Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Rorty” (Part 1 of 3)

0001 This chapter appears in Michael Millerman’s Book (2020) Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (Arktos Press).  The composition of the book sends a message.  A forty-nine page introduction is labeled as a preface, complete with Roman numerals.  The first chapter covers Heidegger and stands in the center of the book.  Then, chapters two through five covers the responses of four political philosophers to Heidegger’s academic labors (as well as his political affiliation).

Richard Rorty is discussed in the third chapter.  This chapter serves as a transition from the weighty chapters on Heidegger and Strauss to the surprising chapters on Derrida and Dugin.

0002 Rorty offers a change of style.  Rorty is an American philosopher.  This pleases me, since I write like an American, too.  I roll, roll, roll down the river of literary endeavors.  My paddles are purely relational structures, such as the category-based nested form and the Greimas square.

Consequently, Millerman refers to movies, rather than books.  And, if books must be mentioned, then novels come first.

0003 Oh, I should add, the first novel comes from the pen of Cervantes.  Don Quixote marks the start of the Age of Ideas.  In seventeenth-century Spain, two movements coincide.  On one hand, Baroque scholastics finally articulate the causality inherent in sign-relations.  On the other hand, Cervantes creates a new literary genre.

Perhaps, these two hands belong to a single entity.  The novelist represents the scholastic behind the mask of modernity.  Like the heroic character in V for Vendetta, there is no removing the mask.  The Spanish innovator spins away from truth (the scholastics were all about mind-independent being) and leaps towards happiness (the novelists are all about mind-dependent beings).

Is it any surprise that, in the next century, France produces a revolution with a similar attitude?  Then, two centuries later, today’s social democratic politics perform the same routine.

0003 Richard Rorty wrestles with a strange duality.  Politics is contextualized by two distinct masters, truth and reality.  Politics emerges from the potential of good (which goes with truth) and the potential of what can be done (which goes with reality).

Here is a picture of two nested forms.

Figure 01

0004 Of course, Rorty wants to step away from truth3 and find happiness in reality3.  But, one cannot take the mask without the face or the face without the mask.  One cannot say, “Look at the mask without thinking about the face.”

Here is where Rorty flounders.  His social democratic politics tell him that viable options are the only things that matter. But, as a philosopher, he must face the question as to which options are good.

0005 In short, politics is a single actuality that is composed of two distinct nested forms.  Neither nested form can situate the other.  So, the actualities for both nested forms fuse, creating one single contradiction-filled actuality, as described in the chapter on message in Razie Mah’s masterwork, How To Define the Word “Religion”.

I call the following diagram, “an intersection”.

Figure 02

0006 Right away, I spy that the single actuality of politics2 veils two unspoken actualities that emerge from (and situate) the vertical and horizontal potentials.  These two actualites are overshone by politics2, in the same way that Mercury and Venus appear to disappear within the Sun in astrological conjunctions.  The technical term is “combustion”.

Here is a Greek parody of politics2.

Figure 03

0007 Yes, truth3V and reality3H exhibit different orbits around politics2.

According to Millerman, Rorty is a social democrat advocating for truthlessness and hopefulness.

0008 How does that statement mesh with the above intersection?  Rorty distains Heidegger’s romance with language and says that there is no such thing as a thing itself that can be put into language.  So forget esse_ces (beings substantiating) and essences (substantiated forms).  Indeed, forget righteousness.  The question is whether the thing is useful.  Or not.

At first, it seems that Rorty is only interested in the horizontal axis.

0009 But then, Rorty writes that there are three conceptions of the aim of philosophizing in the modern era.  These three are Husserl’s scientism, Heidegger’s poetics and Dewey’s pragmatism.  The latter two respond to the former.  Husserl idealizes scientists.  Heidegger extols poets.  Pragmatists, like Rorty, Dewey and James, prefer engineers.

Now, if I associate these embodiments into the above mystery, then I replace Mercury with the engineer and Venus with the poet, resulting the the following intersection.

