MAN AND WOMAN
The Death of Philosophy
Frank W. Andres
Copyright Frank W. Andres, 2023 All Rights Reserved
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For several years after 1968, Herbert Marcuse was supposedly one of the two most famous philosophers in the world – the other was Jean-Paul Sartre. The authors of this minibook – well, frankly – had never heard of him. His fame seems to have been due to two books he wrote while living in the United States, during the 1960s and 1970s: Eros and Civilization and One-Dimensional Man. These two books according to Andrew Feenberg – the author of a book we have been reading (which is cited at the end of this book) – allegedly represented the ‘utopian aspirations and dystopian fears of the time.’ Feenberg feels: Together, ‘these two books offer an original critique of advanced capitalism focusing on the social construction of subjectivity and technology.’ Well, the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. – of course: Were famous for the ‘flower children’ that paraded about in various stages of undress and in various states of consciousness due to drugs – well, supposedly these young people also found time if they indeed can remember doing anything – of significance – during that time – well, they seemed to Feenbeerg – to have been seeking a philosophical basis for their ‘revolution’ – and supposedly found such a thing – in the writings of Marcuse. Well, one of the authors of this minibook was – there – then – and we don’t think Feenberg is correct: No one mentioned Marcuse in the pot parties we were a part of. Supposedly Marcuse was so closely identified with the New Left that after its decline – his theoretical contribution seems to have been overlooked – if indeed anyone every really seriously considered his ideas in a popular context. Today, according to Feenberg – the contributions of Marcuse must be considered to be ‘more relevant than ever’. In particular, Feenberg points to Marcuse’s ideas concerning something called: ‘Instrumental reason.’ We guess such a subject was related to: Marxist ideas concerning technology – that is, Tools.
Marcuse’s philosophy as well as Feenberg’s book are important here – only because they give us admirable, succinct looks at the works of Hegel, Heidegger, Marx, and Freud. As one reads of the essence of each of these philosopher’s thought – as they might relate to the ideas of a supposed ‘Hippie’ culture – one is struck by the fact that – each of these philosopher’s ideas can be seen to be part of One overall philosophy – one that possesses the Power to include much of traditional philosophical thought in its construction. Of course, we have studied all of the philosophies addressed in Feenberg’s book – in depth on our own. In fact we have several minibooks addressed to the central precepts of each of these men – books that are available on this site. We maintain that our philosophy addresses and elucidates the salient aspects of these philosophies to the extent that we might assert that our new, original philosophy might be extended: It might well stand in for most of much of all philosophy in general. This amazing assertion is because we can see that all philosophy simply devolves into one discipline: Biology – specifically as that field of study pertains to the examination of the human brain – well, actually any center of cognition in any form of animal life – that is examining a brain – from the ‘inside out’. When this is understood: A major question emerges: Does philosophy still stand as a separate discipline any more? Or does it immediately become an adjunct – albeit an important one – subordinant to the field of biology? That is: Are we acknowledging the Death – of philosophy? That is: Should we not acknowledge the death of a dialog among thoughtful scholars concerning abstract considerations of the workings of a human mind – which now can be replaced by serious focus upon biological workings of brains in general – which are no longer subjects of thought – provoking repartee but now are focused on empirical examination of biological functioning. In this new proposed ‘sub-discipline’ of biology: Well, there are problems – empirical work is hampered by instruments that are unable to examine things that are too small or moving moving too fast. However, such deficiencies may now be supplemented by work that is informed by the realization that every biological entity possesses an I which is control of its physical activity. Every animal has a hydrogen ion in its command: This I is the recipient of empirical knowledge concerning the operation of the cognitive organ that it is a part of. Only a human being is able to take this information, understand that an I exists and that it is ‘looking out’, and is able via language to report what are truly legitimate empirical findings to the scientific world. This knowledge gives information that is valuable for every discipline in the curriculum of the University. In particular: this new augmented field of Biology – with its inadequate instruments will benefit from such intimate, empirical knowledge. Even a field such as physics can benefit from such studies – when one realizes that he or she is viewing the world – from the center of a hydrogen ion! – actually from the center – of a Black Hole!
Once we realize that traditional philosophy is really gone – we must next decide what topics philosophers should actually be considering – what they should begin to focus on. At the time that Marcuse lived and worked in the United States – a form of philosophy called ‘postmodernism ‘ actually was taking the discipline into what we feel were new constructive areas of thought. For example: There was one strain of thinking – that was focused upon materialism in modern powerful economies and the eroding effects such focus upon consumption of commodities can have upon intellectual and moral attainment. At the same time, we acknowledge: There was also a tendency for such thinkers to address problems of language – these studies were related more to the playing with words and the reaching for easy conclusions that seemed to be related to a philosopher’s hemispheric dominance in the brain. As we shall see here in this minibook: This second part of a recent philosophy – was a symptom of a discipline – which has simply – lost its way.
The I and
Hemispheric Dominance in the Human Brain
One of the authors possesses an I.Q. of 230 – which seems strange since it is universally understood that I.Q tests do not yield scores higher than 200. Well, most I.Q. tests are designed to measure the abilities of the left side of the brain.. The abilities of the left side of the brain are analytical and deductive in nature – and these abilities are able to be evaluated using written questions – 200 questions are given and if all are correct, then one receives a 200 I. Q.
There is only one I.Q. test for the right side of the brain: The Wechsler-Bellevue Block Test – which is a performance test. One is given blocks with patterns on them and given a pattern on a piece of paper to be duplicated with the patterns on the blocks – if one is able to do this in say 4 minutes which is impossible but which would be able to be processed by means of the tests’ calculuses – then the I.Q, would be like 400. Well, what we mean is: 200 is not the upper limit when it comes to a score that can be received on this test. When this author received this score he was told that the test had been used for quite a while and two notable people that had been given high scores were Hegel with 160 I.Q. and Goethe with 170.
