Lately, I've been feeling the lack -- the lack of a clear vision. (That's the number one problem facing empiricism today!)
Last evening, I went out to catch a presentation on musical perception at UCSD. The presentation turned out to be a little more stimulating than I'd hoped. I pissed off one of the esteemed speakers with a surprise question, and it left me hungry for more. I wandered through the night air to the school's famous alien spacecraft humanities library.
Trial lawyers like to say, "Lucky inspiration does strike -- but only when you most deserve it." That's close to how I felt on encountering About Love. With every paragraph I saw, I grew more & more sure that I've found my framework. In one form another, I've looked over & rejected hundreds of possible frameworks -- visions of the whole structure of romantic love. I have sensed important disagreements with every major theorist on the romance book market -- but I hadn't yet managed to clearly & generally explain how & why...
Until stealing thoughts from Robert C. Solomon. This guy is such amazing genius, I do not know where to start. I spent three straight hours inside his head last night -- well, his various heads over the years -- as I maniacally burned his integrations into my own brain. The most singleminded straight theory uptake I've done in years. I was so ready for this guy. My assorted romantic memories, some near-miss connections, my own painstaking writing -- they've all primed me to get it now.
Imagine my smile this morning to discover that I'd already loved his cameo in Waking Life! Even more, that he likely inspired much of that terrific film's distinctive voice:
Richard Linklater, though never attending college, audited the lectures of philosophy Professor Solomon in Austin, who in this animation calls existentialism an exuberant philosophy and not one of despair.Turns out he's a serious Nietzsche scholar. Big surprise there :). For his whole-life passion ethics, check his The Joy of Philosophy:
Solomon offers not a critique of contemporary philosophy -- so much as a proposal to engage in philosophy in a different way. He attempts to save philosophy from itself and its self-imposed diet of thin arguments and logical analysis to recover the richness and complexity of life in thought. Solomon defends the passionate life in contrast to the life of thoughtful contemplation idealized by so many philosophers, attempting to recapture the kind of philosophy that Nietzsche celebrated as a joyful wisdom.Three cheers for having a theoretical framework now. This amazing genius has deal with like all the meta issues my own work suggests. Charts & graphs, baby!
Standing on the shoulders of GIANTS...Highly Recommended