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Another way of indicating the most fruitful criticism is this one: all our statements are filtered by our brain. It is not possible to control what is outside our brain. The meaning of the words “being” and “reality” depends on the brain of the speaker. We can orient ourselves in this question by distinguishing three ways of thinking: metaphysical, anti-metaphysical or “weak thought” and practical thought. Metaphysical thought is the one that chooses to believe that there is an independent reality outside our brain; the anti-metaphysical one chooses to take into account the doubt, since it is never possible to know if brain is deceiving us; the practical thought chooses to go beyond these issues, considering that they don’t lead to concrete outlets, and directs attention to what can be done in practice, while taking into account the whole of the preceding critical journey. To understand the three lines more clearly, it may also be useful to highlight their limits. Some faults of metaphysics consist in the fact that it refuses to take into consideration dependence on brain and on becoming; it refuses to do self-criticism; it favors the arbitrary exercise of power, because who speaks believes he is saying the absolute truth, which therefore must be followed by everyone. On the other hand, anti-metaphysics has no foundation, because it rejects the idea itself of foundation; it is anarchist, believing that everyone can do what he likes; it is self-destructive, because it is self-critical. Practical thought, for its part, may be tempted to forget or devalue all previous research, thus falling into an uncritical way of life.
Practical talking seeks immediate experience, living here and now. This type of thinking has its own particular capacity to resist criticism, because it wants to be interpreted as a fact to be experienced immediately and not as a content to be analyzed philosophically. Let’s take two easy examples of ways of speaking that happen not to be analyzed, but to react in a practical way: the supermarket cashier and the girlfriend who says “I love you”. Let’s imagine if a supermarket customer, in front of the cashier who tells him the total to pay, begins to say that we need to see if money exists, if life is a dream, and so on. The cashier would naturally react by telling him that he has no time to waste and that the only thing to consider right away is that he has to pay what he put in the cart. Where is the mistake? The mistake consists in the fact that that customer lost sight of the immediate, practice intention of the cashier and, rather than questioning what he wanted, remained closed in the abstract questions of her mind. Likewise it would happen if a boy, answering the girl who says “I love you”, replies that they need to see what that phrase means, they have to do the grammatical analysis of the verb to love, and so on. Here too, the error is that of not having taken into consideration the practical intentions of the other person who is speaking: the other person wanted only to know if he also loved her. At this point, beyond the grotesque side of these two examples, we must not miss the fact that the intention, both of the cashier and of the girlfriend, is not a rejection of philosophy, but rather another philosophy: it is a philosophy that we can call “practical thought” and that seems to be the most recent trend of our days. This does not mean that the thought of the previous philosophers is to be thrown out for having been too theoretical: practical thought is directed towards practice, but continuing to build over all the previous philosophical research.
To better understand the three types of thought described, that is metaphysical, anti-metaphysical and practical, it will be useful to note the respective language, that is, some more frequent words around which each of them moves, which can also be compared horizontally:
|being / existing
In other words: facing a table, metaphysics states what it is; the weak thought says we don’t know if it exists; practical thinking tries to see what to do with that table; in the third way of thinking the questions of the two previous ways are not scorned, but are considered instruments, on which, however, we must not stop, they are considered aids that must lead to practical choices.