THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE, #1–Preface & Acknowledgments.
By Robert Hanna
This book, THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE: Uniscience and the Modern World, by Robert Hanna, presents and defends a critical philosophy of science and digital technology, and a new and prescient philosophy of nature and human thinking.
It is being made available here in serial format, but you can also download and read or share a .pdf of the complete text of THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE HERE.
This first installment contains the Preface & Acknowledgments.
We know the truth not only through our reason but also through our heart. It is through the latter that we know first principles, and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to refute them. (Pascal, 1995: #110, p. 28)
If there is any science humankind really needs, it is the one I teach, of how to occupy properly that place in [the world] that is assigned to humankind, and how to learn from it what one must be in order to be human. (Rem 20: 45)
Natural science will one day incorporate the science of humankind, just as the science of humankind will incorporate natural science; there will be a single science. (Marx, 1964: p. 70, translation modified slightly)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A NOTE ON REFERENCES TO KANT’S WORKS
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
0. Introduction: Science, The Four Horsemen of The New Apocalypse, and The Uniscience
Chapter 1. Natural Piety: A Kantian Critique of Science
Chapter 2. This is The Way The Worlds Ends: A Philosophy of Civilization Since 1900, The Rise of Mechanism, and The Emergence of Neo-Organicism
Chapter 3. Thought-Shapers
Chapter 4. How To Complete Physics
Chapter 5. Digital Technology Only Within The Limits of Human Dignity
00. Conclusion: The Point Is To Shape The World
PREFACE & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The philosophy of the last 140 years has been produced by people who are, almost without exception, professional academics, and whose philosophical activities are essentially solitary — and, I’m also tempted to say, punning wickedly on Hobbes, “… poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Certainly, professional academic philosophy — and especially the Analytic tradition, which has existed since the 1880s and has enjoyed a social-institutional domination of academic philosophy since 1950 (see Hanna, 2021a) — is notoriously irrelevant to humankind’s fundamental concerns and problems (see section 00. 1 below). But ubiquitous digital technology has changed all that, forever. The internet is awash in philosophy, both spoken and written. Professional academic philosophers will typically try to put the genie back in the bottle by saying, not altogether mistakenly, but also self-deceivingly — as if this weren’t equally true of professional philosophy — that this internet-driven explosion of new extra-academic philosophy is (i) very often of questionable quality and (ii) apt to produce false prophets. Moreover, to be sure, ubiquitous digital technology brings with it its own significant dangers and serious problems, as I’ll argue in chapter 5 below. But, never again will the world’s intellectual fascination with, existential hunger for, and moral/sociopolitical burning need for real philosophy, be controlled by the tightly-bordered and border-patrolled social institutions of professional academic philosophy and mainstream academic publishing. This real philosophy is the philosophy of the future. The philosophy of the future will be (i) done outside the professional academy, (ii) universally freely shareable, and, above all, (iii) the result of not only solitary but also collaborative critical, synoptic reflection, conversation, teaching, and writing.
In pursuit of the philosophy of the future, this book has been excogitated and created outside the professional academy, and in creative collaboration with others, since 2014; and I’m hereby making it available for universal free sharing. Chapters 2 and 3 are based on essays that were originally co-authored with Otto Paans:
Hanna, R. and Paans, O. “This is the Way the World Ends: A Philosophy of Civilization Since 1900, and A Philosophy of the Future.” Cosmos & History 16, 2 (2020): 1–53. Available online at URL = <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/865/1510>.
Hanna, R. and Paans, O. “Thought-Shapers.” Cosmos & History 17, 1 (2021): 1–72. Available online at URL = <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/923>.
Section 5.4 is based on an essay originally co-authored with Emre Kazim:
Hanna, R. and Kazim, E. “Philosophical Foundations for Digital Ethics and AI Ethics: A Dignitarian Approach.” AI and Ethics. 26 February 2016. Available online at URL = <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43681-021-00040-9>.
And many or perhaps even most of the ideas in the book were significantly inspired by e-mail correspondence or conversations with Andrew Chapman, Michael Cifone, Dennis Earl, Addison Ellis, Arran Gare, Scott Heftler, Patricia Kauark-Leite, Emre Kazim, Andreas Keller, Hemmo Laiho, Michelle Maiese, William B. Miller Jr, Otto Paans, Henry Pickford, Mark Pittenger, Sonja Schierbaum, Nora Schleich, Dennis Schulting, John S. Torday, Elisabeth Widmer, and many others.
In addition, parts of chapters 1 and 4 have been adapted from the following single-authored essays that have been or will be published in various journals or books:
“Kant’s Anti-Mechanism and Kantian Anti-Mechanism.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Science 45 (2014). Available online at URL = <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848614000107>.
“Kant, Scientific Pietism, and Scientific Naturalism.” Revista filosofia Aurora 44 (2016): 583–604. Available online at URL = <http://www2.pucpr.br/reol/pb/index.php/rf?dd1=16243&dd99=view&dd98=pb>.
“Kant’s Neo-Aristotelian Natural Power Grid: On Kant and the Laws of Nature.” Critique (2018). Available online in preview HERE.
Torday, J.S., Miller, W.B. Jr, and Hanna, R. “Singularity, Life, and Mind: New Wave Organicism.” In J.S. Torday and W.B. Miller Jr, The Singularity of Nature: A Convergence of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020. Ch. 20, pp. 206–246.
“How to Complete Quantum Mechanics, Or, What It’s Like To Be A Naturally Creative Bohmian Beable.” Journal of Philosophical Investigations 15 (Autumn 2021): 53–71. Available online at URL = <https://philosophy.tabrizu.ac.ir/article_13839.html?lang=en>.
“Can Physics Explain Physics? Anthropic Principles and Transcendental Idealism.” In L. Caranti (ed.), Kant and The Problem of Knowledge in the Contemporary World. London: Routledge, forthcoming.
I’m very grateful to all of these philosophical creative collaborators. But I’m also extremely grateful to Otto Paans, in particular, for his co-authorship of the two essays I mentioned earlier, for his critical acumen, and for his especially thought-provoking correspondence and his equally thought-provoking conversations on or around the topics of this book.
AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 617
Mr Nemo, W, X, Y, & Z, Monday 13 December 2021
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