This author thus has an unique perspective when it comes to reading philosophy. When he reads a philosophy by Hegel he reads not just the words but he also can see patterns of thought being referred to in the words – that mirror biological processes which exist in his own brain. This author knows how his brain works – so when Hegel talks about an abstract concept such as the ‘Absolute’ – this author understands that this is a word that is ‘standing in’ – for an ability that his own brain possesses. With these ideas in mind – let us look at the philosophers that both Marcuse and Feenberg placed great emphasis upon. In this examination we shall place our greatest emphasis upon: George Freidrich Hegel. He was a man capable of great Synthesis. It is he that alerted the authors of this minibook to the fact: When one considers traditional philosophy – he or she is simultaneously and necessarily looking at words – that we maintain are related – to the physiology of the human brain.
A note need be added at this point: One author here possesses an extremely high I.Q. – but there is no danger of hubris. For almost all of his life he has been disparaged, discounted, considered unworthy of participation in intellectual discussion. This experience will never – be forgotten – or discounted. This author realizes what every person on earth – ultimately must accept: He, they, you – possess – only one side – of the brain. There is an entire world – that you have absolutely no conception of!
So the philosophy of Hegel: Well, we have gone through this many times before. There was Descartes who said everything is clear and distinct. Then there was Berkeley who said everything is relative. Then there was Leibniz who said: Not only are things clear and distinct but they can be drawn up into precise most clear and most distinct categories called – monads. Then did Hume retort: Not only are things not clear and distinct – but instead nothing can be known for certain – ever!
Well, Immanuel Kant suspected that something was up – with all this back and forth. Perhaps there were simply two types of minds – two different sets of abilities that human minds have: Different abilities, different faculties – which when combined have the potential to result in a product that is essential to intellectual thought. So he attempted the obvious: He decided to attempt to create a synthesis of all of these ideas – to see if in some manner this might make sense in terms of logical sequence. Well, his Critique of Pure Reason of course is famous – but unfortunately it is inadequate – as Kant attempted to create a synthesis using analytical – deductive means. In the end, Kant ended up with the categories of Space and Time – which truly are the most essential ideas that are related to all things. Nevertheless these categories remain just that: Analytical categories – with no content.
So this called forth responses: From Herr Hegel – for which he – is famous! This man attempted the Grand Synthesis of all thought by means of a synthetic, inductive approach. Unfortunately, a mind like that has problems with language: His explanation of things – is simply – not clear and distinct enough. So a proper conclusion to be made at the end – at that time – was: Nietzche and Kiekegaard were right – we would do best – if we just simply considered stopping all of this nonsense – and just consider – other things – like Will and Love.
Well, as we have said: We have gone through all of this before – but it just became apparent as we read this book by Feenberg about the work of Herbert Marcuse – well, as we worked our way through this most recent of considerations of all these various philosophers – Plato, Hegel, Heidegger, and Marx and even a person, like Freud – well, it becomes apparent: One size fits all! Hegel’s final synthesis when view properly – collapses into biology – and Philosophy simply – along with Nietzche’s God – is Dead!
So Herr Hegel: Simply put – Hegel said that Kant was correct in stating that there are different categories of thought and these do seem to work together. In the end: Yes – all of philosophy does seem to collapse into two Tools – Space and Time.
Hegel went on, however: Yes, the philosophies of people like Descartes and Leibniz all do seem to work together – but a whole bunch of thinkers – are left out! The mind does have an analytical, deductive ability – but for other thinkers – there is something else – that seems to be equal in importance: The synthetic, inductive ability. Space and Time as tools just will not suffice as concepts of ‘ultimate; or ‘Absolute’ sort of tools. As we say: What is missing is the entire content – of intellectual thought. Form of thought. Content of thought. Put them together: And Wahlaah! Magic! Well, the I is Magic. There seems to be Magic – everywhere! For example: The I is Consciousness. We simply do not know what: Consciousness is. It is simply: Magic.
More about this I – sort of Magic – later. But human beings have found one more Source: Of Magic! Well, as we say: This is what Hegel is really all about! Let us recollect – anthropologically – biologically – the human being is: The ape – who creates – Tools. Yes, man and woman apes took things – like a tree limb and killed things with it – and later maybe even swept the cave. For the first time in evolutionary history this was not the result of molecules embedded within DNA in each human cell – for the first time in history – this was not the result of instinct – but instead this was the result of a Miracle: An animal mind somehow was observing things in its own way – processed them in its own way – and as the result of certain Powers in its brain – this animal had come up with something that the Earth had never seen before: There was Magic! There was: An idea!
Hegel traces in detail – a little too much detail for some peoples’ tastes – as to how exactly – it is – that objects become ideas. It turns out that there is a thing called the ‘mind’. Well, we shall jump ahead here: We shall simply introduce our philosophy – right here. In every particle in the Cosmos there is an I . That is: There is Consciousness. All energy possesses Consciousness. Energy is bound together most densely into nodes: which at the time of the Big Bang were – hydrogen atoms – whose nuclei possessed Black Holes. Every living thing possesses hydrogen ions that are in charge of biological activities. In plants every cell has such an I. In animals there is one I that is in charge over all of these cellular I s – as well. As we say: Consciousness is Magic! We shall never know what it is. But we do know: What it does. TheI does three things: Perceives, Thinks, and Acts – with the aid of a memory. Thus our philosophy begins with a Cosmic entity – but this is also a biological entity – a hydrogen ion which is in charge of a human brain.
But there is more: There are two types of human brains: There are two hemispheres in the brain – each with different abilities. Each person has dominance in one side of the brain or the other. No person possesses both. Each hemisphere performs operations that are essential to creating a final product: That of a Tool. Both sides of the brain – that is, two people with different hemispheric dominance in their brains – must work together in order for intellectual thought to progress.