Figure 04

0010 Once I diagram this, the contradictions become more apparent.  The Heideggerian venusian poet2V and the pragmatist mercurial engineer2H orbit an all encompassing solar politics2.  From the point of view of an astrologer, sometimes these inner planets run ahead of the solar presence, sometimes they lag behind the solar presence, and sometimes they are in conjunction with the solar presence.  Combustion!   The Sun’s transit through the constellations, plays this celestial drama over and over again, for those who watch the heavens.  For those who watch politics, the Earth orbits the sun.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Rorty” (Part 3 of 3)

0021 Of course, Heidegger would (if he could) return the insult, by calling Rorty a liberal propagandist.

After all, Rorty is not concerned with questions of truth3V, preferring issues concerning social consequences3H.

0022 Plus, Heidegger (if he could) would have regarded the imprisonment of Rorty and other social democratic philosophers as a matter of “petty details”.

Petty details?

In Heidegger’s view, the West has exhausted its options1H.  And, proof comes later in the title of Rorty’s book, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity.   Are these options?  Or, are they signs of exhaustion?  Compare that title to Being and Time.

0023 The squishiness of the former title is made worse when Rorty’s dichotomy of choiceprivate versus public, appears to align with the potentials of good1V and options1H, respectively.  Is truth3V private?  Is reality3V public?  If so, then I ask, “Are these affirmations the poisonous fruits of the Treaty of Westphalia?”  The Treaty of Westphalia marks the start of the modern era, almost four hundred years ago.

Perhaps, Rorty inadvertently testifies to Heidegger’s proposition.  The West has exhausted its options1H.  Politics2 is the intersection of the actualities of reality3H and truth3V, arising from the potential of viable options1H and good1V.  Without a good1V, there are no options1H.  So, politics2 is dead.  But, our love (philo-) of wisdom (-sophy) endures.  So, it is only a matter of time before politics2 rises again.

Shout it from the rooftops!

Politics2 is dead.  Long live politics2.

0024 My thanks to Michael Millerman for his excellent chapter into how Rorty views Heidegger, chapter three in Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (2020, Arktos Press, London), pages 97-134.


Looking at Loren Haarsma’s Book (2021) “When Did Sin Begin” (Part 1 of 21)

0001 Loren Haarsma is an old man, a physics professor and a Christian.  As a fellow of the American Science Affiliation, he has lectured on the intersection of science and faith.  He is a scholarly voice in the Biologos network.

The full title of his book is When Did Sin Begin: Human Evolution and The Doctrine of Original Sin (2021, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI).

If one goes to the resources page for the Biologos.org website, then selects the topic, “Bible”, and the subtopic, “Adam and Eve”, one will find an extensive collection of essays on the concerns in Haarsma’s title: timing, evolution and original sin.

0002 How do these concerns fit into a category-based nested form?

Timing calls forth a normal context3.  The question, “when?”, implies an event.  Here, the event is a transition.  For evolution, the transition is a topic of natural inquiry.  For original sin, the transition is a topic for theologians.

Human evolution and original sin belong to the realm of actuality2.

The only item not mentioned is potential1.  Here, the question mark applies.  For human evolution2, the potential must be adaptive change1.  For original sin2, the potential is the start of sin in our current Lebenswelt1.

0003 To me, these concerns yield two category-based nested forms.

Here is a picture, following the recipe in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

Figure 01

0004 These two normal contexts exclude one another.

0005 The upper normal context3 associates to evolutionary science.  The focus of attention is on natural history and genetics.

Typically, an adaptive change produces speciation.  However, in human evolution, an adaptive change may be cultural.  Human evolution is both biological and cultural.  Since natural history and genetics do not adequately describe culture, they may not be enough to scientifically describe human evolution.  Indeed, no natural science convincingly addresses cultural change.

0006 The lower normal context3 associates to theological science.  The focus of attention is on special and general revelation.

Special revelation includes Genesis 1-11.  Genesis 1-11 divides into two parts.  In the Primeval History (chapter 2:4-11), Adam is brought to life as the first human, even though um… in the Creation Story (chapter 1-2.3), humans are already intended, created and blessed, in the framework of six days of creation.

General revelation includes Greek philosophy, among other traditions.  Greek philosophy is useful for resolving contradictions.  For example, some theologians resolve the contradiction inherent in the two parts of Genesis 1-11 by claiming that Adam (in Genesis 2.4-4) is the male and female “them” that God intended, created and blessed (in Genesis 1).

