The Codex Quaerendae

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Pfhorrest
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The Codex Quaerendae

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:09 am UTC

This is a bit premature to post about, but I'm feeling excited about the future so here's kind of a teaser thing.

Ever since I was a young child I wanted to write kind of a "book about everything", which at some time in my early teens I was nicknaming my "Big TOE" (for Theory of Everything, of course, and pun value). Back when I was studying philosophy at university, I realized that most of the topics I actually wanted to write about were at their base philosophical ones, and of course I learned a lot more about those topics, and further topics I wanted to write about, and how those all related to each other.

I slowly started to organize my various notes to myself into what I once hoped would become my dissertation if I had gone on to get a PhD, which never happened. But I still thought maybe I would write a book on philosophy for general consumption even as I discontinued my formal studies to focus on survival. I eventually gave that book-in-progress the title The Codex Quaerendae (which is probably-bad Latin for "the Book of Questions").

The plan was for that to be an old-fashioned dialogue in the tradition of ancient philosophy, laying out a complete philosophical system in the tradition of modern-era philosophy, but incorporating the insights of the latest contemporary philosophy. However I've come to realize that I find dialogue writing really, really hard to do well, and that that (plus the general stresses of surviving) is what has stopped me from making any progress on this book in many years, leaving it in a generally awful, unreadable state. (But there's the link above if anyone wants to try to read what's there anyway).

So I am thinking that next year (2019, as I'm devoting 2018 to another project), I'm going to start over from scratch, and try to make some actual, readable progress on a lesser version of this project. Instead of a single grand dialogue with many interlocutors each with their own voices weaving everything together with perfectly structured rigorous precision, I'm going to write a series of essays, in my own natural voice which comes to me much more easily, simply laying out what I think and why, one topic at a time. These essays will make reference to each other frequently (e.g. the thesis of one will be taken as a premise of another), and the choice of what essays to write about in what order will still reflect the unified structure of the earlier goal of the project, but I think this will be a version of that vision that I will actually be able to do with the time and energy I have left over after just getting through each day one at a time.

So I guess, stay tuned here next year for progress updates on that. Or give what's up now a read and talk about it here, if you want to. Might give me more thoughts on things to address when I get to rewriting it properly in a year.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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Ginger
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Re: The Codex Quaerendae

Postby Ginger » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:42 am UTC

I read some of the first part I could see. It's pretty good. I identify with it a lot. Even the goody-goody schoolgirls and professors. And: Facing the government and police is always brave. Always. Got to speak up against injustices, march against them, and. I loved Tina. My favorite character in the entire story.
Amy Lee wrote:Just what we all need... more lies about a world that never was and never will be.


Azula to Long Feng wrote:Don't flatter yourself, you were never even a player.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: The Codex Quaerendae

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:25 am UTC

Thank you, and I have to say I'm very surprised you love Tina so much, given what I know of you from these forums. Can I ask what it is about her that you like so much?

FWIW, though it's not mentioned in what's there so far because it's not really relevant to the purpose of a philosophy book, one of the characters is trans, Frank; and Jackie is pangender. Tina is cis, and John is agender. (John is also gay, Tina is straight, Frank is asexual and Jackie is pansexual. Also Tina is black, John is Japanese, Jackie is Hispanic/Native American, and Frank is white).
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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Ginger
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:00 am UTC

Re: The Codex Quaerendae

Postby Ginger » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:48 pm UTC

Ooh. You're pretty good at diversity I must say. Well, I like the strong religious fem Tina 'cause technically I am a Catholic. And the shepherds and wolves talks she had with the others were relevant to my beliefs about the world in general. I liked Jackie for being a social butterfly too. And even more for you writing an actual character w/Native American heritage. And a trans* person in the story? Totally awesome. Thank you so, so much for writing it and I'm gonna finish the entire thing when my sleepy feelings from my meds wear off completely. A-and if anyone thinks that I... exotic up their work, I am sorry. I am not trying to appropriate the feelings of all transgendered women or men, all Native Americans, all social butterflies or whatever. I just... like other skin tones and hair types and eye colors. I like transgender people. And social butterflies. So. Apologies in advance for being totally inappropriately young adult lady again.
Amy Lee wrote:Just what we all need... more lies about a world that never was and never will be.


Azula to Long Feng wrote:Don't flatter yourself, you were never even a player.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: The Codex Quaerendae

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:39 pm UTC

Thanks Ginger, and no worries at all. I'm glad you like it. I'm always pleasantly surprised when people find the different interlocutors of that old version relatable, since I disagree with them all and worry that I'd made them out as straw men. Gives me encouragement that some day, after I write this just-essays version I'm going to do next year, I really should go back and try to make it a real dialogue, as that approach seems to really draw some people in.

I've been outlining the essay topics I plan to write next year:

Against Fideism
Against Nihilism

Against Idealism
Against Materialism

Against Populism
Against Elitism

Against Constructionism
Against Scientism

Metaphilosophy

On Meaning and Language
On Rhetoric and the Arts
On Logic and Mathematics

On Ontology
On Epistemology
On the Mind
On Academics

A Note on Ethics

On Teleology
On Deontology
On the Will
On Politics

On Practical Life
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)


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