Hegel tells us how the two sides of the brain work together. First – there is Perception. Well, as we say: the hydrogen ion that is in charge of our brain – is a particle. And all particles possess a wave attached to them. These waves are conduits of information flowing between particles and objects – and other particles in the external world. There is always a wave between our I and objects in the external world. Thus, there are always patterns of information that always exist between our I and those objects. Right way: We are once removed – from objects external to us.
In addition for humans: There are biological organs which are instantly digesting and manipulating the beholding of objects external to us substantially – to begin with. For example there is no color ‘red’ out there – anywhere. There are no straight lines out there. So already we are part way towards a Tool – called an Idea.
After things are Perceived by organs in the brain – then humans take the second step: They Think! This step is aided by: Memories of objects that have been obtained before – and by the operations of two sides of the brain. Considerations regarding memory will appear below. However, at this point we shall examine carefully differences between the operations of the two sides of the brain. As we say: There are two sides of the brain in every person – each side with different abilities. Every person is dominant in one hemisphere or the other – never both. In the case of right hemispheric dominant people – information concerning objects in the external world are collected into bundles of perceptions. How do such people do this? They perform a biological act that only a human with dominance in the right side of his or her brain – is able to do. All new knowledge is initiated by people who are right hemispheric dominant. That is: the right side of the brain is able to detect: Similarity!
As Roger Sperry at Cal Tech discovered in his work with epileptics who had had their corpus callosums severed: The right side of the brain is able to discern innately and automatically – similarities in the characteristics among isolated objects – and then discern similarities in the patterns in which these objects move and interact with other. Recognition of such patterns naturally might lead to expectations concerning future moves among similar objects. In this way – the right side of the brain creates: Concepts. Things that look alike are given a name – which is related to a concept based on similarity among certain objects. Things may also move routinely in a certain sequence – this similarity is given a name related to a similarity called ‘cause and effect’ that exists often among these objects. All of these concepts are combined in the right hemisphere within what is called: A type of Grand Synthesis – which Hegel called – The Absolute. This Synthesis is a pattern among concepts that is generated automatically in the right side of the brain of a right hemispheric dominant person. These generalizations are all just globs of perceived similarity: There is no certainty to any of this.
Then other men and women – with different proclivities related to the left side of the brain: Well, they take those names for objects and movements and work with the concepts attached to them. They are able with their abilities: To discern central attributes that are always present when objects with certain names and interactions are observed. They realize that the first men and women have done a lot of work. But lots more can and must be done – to reap tremendous Power in the form of Tools. At this point: Humans with dominance in the left hemisphere of their brains are able to do an astonishing thing: They are able to Separate! In this process: One examines clusters within Grand Syntheses – which were created by someone else – to discern essential attributes that are possessed by each name. For clusters of objects that are similar – essential attributes of clusters are identified – they are called: Definitions. For clusters related to the Similarity among movements of objects – these essential attributes are called: – Determinants. Plato called both of these types of essential attributes: Forms. When one works through these two processes – these are two types of creation – performed by different people – that is: Perception – then Thought – with its Collection and Separation – well, when humans work through these two processes they end up with a Miracle: Together – they Create an ‘Idea’. And an Idea is: A Tool! Such a Tool is able to be used to impact the world around the humans! Humans thus are able to Perform a third process – along with Perception and Thought – the third process is: Action! Humans are able to impact the world around them – in ways that animals have never been able to do – before! And of course – what one notices right away is: Well, all of this is anthropological. All of this is: Biological!
Yes – if one looks closely – it is all right there – in his books: Hegel did indeed come up with all of this – but his inadequacy with articulation of words and concepts left a hopeless mass of words which end up having a metaphorical, blurred type of relationship to the Truth. However, if a reader happens to be right hemispheric dominant – he or she is able – to see things – that other people may fail to see.
Well, Hegel is sort of at the end of Philosophy. Plato is sort of – at the Source. How does Plato ever become – Biology? We mean: His whole message is primarily – ‘Reason operates with universal concepts that enable the ordering – of the infinite flux of experience – concerning objects in the external world – into a rational, coherent system – of understanding.’ He was always talking about abstract things – as we have seen above – called Forms. What do these ideas have to do with – a real world?
Actually, Plato’s words do relate to physical things. However, there is a confusing aspect to his notion of ‘universal’. Well, as we say: There are two sides of the brain. The right side is inductive, synthetic – which works on the basis of similarity and cause and effect. It creates a ‘universal’ – well, a Synthesis with links among perceptions of objects in the external world by means of the right hemisphere’s ability to spot similarities among objects and then spot similarities among the movements of these objects – well, patterns are observed that repeat – this is seen then that – which implies that movements might be related – but for the right side of the brain – there is never certainty.
Which brings us to Plato: We are interested in Plato for two reasons – first – he tells us about the left side of the brain – second – he also tells us about Cosmic things. That is, his philosophy not only talks about phenomena related to hemispheric dominance in the brain but also to phenomena related to the hydrogen ion that in charge of each human’s brain. The hydrogen ion brings certain attributes to the philosopher’s table – which every star possesses – which every particle possesses: Will, Love, Truth, Beauty, and Justice. These attributes are found in the electromagnetic waves that are attached to every particle. And since Plato was left hemispheric dominant, he necessarily spoke of phenomena related to left hemispheric thought – which possesses its own type – of universal – called: A ‘Form’. The left side of the brain is analytical, deductive – has a ‘spot’ memory concerning ideas related to objects in the external world – and it relates these ideas one to the other by means of equivalencies: Mathematical, deductive, logical relationships – which that side creates automatically.
