Everything Starts in Ethics

I find that one of the first challenges with writing down a philosophy idea is figuring out how to organize it.  The problem I always have is that nothing seems to naturally come first – the ideas are all tied together so much that I need to explain everything at once.  This unfortunately goes against my desire to organize my project in a way that is actually understandable.

Right now I’m reworking my undergraduate thesis ‘On Humility’.  Originally this project was about knowledge, but I’ve been rapidly changing it into my theory of everything.  I’ve got ideas about how it relates to freedom, I’ve got ideas about how it tries to express the inexpressible reality of the human condition.  In short, my ambition has probably gotten out of hand.  This has left me somewhat puzzled as to the question of what I should address first.  However, I had an idea that may resolve the issue.

In my project I ultimately want to express the human condition – I want to explicate what it means to be human.  I think that the human condition is ultimately the activity of answering the question ‘what should I do?’  We usually think of this question in moral terms, but moral questions are a somewhat artificial category that we separate from the infinite sweep of questions that we face.  Every conscious moment of our lives is this question, posed in a continuous litany.  All experiences are a part of the question (though they can also be the product of a previous answer).

This framing of human existence also captures my intuition that nothing exists to us objectively.  We may think that we can think about reality, but really we can only think about reality as part of the question as it is uniquely posed to us.  Everything in our experience is to us as a question – ‘what should I do with this’ – and therefore we cannot ever know anything objectively.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think,

Ryan Workman

via Blogger http://creative-philo.blogspot.com/2013/10/everything-starts-in-ethics.html


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