The attitude I respect the most is humility. The confession I respect the most is that we do not know.
The other night a friend said something to me about how such and such a people overlook the most basic implications of dialectical thinking. Which, on the surface, sounds like it could be a vague jargony statement. But he is quite right. Dialectical thinking is of the utmost importance.
Especially when we realize that dialectical thinking is properly contrasted with eristical thinking, in which an individual merely tries to convince someone of their point, regardless of the merits of the other's point. Eristical thinkers merely argue their own point, never striving for understanding or synthesis.
Outrage, I declare! Bullshit, I say!
I always want to work with you. I always want to understand you. I always want to be dialectical with you. Never eristical.
Yet our culture, both popular and political, seems to be saturated with eristical modes of thought. We only care to convince other people that we are right.
This type of culture, I suspect, emerges from a common source: The Enlightenment.
That is what John Gray wants me to believe.
And, man, the more I think about it the more I stand by Gray.
The more I think about him the more I realize that Gray is central to my thinking.
All of my work, on the aesthetic existence, on technology, on nihilism, all connects to Gray.
For Gray is humble! Gray would never dare tell us what the best form of social organization is. Because we can't know! Ah!
Where is the humility! Where is the gentle engagement with this uncertain world! Where is the remorsefully decisive attitude I long for!