In this way: Plato’s side of the brain has a peculiar understanding. On one hand, it understand that a peculiar kind of perfection in ideas exists. However, on the other hand, nothing in the external world seems to honor or possess such a perfection. Particulars, objects in the external world – just simply fall far short of the perfect realization of concepts that exist in the left side of the brain – concepts that are used by that side of the brain to order and render meaning unto – these objects. No drawing of a triangle is actually a triangle; no white object can be perfectly white. But as Marcuse pointed out – the opposite is also True: Concepts cannot be reduced to particulars. They contain what Marcuse calls a ‘transcending’ content that is available to the experiencing subject as a sense of incompleteness or imperfection. In the case of Life, and especially of society, that content takes the form of potentialities awaiting realization. These potentialities are real, not simply as theoretical projections but in a strong sense that implies an ontology to which Marcuse repeatedly referred to but never fully elaborated.
Marcuse believed: Consciousness of social potentialities must be attributed to the imagination because it alone has the power to project beyond the given toward an ideal form. This is wrong: as we shall see – the left side of the brain conceives of ‘forms’ of thought – such as syllogisms and mathematics. These forms are somehow intrinsically embedded within the neural fabric of left hemispheric analytical thought processes. They probably have no relationship to any type of so-called potentialities in the world external to a philosopher. When it comes to imagination – we shall consider this subject under the heading of ‘Freud’.
Thus everything in Plato’s philosophy is related to the physiology of the brain. His forms and strategies of deductive thinking were related to dominance in the left hemisphere of his brain. And the Cosmic attributes of Will, Love, Truth, Beauty, and Justice are attributes that are carried about by every atom that exists in the Cosmos. There happens to be such one such particle – a hydrogen ion – that is in charge of each person’s brain – carrying these Cosmic attributes with it. In this way every aspect of Plato’s philosophy is related to the physiology of the human brain.
Marcuse’s early Marxist work was written under the influence of Heideggerian phenomenology. Important aspects of Heidegger’s phenomenology is the distinction between the lived world of everyday experience and the empirical facts studied by natural science. Marcuse’s main purpose seemed to be to provide an account of subjectivity that was lacking in the Marxist tradition. We believe: Heidegger’s main concern – without his realizing it was – The I.
Heidegger’s main idea was: ‘Dasein’. That is: For the human brain there is no such thing as an object in the external world – none, that is, that exists for a human – in a plain, unadulturated way. The I simply processes – digests, as it were – every object that is perceives. It is our belief: An I is able to work with – only concepts. Again – let us explain this in our way: An I is a hydrogen ion – it is a Cosmic entity. As we say: The Cosmos is composed of only – Energy. All energy possesses Consciousness. In the first billionths of a second – at the time of the Big Bang – some of this energy was concentrated into nodes around tiny Black Holes – these nodes have been called: ‘Atoms.’ 99.3 percent of all atoms at the present time are hydrogen atoms or helium atoms – the latter are made from hydrogen atoms fused together. The remaining .07 percent of atoms have been made later in stars – this creation done – by hydrogen ions. In this way: Everything in the Cosmos – has been created by – hydrogen ions. Both hydrogen and helium atoms possess Black Holes. They possess a tremendous amount of energy – and therefore a tremendous amount of Consciousness. Helium atoms have two Black Holes revolving around each other. The Consciousness of a helium atom is unable to be expressed. A helium ion is simply unable to impact the world around it. Thus only hydrogen ions are able to do anything of any consequence – well, compared to what any other atomic ion can do. An atom must be an ion – that is, it must be bereft of electrons to have an impact on the world around it. The rest of the atoms do not possess Black Holes. They are like slaves with hydrogen ions in charge – encoded memories are given to them by hydrogen ions – which guide all of their interactions with other particles.
Every human brain has a hydrogen ion in charge. Every particle in the Cosmos has a wave attached to it. The wave is used by a particle to communicate with the world around it. Thus all reality – all Perception of objects in the Cosmos – is mediated by – is conducted by means of – patterns of information that are moved by means of waves. Thus in the Cosmos there is no direct information conveyed concerning the attributes of one particle to another. In this way: Heidegger’s phenomenology presents a physical fact – it denies the assertion of the scientist – that his or her science – explains ultimate reality. The fact is: All human thought is – I. An object is always in a place – somewhere away – from Consciousness. Consciousness is always physically separated from reality. Our notion of reality is always contaminated by: The I . Using Heidegger’s terminology: As far as the I is concerned – all reality is ‘Dasein’.
In the early twentieth century, in a context of rapid scientific and technological advance – well, in a world of Industrial Revolution: Naturalism – that is, a false belief in the ability of the scientist to work intimately with objects – ‘as they really and actually are’ – was on the rise. Much mainstream liberal thought accepted it. As we say – in the face of Industrial Revolution: Now – only ‘facts’ were considered real, and philosophy seemed to have no facts of its own to study. Familiar philosophical categories such as: ‘Essence,’ ‘ideal forms,’ ‘substance,’ ‘monads,’ and the Cartesian cognito – lost their footing in the objective world.
Neo-Kantian philosophy had a concept of object construction: This philosophy believed in a certain conceptual schema – namely – ‘The category – creates the object!’ Such a statement seems at first glance to be absurd. But then let us reconsider: If the I possesses its own Truth of things – as is mandated by the particle with its wave – well, then Categories are all – the left side of the brain truly has. For the left side of the brain – all that it possesses – are categories – which in turn are based upon the Perception of objects – which we have seen – is necessarily incomplete. Thus a object in the external world examined by a left hemispheric dominant scientist is therefore – not a ‘thing-in-itself’ – but instead is – a ‘reference structure’ based on intuition and constituted by categories: It is a Truth constructed by an hydrogen ion from translation of information brought to it – by its wave.
