Reasoning behind the Diagram’s list: introduction and methodology

The listing after the Diagram contains many names in specific philosophical categories and, although aims to include all people, can ever be incomplete. It may or may not become an appropriate dataset for an actual theory, and additional reasoning wouldn’t hurt it. The Diagram is defined by expanded Complete Reality Hypothesis (CRH), which also contains necessary rules and parameters involved in categorization.

The original CRH has been at the core of my blog for nearly 20 months, as it was my third entry published on September 21, 2014. In the beginning it only had two individuals in their unique categories: Plato as an idealist and Aristotle as a realist/mystic. As of this moment, May 22, 2016, the expanded list contains 167 individuals in 13 categories. This is a productive increase of 8,250% in terms of individuals and an addition of 11 new categories! This achievement took nearly two years of intensive study as well as much refinement and formalization of my theoretical outlook. I am just about ready to share the reasons for including these various individuals in the list, starting with the challenges that led me on this path of research and methodology that framed my choices.

Challenges

Some questions that started me on this journey of philosophical inquiry can be summarized as follows. Why is it that throughout time individuals keep recreating the same philosophies independently[1] from each other? Or do we merely say that each of philosophers is different from the rest and thus cannot be organized in relation to others? Or maybe we can find a way to understand or even predict philosophies we do not know or haven’t learned yet? In other words, is there a stable categorization of philosophies available that can help in not only explaining them but also predicting their particular features? And probably the most important question to crown all others: What is Immanuel Kant’s philosophy? The latter question has generated a lot of (still ongoing) debates and also generated much thinking (and 4 posts!). These and other questions are asked and some answers are given by the Diagram, helping me wade through many confusions entangled throughout the history of philosophy.

The main issue with and/or limitation of the structure of categorizations, as we have seen in its evaluation, is how complicated it can get, and so much care must be taken while categorizing, paying special attention to parallel and contrasting philosophies and learning as much as you can about a candidate to be added into the Diagram’s list. Nonetheless, philosophical categorizations are still not as accurate as a true scientific methodology would require, even while they may hold a seed of a science of philosophy, a reproducible study of philosophical nature.

Issues may arise when interpreting individuals’ ideational categories as philosophical, onto-epistemological positions. For example, one needs to take care when interpreting ‘social class’ as an idea (a ‘category’ in general philosophical sense) and ‘social class’ as a philosophical position that a person holds to differentiate, for example, Kantian Marxist-revisionists, such as Eduard Bernstein, from orthodox Marxists. One must also remember that epistemology and ontology are inseparable with respect to the Model, the basis of the Diagram, and that even subject and object in some particular instances (viz. lev. 8 and 15) are also the same in the Model. This equivalence of subject and object generates objective and subjective philosophies in the correlating popular categories (mat-8 and ideal-P), while this distinction is not emphasized on the Diagram or the list.

Methodology

There are three interrelated parameters (or “methods”) I use when categorizing any individual[2]:

  1. Understanding of the Model and its law
  2. Contextual, or nonlinear, thinking (within a category or in relation to other categories)
  3. Facts (such as quotes of or about each individual and descriptions that include their stylistic and personal features)

To categorize various individuals by their philosophies, it is helpful first to think of individuals as inhabitants of philosophical traditions (and not mere ideas, as in history of ideas, or mere differences, as in Foucault’s archeology of knowledge). Individuals agree with some while conflict with others, similar to agreeing or conflicting (unreservedly) experienced by their evaluators. (Similarities, of course, are within a category, and conflicts are with other categories.) Having a diverse spectrum of knowledge and possibly an integrative philosophy could help in doing this without (psychological) complications.

Probably the most crucial parameter in this methodology is the ‘thinking.’ Nonlinear, contextual thinking based on facts is required, and this kind of thinking is indispensable for connecting facts about individuals to the Model in order to project these individuals onto the Model before understanding how they meet or conflict among each other. However, I need to note that not all of my reasoning outlined here is exhaustive, or even comprehensible to most, and the way I think is hypothetical because it involves a new area of philosophical inquiry. Some of my choices on the list may have many reasons or interpretations, some few, while others, although included on the list, don’t or maybe even won’t have any reasons provided here.

Whether I have read or watched major works by these individuals, have strong anecdotal evidence, or have read an encyclopedia article (generally Wikipedia), and, having reached a critical (i.e. sufficient rather than necessary) mass of data, I would then let it sink for a while into my subconsciousness and get intermingled with my present knowledge and understanding, so when my grounded intuition about the person rises back to consciousness I could become confident in categorizing some individual as if I knew how this individual would react to those already categorized and how they’d see themselves on the Model. With the intensive amount of work and time required to do this accurately, I may instead decide to look at more grounded contrary evidence or academic criticisms that may show my potential categorees, or hypotheticals, to be wrong (of course, I need to be able to properly defend a categorization — otherwise I wouldn’t be sure about categorizing anyone at all).

With various snippets of relevant information from quotes (such as from Wikiquote) or from what others have said about these individuals, and by contrasting them to other categorized individuals or comparing them to those who inspired or influenced them, one might clearly grasp the overall philosophy of a person and then compare this understanding with my categorization. An objective evaluation of a philosophy can be easy, but it can also get tougher the more individuals are categorized, although there are, certainly, benefits in having more individuals to compare to.

To make any of the following judgments some data collection has been done, appropriate for deriving a stable, integrative picture. (This data collection may also be done in other media, such as videos on YouTube.) In addition, I also would like to provide contrary evidence, if any, that could shine some light on conflicts within or without these individuals.

Made to accompany the Diagram, this is a corollary work in progress, so your criticism is important for its sufficient development. In the following post I share the list of reasons behind the inclusion of the names in the misintegrating category (starting from the left side of the Diagram).

[1] For example, these individuals include Ernst Mach with Richard Avenarius and Ralph Waldo Emerson with Jean Jaurès (the latter in terms of their Hegelianism).

[2] This methodology applies when formally adding individuals to the list as well as when only informally keeping to yourself those individuals with whom you are familiar personally or could guess their potential category. Informal categorization can lead to many formal categorizations because you learn where they conflict or meet with people whom you personally know.

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