonism equals the pursuit of pleasure on a purely sensual and/or broader level depending on how tightly or loosely we want to define it). Rather, I stress the need to balance narcissistic and hedonistic tendencies and impulses with socially empathetic humanistic-existential values and ethics.

Two is the danger of uncontrolled righteous intolerance both within oneself and within one's family, social, business, political and legal environment. Religious and political intolerance are two important sub-areas of what I am writing about here. Righteous intolerance, unbridled -- like narcissism -- leads to all sorts of nasty things like alienation, discrimination, hate, violence, war, destruction, and self-destruction in all varieties and forms.

There is a place for righteous rage if it is related to civil matters. Some of these philosophy papers are a good place for it. Social activism -- whether in written and/or oral-political format -- is a good place to direct civil rage. Get to the right target; don't take it out on your ex-wife or worse, your kids, who are only taking advantage (even if it is unfairly) of existing laws. Get to the source -- the politiicans and lobbyists who worked hand in hand to create these laws and/or have the power to now change them. Internalized righteous rage can lead to self-destruction and/or misplaced aggression. Either let go of your rage and/or direct it democratically to the right place; then let go of it before it destroys you.

My righteous rage can fly off the charts (even as I try to keep it grounded and under control) when we start getting into matters of 'family justice'. One of my blogs is dedicated to this subject matter -- or at least will be. Righteous (and to be sure, partly narcissistically biased) papers that I wrote years ago are still waiting to be re-written on my family law blogsite. So too are any new essays regarding this issue of Canadian law treating separated fathers as second class citizens -- or 'donkeys' is a metaphor i will also use -- because they are being unfairly financially burdened to the point of borderline collapsing. I will say no more at this time.

The philosophical solution or process I offer is a mixture of integrated post-Spinozian, post-Hegelian, post-Nietzschean, and 'post other philosophers and psychologists' philosophy.

I am generally looking to 'dialectically bridge gaps' between opposing perspectives, philosophies, lifestyles. That is, unless I am aiming to philosophically 'deconstruct' political and legal imbalances and injustices (as in the case of Canadian family law).

In short, my philosophy is mainly post-Hegelian dialectical integrationism (thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis or 'Dialectical Gap-Bridging' as I call it, shortedned to 'DGB', which narcissistically speaking, also just happens to be the initials of my name -- David Gordon Bain).

There you have it -- 'Hegel's Hotel: The DGB (Dialectical) Philosophy Forum' -- in a nutshell. You are welcome to offer editorial feedback and/or essay contributions if you are so motivated. You can send your essay(s) to: and I will include your essay in my forum if I think it 'moves the forum forward in a democratic and professional manner'. You do not have to agree with me -- I have already included essays by people who have disagreed with some point or thesis that I have made (such as my father and an email friend I met through these blogsites from New Orleans who has disagreed with me on the 'freedom vs. determinism' issue, and on one of my essays against 'American Unilateralism'). All I expect from you is a certain level of grammatical and logical coherence, as well as clarity, force, and professionalism in your rhetorical perspective (standards that I may or may not always live up to myself).

dgb, September 12th, 2007, updated Oct. 17th, 2007.

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