As Hegel understood: All of this idealist – all of this conceptual confusion – collapses into ‘mind’. All Truth for him is: Mind. So he has been called an idealist. The mind creates everything – even the Truth. But we who are right hemispheric dominant in the brain – when we read Hegel – we simply dig deeper: Well, as we say – Hegel’s words have special meaning to us. We realize: When Hegel is talking about ‘Mind’ – he is touching – his head! We have information that both Hegel and Heidegger did not have. We realize instantly that we are not talking about abstract things here! Suddenly many things became clear to us – the very word ‘meaning’ must implicate a subject – an I – a real thing – a physical thing – that is able to recognize such a word.
Let stop for a moment – and look at the topic of memory in more detail right here. As we say: There is an I – with its Synthesis – a Grand sort of Synthesis that automatically exists in and is utilized by every right hemispheric dominant person – or such Synthesis is given to one – in which case a person – who is left hemispheric dominant – merely adopts what is given – since such a person is unable to create such a Synthesis on his or her own. As we say: A deductive mind has a ‘spot memory’ which absorbs much information that is previously worked up by other people. This deductive brain is able to able to utilize such ‘spot’ memories as he or she possesses a natural ability to deduce – use mathematics and logic to work with such ‘spot facts’.
The right side of the brain is able to memorize only by means of relationships between objects that are perceived and a Synthesis that already exists in one brain. The right side of the brain learns: Only by means of Connection. Children who are right hemispheric dominance in the brain have much difficulty memorizing facts in what is called a ‘routinized’ manner – as they have little in the Syntheses in their brains to relate new material to. Thus: Even in the process of memorizing facts – both sides of the brain truly benefit from working together.
Hegel spelled out a process that a right hemispheric person uses routinely in his or her brain – without a left hemispheric person even being aware of it. This is what Hegel termed: The Dialectic. This is simply how memory and hypothesis creation works within the right side of the brain. A mother first helps a right brained person start a memory by starting the creation of a Synthesis in his or her brain. From then on – all new information is taken by means of Perception and connection of concepts with this Synthesis. If a new concept can be related to the Synthesis in one’s brain – then it is either redundant and thus discarded – or it is added to adjust concepts concerning objects or concerning the movements among objects – adjusting cause and effects relationships among concepts in one’s brain. When new perceptions clash with concepts in one’s Synthesis – this can be exciting. This can be the cause for new Breakthroughs! This actually is the only source for new knowledge! Even results from experimentation cannot be processed adequately and proper generalizations made – without the aid of the right side of the brain. Witness: The work of Faraday.
In the Dialectic: When a new concept is presented to be considered in the face of the Synthesis that exists in one’s brain – this new concept is called a Thesis – the Synthesis that exists in the person’s brain at that moment is called an Antithesis. (Confusing! – thanks, Hegel.) So the new information is either integrated into the existing Synthesis within the right hemispheric dominant person’s brain – or it is discarded. The resultant Synthesis at the end – whether it remains the same or is adjusted to absorb new information concerning objects or movements among objects – is called Synthesis. – which is unexpected, disappointing, seemingly redundant – even confusing – until one understands that this may be a new – Synthesis! – one that is more Powerful than the one that existed at the start. That is: We have a new – at least, freshened – Synthesis – ready at hand to confront any new experience from the external world. The Synthesis is ‘freshened’ by the mere act of confronting it with new information. It is always exciting when old stuff is shaken up! People who are left hemispheric dominant are simply not privy to excitement such is experienced by right hemispheric dominant people every day – just like this! Sorry!
Thus – as Heidegger’s phenomenology conceives it: First-person experience is never completely objective – as adherents to the practices of natural science have often proclaimed. And this is particularly True at the present time – when progress is almost always limited to advances in understanding of a world that is submicroscopic – a world to which scientists have only limited access: Objects are either too small or are moving too fast for scientists’ instruments to measure. This is a major problem.
Despite Marx’s own interest in technology, there are surprisingly few Marxist philosophers who deal with the subject. As it turns out: Understanding the role of technology – that is, of Tools – in the economics of Marx is a key to understanding where his ideas actually came from and how his ideas have been misinterpreted.
Up to the time of Marx, economics as an academic discipline had been conducted according to microanalysis of the firm. Economics as a discipline has always been like a modern video game – wherein in this instance – the game could actually play itself! Yes – all one needs was one assumption: Human Greed! Then as it would seem – as with all the myriad variations in and with the exercise of thought during that Enlightened Age – among people such as Descartes and Pangloss – somehow inexorably – the Best of All Possible Worlds would somehow always result! In economics: A practitioner simply has to run his firm in a manner most rewarding to himself. Women were not allowed into the game at this point in time. And then so: What of the National Interest? Well, such a bold conception was merely the aggregation of all those tiny spots of Greed! One spot was happy. All – necessarily – must also be: Happy! Q.E.D. People like Say, and Ricardo jumped onto this avaricious bandwagon. What was there not to like?! Except: In the real world of political affairs there had obviously been ways in the past for leaders to guide the larger economic affairs of a community and nation – and their experience was: Such affairs – never seemed to be amenable or even relatable – to the aggregation of such individual interest. When Kings made decisions – well….
So out of nowhere – comes: Marx! From the start: Marx had a conception of the economy as a Whole. Where in the Devil could one come up with such a perspective. Well, we have gone though all of this elsewhere. But it is important for us to sum things up efficiently and quickly right here.
Well, as we have seen: Philosophy in its more traditional sense has ended with: Hegel. When it comes to economics – that is – economics in its most modern delineation: Well, this is simply astounding but – Hegel finds himself at its inception! How could this ever be?! Well, as far as a rigorous creation of what is now called a ‘macroeconomic theory’ is concerned: It all started when the philosophical theory of Hegel was adapted by Marx to be understood as a physical system which featured a method of creating and utilizing – Tools. And at that moment ‘macroeconomics’ was born. In this sense – economics operates as biological behavior on two levels: First – as a social reflection, duplication – of how the brain works – that is, society as a sort of a type of ‘brain’ – and second – as a description as to how the biological organism of Homo sapiens modernus is able to work at the aggregate – that is, society as a sort of – well, ‘ant colony’ – as a cluster of I s.
