By Robert Hanna
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The Point Is To Shape The World: A Worldview In Eleven Theses
Early Marx’s famous philosophical apothegm, “[t]he philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it,”[i] is half-right and half-wrong.
Yes, leaving aside Marx himself and a few other philosophical activists,[ii] philosophers have only ever variously interpreted the world.
But no, the point isn’t that philosophers should act upon the world directly and unreflectively, as if they were shot out of a revolutionist’s rifle.
Instead, the point is that philosophers should critically and reflectively shape the world, by means of shaping human thinking about the world,[iii] in the right way, so that people, not only individually but also social-institutionally, can shape and change their own lives,[iv] for the better, and then finally act in order to change the world in the right way.
To that end, here’s a worldview in eleven theses — 375 words in total.
1.Everything in the world flows, grows, reposes, and repurposes.[v]
2. Minds are the essentially embodied, mechanistically irreducible, and spontaneously activating global dynamic forms of animal life.[vi]
3. Free agency is the essentially embodied, mechanistically irreducible, and spontaneously activating global dynamic form of rational human minded animal life.[vii]
4. You have freedom-in-life, and you are identical to your life.[viii]
5.Human knowledge is sufficiently justified true belief, the fully activated and saliently perfected global dynamic form of human cognition.[ix]
6. Logic is the set of categorically normative, innately specified first principles of human theoretical rationality, when taken together with all the supplementary humanly-constructed ceteris paribus principles of an open-ended plurality of logical systems, just as morality is the set of categorically normative, innately specified first principles of human practical rationality, when taken together with all the supplementary humanly-constructed ceteris paribus principles of an open-ended plurality of moral systems.[x]
7. Human dignity is the transfinite, transcendental value of all human persons — i.e., rational human animals, from the pre-natal emergence of their consciousness to their deaths — no matter how well or badly they have chosen or acted: therefore, we all ought to choose and act in all and only those ways that sufficiently respect everyone’s human dignity, everywhen and everywhere, whatever the consequences.[xi]
8. The meaning of human life is the wholehearted pursuit and partial realization of principled authenticity, in moral solidarity with all other people, and with moral concern for all minded animals, in a thoroughly nonideal[xii] natural and social world.[xiii]
9. Cosmic dignity is the proto-dignity of a thoroughly nonideal natural world that, by necessarily conforming to the innately specified structure of the rational human animal mind, not only makes us really possible, but also actual: therefore, the natural world ought to be treated in all and only those ways that are consistent with sufficient respect for human dignity.[xiv]
10. We all ought to exit the State and enter the Kosmopolis, the universal human cosmopolitan ethical community that is beyond all neoliberal, coercive authoritarian nation-States and State-like social institutions.[xv]
11. Humankind can avoid the impending climate-change apocalypse and also morally fix the world, in only four days — per week, that is — by making it really possible for people everywhere to practice gentle green four-day weekends.[xvi]
[i] K. Marx, Marx, Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology & Social Philosophy, trans. T.B. Bottomore (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), p. 69 (Theses on Feuerbach, #XI).
 See R. Hanna, “How to Philosophize with a Hammer and a Blue Guitar: Quietism, Activism, and The Mind-Body Politic,” Borderless Philosophy 3 (2020): 85–122, available online HERE.
[iii] See R. Hanna and O. Paans, “Thought-Shapers,” Cosmos and History 17 (2021): 1–72, available online at URL = <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/923>.
[iv] See R. Hanna, “Life-Changing Metaphysics: Rational Anthropology and its Kantian Methodology,” in G. D’Oro and S. Overgaard (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017), pp. 201–226, also available online in preview HERE; M. Maiese and R. Hanna, The Mind-Body Politic (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), also available online in preview HERE; R. Hanna, “Life-Shaping Philosophy: The Shape of Lives to Come,” (Unpublished MS, 2021), available online HERE; and M. Maiese at al., “The Shape of Lives to Come,” Frontiers in Psychology Research Topics (2021): in progress, available online in preview at URL = <https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/25439/the-shape-of-lives-to-come>.
[v] See R. Hanna, “The Organicist Conception of the World: A Manifesto,” (Unpublished MS, 2020), available online HERE; R. Hanna, The End of Mechanism: An Apocalyptic Philosophy of Science (Unpublished MS, 2021), available online HERE; and R. Hanna and O. Paans, “This is the Way the World Ends: A Philosophy of Civilization Since 1900, and A Philosophy of the Future” (co-authored with Otto Paans), Cosmos and History 16, 2 (2020): 1–53, available online at URL = <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/865/1510>.
[vi] See R. Hanna and M. Maiese, Embodied Minds in Action (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009), also available online in preview HERE.
[vii] See R. Hanna, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics (THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, Vol. 2)(New York: Nova Science, 2018), also available online in preview HERE, esp. chs. 1–5.
[viii] See Hanna, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics, esp. chs. 6–7.
 See R. Hanna, Cognition, Content, and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge (THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, Vol. 5) (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2015), also available online in preview HERE.
 See R. Hanna, Rationality and Logic (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), also available online in preview HERE; R. Hanna, “Rationality and the Ethics of Logic,” Journal of Philosophy 103 (2006): 67–100, also available online in preview HERE; and Hanna, Cognition, Content and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge, ch. 5.
[xi] See R. Hanna, “A Theory of Human Dignity,” (Unpublished MS), available online HERE.
[xii] By “nonideal” in this context, I mean “far from optimal or wholly perfect.” Something can be nonideal in this sense — indeed, even thoroughly nonideal — and also be (i) necessarily connected with the human mind and (ii) saliently even if not wholly perfectible: e.g., human free agency, human knowledge, the natural world, and human social institutions.
[xiii] See R. Hanna, Kantian Ethics and Human Existence: A Study in Moral Philosophy (THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, Vol. 3) (New York: Nova Science, 2018), also available online in preview HERE.
[xiv] See R. Hanna, “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, 2021), also available online HERE; and R. Hanna, “The Incredible Shrinking Thinking Man, Or, Cosmic Dignitarianism,” (Unpublished MS, 2021), available online HERE.
[xv] See R. Hanna, “Radical Enlightenment: Existential Kantian Cosmopolitan Anarchism, With a Concluding Quasi-Federalist Postscript,” in D. Heidemann and K. Stoppenbrink (eds.), Join, Or Die: Philosophical Foundations of Federalism (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), pp. 63–90, also available online in preview HERE; R. Hanna, “Exiting the State and Debunking the State of Nature,” Con-Textos Kantianos 5 (2017), available online at URL = <https://www.con-textoskantianos.net/index.php/revista/article/view/228>; R. Hanna, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism: A Theological-Political Treatise (THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, Vol. 4) (New York: Nova Science, 2018), also available online in preview HERE; and R. Hanna, “On Rutger Bregman’s Humankind: Optimism For Realists, Or, Neither Hobbes Nor Rousseau,” (Unpublished MS, 2020), available online HERE.
[xvi] See R. Hanna, “How to Avoid The End of The World,” (Unpublished MS, 2021), available online HERE.
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