THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE, #3–My Aim In This Book.

By Robert Hanna

“FUTUREWORLD,” by A. Lee/Unsplash

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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 third installment contains section 0.1.

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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)

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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

0.0 How Uncritical and Unreformed Science Is Literally Killing The Modern World

0.1 My Aim In This Book

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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0.1 My Aim In This Book

In the face of th[e] all-purpose, all-encompassing existential death-threat [that I spelled out in section 0.0], together with my robustly pro-scientific motivation for criticizing and reforming the sciences along broadly and radically Kantian and Whiteheadian lines, my aim in this book is to do two things: one that’s critically negative, and one that’s affirmatively positive.

First, I provide a critical analysis of the all-purpose, all-encompassing, existential death-threat flowing from the reductive nihilism of the uncritical and unreformed sciences in all their complicity, collaboration, and entanglement with the other three Horsemen of The New Apocalypse, by virtue of their commitment to the mechanistic worldview. And second, in direct response to The New Apocalypse, fully in the spirit of Whitehead’s brilliant organicist break-through 100 years ago, and also, looking back another 80 years behind Whitehead, fully in the spirit of the young Karl Marx’s 1844 idea of a “single science,” and then looking back yet another 75 years behind Marx, to Kant’s humanist dignitarian idea that

[i]f 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),

hence also fully in the spirit of (a radical re-thinking of) Kant’s proto-Critical, Critical, and post-Critical philosophy,[i] I provide a life-affirming alternative that’s (i) dignitarian, (ii) anti-advanced-capitalist, anti-neoliberal/neofascist, and anti-digital-technocratic, (iii) robustly pro-science but also fully anti-scientistic and anti-anti-science alike — which I call scientific pietism, including formal piety and natural piety, (iv) liberal naturalist, hence anti-materialist/anti-physicalist, and above all, (v) neo-organicist, hence anti-mechanist.

I’ll provide a fully detailed presentation and defense of neo-organicism in chapter 2 below. But in the meantime, and bounded in a nutshell, what is neo-organicism? The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary defines “organism” as follows:

1 a living individual consisting of a single cell or of a group of interdependent parts sharing the life processes. 2a an individual live plant or animal. 2b the material structure of this. 3 a whole with interdependent parts compared to a living being. (Hawkins and Allen, 1991: p. 1024)

In turn, and consistently with that, by an organism I mean an inherently dynamic, processual, self-organizing, teleological entity possessing any of the basic features listed in the three-part OEED definition. Then, by neo-organicism I mean the view that everything whatsoever in the manifestly real cosmos, including ourselves, is either (i) a simple or complex organism, (ii) a society of organisms, (iii) a proper part of an organism or a society of organisms, (iv) an immanent or intrinsic structural property of an organism or society of organisms, (v) a causal product or byproduct of an organism or society of organisms, (vi) necessarily dependent on (aka “logically or naturally/nomologically strongly supervenient on”[ii]) an organism or a society of organisms, (vii) ecosystemic or proto-organismic in that it belongs to the set of actual conditions under which an organism or society of organisms emerges or operates, or (viii) inherently analogous or homologous to an organism or society of organisms. In turn, neo-organicism is a contemporary version of organicism that’s in direct opposition to The New Apocalypse and the depredations, disasters, and oppressions created by its Four Horseman, with a special focus on the nature and implications of neo-organicist ethics or morality and politics, in the broadest sense of those terms, which includes not only all moral facts and phenomena but also all sociocultural and social-institutional facts and phenomena.

NOTES

[i] For my purposes, Kant’s proto-Critical philosophy (i.e., everything he published or wrote during the immensely creative but mostly “silent” 13 years immediately preceding the publication of the first or A edition of the Critique of Pure Reason) runs from 1768 to 1781; his Critical philosophy (i.e., everything he published or wrote from the first or A edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, up to and including the second or B edition) runs from 1781 to 1787; and his post-Critical philosophy (i.e., everything he published or wrote after the B edition of the first Critique, especially including the Critique of Practical Reason, the Critique of the Power of Judgment, the Metaphysics of Morals, Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and the Opus postumum) runs from 1788 until his death in 1804. Moreover — so as to cover Kant’s entire philosophical career — everything he published or wrote before 1768 is pre-Critical, in the sense that it belongs to the period of his self-described Leibnizian/Wolffian “dogmatic slumbers.” Just as Hume awoke Kant from his epistemic and metaphysical Leibnizian/Wolffian dogmatic slumbers (Prol 4: 260) and primed him to become a transcendental idealist, so Rousseau awoke Kant from his moral and political Leibnizian/Wolffian dogmatic slumbers (Rem 20: 44) and primed him to become a realistically optimist dignitarian humanist, aka an anarcho-socialist. In defense of the latter — admittedly controversial — point, see (Hanna, 2017c, 2020c).

[ii] For explicit definitions of logical and natural/nomological strong supervenience, see sub-sub-section 2.4.2.4 below.

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Mr Nemo

Mr Nemo

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.