One idea that was important with Marx was that humans must be creative to experience joy and happiness. If they are not happy – well, look out – they are liable to revolt! You see – what he was thinking: In the modern industrial system – humans are no longer their own entrepreneurs on their own farms. It is true that for part of that time on the farm – they were the equivalent of a Tool – like a tractor that might be used to till a field. But there was always a aspect in which where they – were the masters in control of their own destiny: Farmer – as entrepreneur!
Now in the factory: Men were simply – objects. Men – were simply: Tools – which in Marx’s estimation was – quite a demotion. It was this idea of Tools and how men were being denigrated, lowered in status – from being creator – to being the equivalent to that which had been created – that was the crux of his revolutionary ideas. Well, to Marx: There simply was no way that normal men – could accept such a slight!
So when it comes to Marx – one should keep the idea of Hegel – with his ideas concerning how intellectual Tools are created – in mind. This will be important as we consider – below – how humans are being treated as objects – by corporations – at the present time.
Marcuse had a thing concerning: Freud and his theory of imagination. Yes, the imagination is – a psychological faculty. But for Marcuse it provided a possible source of insight into reality – as it might attribute an essential cognitive role to the imagination. The imagination may actually be an important source for new ideas.
Well, when we think all of this through: Imagination actually becomes two different things – when one considers the two sides of the brain. First: Marcuse binds ontology to psychology. Ontology for him in this way becomes physiology – becomes biology. Second: For us, imagination and its possible role in the development of new ideas – is related to Freud’s manner of thought which was related to Freud’s brain which was left hemispheric dominant.
So first: As Marcuse interprets Freud, the imagination is associated with as we say: Ontology – that is, with the mind and how it thinks – how it comes up with ideas – maybe new ideas – with the application of the imagination. For Freud the imagination was related to the erotic, which in a generalized sense Marcuse understands to be Life affirming. Life is motility, becoming, development. Well, all of this obviously is related to sex – and sex is definitely biological. In this way – for Marcuse: The gap between imagined fulfillment, the universal, and the actual condition of particular beings – is the stimulus to development. Life is perpetually engaged in overcoming that gap through transforming the environment and absorbing it into the world of the self. The utopian realization of the universal is not just the static resolution of the contradiction between concept and object, but Marcuse could see that its deployment under social conditions could expand its Power into the continuing development of human capacities. The Marxist application of these ideas is obvious. Marxism has always considered socialism to be a potentiality of capitalism, its negation and true significance in the history of humankind. In this view of the world – the I utilizes the imagination to create new ideas – new possibilities which can lead to aggregates of I s desiring and fighting for new vistas and heights.
The second view – which is our view – is succinct: The reality is – new ideas actually come – from the right side of the brain – of which Freud knew nothing about.
Man, Woman and Tools
In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse argues that among the conditions of socialism is a transformation of technology, which now provides a total life environment, a ‘world’ in the phenomenological sense of the term – in the sense that the I is always separated from the real world – and thus inhabits a ‘world’ of its own. The impulse behind Marcuse’s critique of technology lies in how it contributes to harmony between human beings and nature. It is in technology that the unity of subject and object promised by idealistic philosophy – is realized. The rejection of mystery exposed the objective world to understanding of the scientist – and therefore also to technical control. Capitalism turned these powers of reason into enemies of Life. Technology under capitalism opposes human beings to nature in a struggle fatal for both, whereas under socialism a reformed technology could protect the natural world and favor forces in nature that contribute to human well-being.
The question is: Is a Tool just another object out in the external world – or is it mind? This makes a difference. Big difference. In the light of Heidegger’s Dasein – tools are never things out there like other objects in Nature. Tools are always a part of the Creator. They are always under the I s control and can be adapted to meet any changes in external requirements. Billionaries are simply not tied to the fiduciary responsibities related to their stock holders as they would have you believe. There is more to the Future of humanity than the mere more, more, more: Of Profit. Tools were created by humans – they remain under human control – and changes can be made – and now at this time in history it is apparent – many changes must be made – now – and quickly!
It was Marx’s insight that humans themselves become Tools – become objects to be manipulated and utilized in the production process. What he forgot was: There are three levels of creativity: physical, intellectual, and Cosmic. So a person can give him- or herself up to be used as a Tool – something created by someone else – and simultaneously receive ample joy and happiness from the creation of a physical type: Babies.
The New Left had something to teach Marcuse. In 1970, his historical experience was not yet over – rather, his involvement in the New Left represented a final chapter in which his own ideas underwent a further transformation. Cultural revolution means politics in what Marcuse called: The ‘depth dimension’ of the psyche, at the level of needs and identities. Earlier, Marcuse had argued that advanced capitalism reached down into the very instincts with its promised paradise of consumption, and thus that the manipulation of Consciousness by the system leads to the internalization of social control. Now, he claimed, this overwhelming force of social integration was answered by any form of resistance. There now arose an existential revulsion at the destructiveness of the system. He was impressed by the dramatic, even clownish aspects of these demonstrations of dissent that he was experiencing. He saw new forms of sociability flower, such as collective living spaces known as ‘communes.’ New media appeared, the so-called ‘underground press’, that carried the message outside the regular channels of information.
By the time one reached the 1970s – humans were living in a world of created objects. There now were more young people than in the past – who now were still not married in their early twenties – many of these were not in a university where they could have participated in creative intellectual work. Thus there were many young people who were feeling a lack of joy and happiness that membership in family can impart. So participating in a movement was – participating in the creation of a social Tool. Yes: Here was a new avenue for creative expression! There is joy and happiness to be derived from the joint creation of a Tool that can impact the external world and can help shape society.
