Tristan! Check This Out! Philosophy and a Vibraphone!

This is wild! Shawn is dissing Philosophy with his vibes right next to him!!! I love it!

But I don't understand it! VW member Tristan is a Philosopher and probably gets all this!

I just love to hear all this talk with a vibraphone right next to him!
I have thought a lot about life with my vibes right next to me!

Access: Anonymous


My friend Marshall Lefferts wrote a great book that addresses much of this. It was released several months ago and is called, "Cosmometry, Exploring the Holofractal Nature of the Universe". It answers some of this guy's questions and... yes, it talks about the relationship to music. It's a good one. The Pythagorean derivation of the scales that make up most of Western music is a big part of his understanding.

Also, you can go on YouTube and find a video called "Thrive" which Marshall helped produce. He is currently working on the sequel, "Thrive II", which I understand should be out in a few months.

Marshall is a guitarist, but yes, he digs the vibes. :)

Thanks for the tip, Tony! Maybe I can translate and then comment:

Critical Theory, which is deeply influenced by Marxism, gives broadly structural diagnoses of the problems of modern life (e.g. alienation, exploitation, lack of meaning, community, etc.). According to Critical Theory, the fault is with capitalism, or The Enlightenment, science, patriarchy, etc. I think what Shawn is arguing is that Critical Theory identifies impersonal forces for what are basically individual personal failings (e.g. consumptive behavior, greed, envy, etc.). He also recognizes that individual behavior is influenced by laws and that laws are passed by specific persons, who may be virtuous or vicious. We do better, then, to focus on the actions, beliefs, and intentions of these people who hold political power, rather than trying to externalize the problem and "tear down the system." He also emphasizes the idea of a things having a purpose or function. For instance, what values or purposes should science pursue? This is an ethical question, rather than a scientific question. Goals and values come first; the means come second and serve the goals/values.

I wonder whether Shawn has checked out much ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle, who thinks teleologically in terms of functions and purposes. My own work is deeply influenced by ancient Greek philosophy. I'm writing a book trying to give an answer to the question of what justifies the use of political power (or as Shawn puts it, "men with sticks"). I am perhaps less suspicious of the use of political power per se than Shawn suggests. I think political authority is necessary for a proper functioning system of values, and I think institutions are good when they allow or enable us to live good lives. Institutions are tools and we should follow institutional norms as if they are a mutually beneficial game that could not exist but for the cooperation and virtuous actions of everyone. And I think Shawn is right that we should begin with the ethics of individual persons, not structural abstractions. But we should also beware not to externalize the problem onto *other* people. It's usually best to begin with yourself.