This minor and daily string of words is embarking on a course for a time. Today a beginning. A beginning? From where? And this is a part of the good news–that there is a beginning. That there is a place from whence and to which. How bold it feels to express the notion of foundation, closely connected are the notions of solidity and stability. Blessed is he who builds his house on a rock and all that.
One of the things I mourn about my own life is the amount of time I spent in the swamp of doubt and directionlessness. I will not even waste time on blame. I found myself in the now not knowing what or why, where to or how. For years I have hunted the sage, the man of phronesis. There was much of the trying on, the adjusting to, the discarding, and the vacillation between hope and despair. And the now kept ticking by, changing.
The entire time geometry and arithmetic remained. I can now unabashadly confirm why Plato was so enamored with these arts.–the fixity, the timelessness, the universality, the overflowing inexhaustibility of the new birthed out of the simplicity of the rudimentary elements. And yet, something was irksomely inadequate.
Here I was, always in the changing now, holding the rudimentary tools of mathematics, but not knowing in what way to turn with them. I want to add to the good news of mathematics the good news contained in all my wandering, searching, testing, experimenting, trying on, taking off.
What I have discovered is what I now take to be the overflowing sameness in the analysis of human action. It is that which is universal, stable and necessary in human action. The value here is like that of mathematics. It feels infinite and nothing all at the same time. Were we to take the time to meditate on the use of the mathematical in our practical lives we know that we could affirm the tremendousness of the use. But it would serve the atom bomb maker as much as the pauper measuring that which is left for consumption after debts have been payed.
The apriori has received renewed attention in my analysis. Tired I am of the claim that it is nothing but swamp, that there is not stability to be found, that there is no beginning because no foundation from which to begin. I of course affirm the freedom of those who want to talk that way. But the apriori (that which is known independently of experience and so not susceptible to confirmation or falsification by experience) is worth consideration, and for the next little while I will be spending my time in the apriori of action. What can I know, independently of experience, about action that can thereby be applied to the analysis of action anywhere?
Next, a bit more on the costs and benefits of the apriori relative to the aposteriori.