Towards a New Philosophy of Creativity
Marcuse’s early writings already announced the basic concepts that emerged in his work towards the end of his career. Two concepts are especially important: Reason – the capacity to know the universal and, on that basis, to freely create projects that transcend the given; and potentiality – the perpetual dissatisfaction of beings with their current state as they strive for a higher state. Reason operates with universal concepts that enable the ordering of the infinite flux of experience in a coherent world. That world can be understood rationally in terms of its nature and the laws that move it. But reason is also a subjective disposition, a mode of Being. As such, it empowers the rational individual to hold the world and its own impulses at a distance. Reason thus achieves a new relation to reality. Marcuse became centrally concerned with the existential meaning of rationality in this sense – the I ‘s central role in intellectual thought. Never in a thousand years would he have imagined – that such ideas might lead to: the Death of Philosophy!
The King is Dead!
Long Live the King!
In the past there has been a clear division of labor between philosophy and natural science: Philosophy will not posit ‘real’ entities, and science will not pretend to explain Consciousness.
For Marcuse the question was: How can a material principle play the role of constituent subjectivity. Okay: We must immediately transform gobblygook words like this into real ideas. Like – in real words – the Truth we must face is: There is an I in our brain that is a hydrogen ion. Yes: It is – a physical entity. However, it doesn’t stop there. All physical things are made of particles – which possess Consciousness. What is Consciousness? We do not know and never will. It is given a word that recognizes this ignorance – it is a word that all scientists wish to avoid – but if they could only face it – accept it – employ the Powers it does Possess – they could still Fire up these Powers – and use them to help humans survive on this rock in the sky.
Consciousness is simply: Magic! Yes – that is the word. Which actually means – nothing. Since we have no idea what it is and never will. Still We know what it does. Which fact must be responded to with: Great Respect! Consciousness possesses great Power! It can create Tools. So Yes: There are things that we never will know. However, we are Homo sapiens – we have a cognitive Power never before seen on Earth – although we are receiving hints that humble things such as submicroscopic hydrogen ions can, could, and are doing amazing things. There is a ninety-nine percent chance that they created Life!
So we do not know what Consciousness is, as we said before – but we do know it can possess tremendous capability. It can build: Tools. Humans each possess such a hydrogen ion – so they too each possess tremendous potential – either working alone – but in most cases if they somehow can stop fighting each other – and simply – work together.
In the end – all devolves – as Marcuse suspected – into the question of the I . To disalienate philosophical reason, the real subject must be acknowledged behind the veil of Magic. In the end philosophy falls into biology with the realization that the I in every living entity is a hydrogen ion – which is a physical thing. This physical thing becomes part of the human brain as long as an organism lives and during this time is in fact: An item of biology. So every aspect of philosophy from Plato to existentialism becomes a description of the structure and workings of the human brain – from the ‘inside out’.
Okay – so where are we? The answer is: Obvious. We have our work cut out for us. We simply must build a new philosophy. Sounds easy?: No – such words imply that we really need – to build a totally new world society – from the bottom up – founded upon Creativity.
Man, Woman as Commodities
As we say: When families lived on farms, it was easier to keep things straight. Well, Dad was like a tractor – he was a tool that dug the ditches irrigated the crops. But he was also the entrepreneur. He was a creator. He ran a business that made food. In this way the entire family was part of a creative unit. There was physical creativity – the family produced children. There was intellectual creativity – the family came up with ideas about which crops might be most lucrative for income during the next ten years. There was Cosmic creativity – the family actually impacted the world – put its ideas to work making food for the world to eat. As we say: Babies. Marx always forgot about these: Farming was a very satisfying creative way of Life.
Then there was the city. As Marx pointed out: Most people lost the creative aspects of their lives except for physical creativity – that is, having children. Even the work of people who had gone to college and learned how to use their brains – well, often their work became routinized, stressful, boring. And as we all know: for some reason city people tend to have fewer children – so city people have displayed less and less creativity generally. People in general simply have fewer and fewer creative opportunities. Many are capable of earning enough money to meet their physical needs.- yet many are feeling more and more as if they are merely ‘Tools’ themselves in an economic system. Creativity is the only source of joy and happiness. People are becoming more and more unhappy. People are becoming more and more angry.
And now things are getting worse! Social media is raising its ugly head! This is an activity which is supposedly recreational and thus body and mind renewal in its positive aspects. Yet is it not obvious that the consumer in this instance – has in fact – in many instances and many aspects of his or her life – has simply become – a commodity – himself – herself! This is worse – far worse – than becoming just a tool. A tool is usually amply compensated – its one defect is: It just does not render joy and happiness to its provider. A commodity on the other hand – is merely consumed – with less and less compensation – certainly in a monetary sense – in social media the consumer pays to be a commodity. A person on line – becomes an implement which some rich people utilize to make indecent profits. People are becoming implements in most ways – finally Marx’s warnings are seeming to becoming True. People are more and more in debt – they have entered a Life filled with a type of slavery! People talk to each other and supply all the content. In social media people do benefit from conversations and interactions just as they do in a phone call – yet they are paying for a commodity that they themselves are providing. In addition, they are innundated by advertisements directed by analysis of, alogrhythms processing, their data. People are creating – well, they have become – the commodities being consumed and are paying far too much in the process.
There is another level to this – that is even more cynical – even more disturbing: Social media has an indirect cost that goes far beyond simple expenditure of money. A person has a finite lifetime. Time is given to a person freely at birth – but it is finite and therefore precious. Social media supposedly is providing entertainment and refueling of the human Tool, the human machine that produces goods for the economy. But social media is offering that Tool as a commodity for consumption at a cost to the living commodity him or herself and he or she is paying with a resource that is far more far more precious than that of money. People are losing minutes of their lives and are paying for this abuse. In the case of the sex worker – well, he or she is providing a service – yet after a while it must become obvious that in this case the worker is also definitely: The commodity. This commodization of lives and time might be rationalized as being a necessary part of rendering a service for which one is hopefully being paid in a sufficient manner. But in the instance of social media this is definitely not the case. Companies are making rich profits at the expense of a hapless population. And people are getting more and more angry. They are becoming more and more unhappy.
Man, Woman, and Creativity
Our lives are now filled with non-Nature. Well, tools are peculiar: they are biological – like a spider’s web – we are the ape that creates tools – so – yes they are biological – Yet: Not! And yes commodities are also biological in an increasingly stretched out relationship with tools and apes: Yet Not! And then we: Are becoming commodities ourselves – the height of indignities! We have no idea what just happened – it would take us several weeks to straighten things out. We mean: At this point are we still even biological creatures? – or has Zuckenberg somehow made us – a wrench. Well: We shall merely merrily just continue on – as if – we are somehow unaffected.
We must just stop right now – right here and acknowledge again one truth: Dasein. When we were undergoing Industrial Revolution: Yes, we were lifting man and woman up out of the Dark Ages. We could afford to overlook ‘externalities’ – that such transformation might be causing: Fouling the air, polluting the environment. But that excitement is past. Now we are like a spider with its web. The web in our case is not just some strange object we might run into out there in the external world. Our ‘web’ is very much apart of us as the web is to the spider. However, we are different from the spider: the web is not a product of instinct and so is out of control of our I. Our tools were made by our I s and thus were not implanted into our DNA like the spider web. As Creators we must take responsibility for extensions of our I s into the external world – placing the future of humanity in jeopardy – just as Tools like social media are degrading our humanity.
Man, Woman and the Future
We must simply go back to the farm – way of life: Where there is creativity at every level – there is joy and happiness. There is little anger. There is little reason to be angry at anyone or anything beyond – the weather. We looked at such a world in our book: Omicron Blue – which was written 50 years ago.
Omicron Blue was written in another century – addressing a future wherein: We are – right now! According this book: By this point 2023 – machines could and should have taking over their rightful place in our lives by now – and humans must have rightfully stopped being ‘Tools’! So – automated cities: Piles of tools should be making all we need and people then would be able to just concentrate upon being: Well, People – being human beings instead of being parts of machinery. Instead: Not only do we still claim the same status as Tools – our lives have become completely filled with and we have become dependent upon all the commodities – that tools make. We are immersed into a complete material world – a world that machinery and people are working hard to fill every aspect of our Lives with material things – to help keep the economies moving.
People are bored. They are looking for the next Big thing: Big truck – Big gun. Only Creativity gives one joy and happiness. Our schools are trying – trying very hard. But in the end – we the people must simply arise and take care of things ourselves. Groups, clusters of people thinking, working together is why humans have survived in the past. Creative clusters must arise again and lead the way – towards the Future
People nowadays need each other. They need to be working together somehow in ways in which they feel they are creative – that they are making a beneficial impact upon the world. We need creative Clusters wherein all are participating – wherein all are contributing to a creativity – that really changes things – really impacts the world for the better. This is not some idle work that we can just kind of throw together in a moment. It will require thinking at the highest level. It will require infrastructure.
So, my friends – philosophy in its traditional sense must now be declared Dead! People are being paid a lot of money to keep stating the same biological things over and over again. And they are not biologists!
No – philosophers must move to other subjects – to another level of work that can really help people. We need to start taking the whole matter of creativity seriously. That is: Creating things besides new people – more people. The earth is finite. We need to stop population explosion. Instead – we need ideas. We need innovation of every type: Contribution at every level towards accomplishment – that truly helps – truly changes things for the better – joy and happiness for all who are involved. Every day people are becoming less and less creative. They are becoming more and more like Tools. And now they are even becoming mere commodities – providing their bodies and time to a world – and paying for the privilege for doing this! This is: Insanity!
But solutions are not simple: We can’t just pile up machinery and let it make a bunch of stuff that we really need. We can’t simply stop consuming ourselves. Because – as the French Revolution displayed to the world: Humanity is always an inch away from boredom – and the mob. We must remain aware that people must remain occupied – always doing something – almost anything – or they will just simply start killing each other. We are unlike all other animals – we mean, all Life is predicated upon Death. But no species kills itself – except for the human species.
So these are the types of questions that philosophers should be addressing instead of the stupid ones they chant in a matra over and over again that are related to biology which are real and important – but actually someone else’s concern. Philosophers need to move on They need to be considering truly monumental questions – such as we have broached above. Humanity has simply evolved to become: Too smart. The trick is: If people are creative: They receive joy and happiness. But again – we are too smart: We don’t need more children – which is the only sure way for people to be creative in a non-intellectual way. So the question is: Can people work in groups – can the groups can be creative and will participation in such creativity provide the joy and happiness – we intelligent mammals truly seek?
Around 1980, the world was presented with a musical: ‘Sweeny Todd’ – in which human beings are served up as hamburger. It is/was an example of a cautionary tale gone very much wrong. Our hero is Andy Warhol: He simply gave us – a soup can. He did not stand on a pedestal in Central Park and proclaim that he was a postmodernist or something. He just simply: Gave us a – can. His message: Two-thirds of the world is being left behind. Americans have little Culture. Beware!
The authors of this minibook are concentrating on both: Breakthroughs in science – and breakthroughs in music theory. ‘Sweeny Todd’ was supposed to change people’s behavior. It failed. Perhaps better Culture will be able to – get the message out!
Now is the time for a Change – for the Better. Come join us today! We are starting from scratch. We must all Build this new world – together!
Feenberg, Andrew,, The Ruthless Critique of Everything Existing – Nature and Revolution in Marcuse’s Philosophy of Praxis (Brooklyn, N.Y., Verso, 2023) 236 pp.