Say what?

In the Creation Story, God creates them, male and female.  So, Adam must have had some sort of divided consciousness, one operating in his mind and the other working in his ribs.

Just kidding.

0007 Greek philosophy’s usefulness is not limited to resolving contradictions, no matter how silly the resolution may be.  Greek philosophy may also be used in situations where contradictions cannot be resolved.  Such a situation occurs here. Human evolution2 and original sin2 belong to a single actuality.  They both pertain to one realness2.

Here is a picture.

Figure 02

0008 Two (apparently independent) category-based nested forms intersect in the realm of actuality2.  The two constituting actualities cannot escape the one realness, because they constitute the one realness.  Certain contradictions are accidental. Certain contradictions are essential.  Greek philosophy is useful for separating the accidental from the essential.  A set of essential contradictions is called “a mystery”.


Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2020) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 1 of 14)

0001 The presentation under consideration appears in a book, titled A Voice In the Wilderness: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano On the Church, America, and the World, edited by Brian M. McCall and published in 2021 by Angelico Press, in Brooklyn NY.  The article is located at the end of Part II on pages 251 through 274.  It is a transcript of a speech given to the Catholic Identity Conference on October 24, 2020.  A video can be found on Remnant TV.

0002 The presentation is of interest as a follow-up to the June 2022 blog, Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”.   It complements the professional path taken by Dr. Redpath, who now promotes online courses, teaching “uncommon” common sense.

0003 Indeed, Vigano’s talk can only be described as “uncommon”, in the same way that Redpath’s essay, published 20 years earlier, is uncommon.  Plus, Vigano’s talk expresses common sense in the same way that Redpath’s essay does.

0004 Here is the difficulty.

How does one portray a turn of events that makes no sense?

0005 Redpath portrays the history of Italian humanists, who jettison logic at the very start of their movement, and who end up subjugated to the deterministic (and incomplete) logic of empirio-schematics.

Perhaps, the European humanists did not see it coming.

A little mathematical and mechanical logic can overthrow no logic at all.

0006 Vigano fixes on the political stagehands behind the theatrics of Vatican II, who embed themselves in the matrix of positional authority in the traditional Church as the drama of the Novus Ordo unfolds into a lurid parody of historic Catholicism.

Perhaps, the participants of the Council of Vatican II did not see it coming.

A little political intrigue can overthrow the realm.

0007 No, it does not make sense.

0008 How can one make something that does not make sense make sense? 

Obviously, the word, “sense”, has two implications.  The first implication is that it is sensible.  The second implication is that it impacts our five senses.  That is, it is sensical.  Sensible is not the same as sensical.

Something that does not make sense is not sensible.

Something that one cannot see, hear, taste, smell and touch is not sensical.

0009 Here is the trick.

Through diagrams of triadic relations, something that is not sensible may become sensical.

0009 So, my examination transforms into a question, asking, “How can I associate features of Vigano’s argument to empty slots in purely relational triadic structures, such as the category-based nested form?”

That is my task.

0010 The following blogs rely on the three works listed below.  Each displays the synthetic process of association and implication.  Once I associate features of Vigano’s speech to elements in a category-based nested form, I consider the implications.

0011 The three works are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Search for the author, Razie Mah, along with the title.

A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form

A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

How to Define the Word “Religion”

0012 Vigano’s presentation breaks into eleven sections.  Each is covered by a blog.  Then, a conclusion suggests other applications of Charles Peirce’s synthetic logic.


Looking at Carlo Vigano’s Speech (2021) “How the Revolution of Vatican II Serves the New World Order” (Part 14 of 14)

0092 The analogy in the previous blog brings me back, full circle, to the so-called spirit of Vatican II, as well as the title of Vigano’s speech.

Mercy is not the same as mercenary.  The Catholic elites of the time before Vatican II wanted to be accepted by their secular superiors, Big Government (il)Liberals. They wanted to be acknowledged by those-in-the-know so badly that they promulgated a new theology to mask a cruel exploitation.  That new theology alchemically dissolved and coagulated the sacraments into the open religion demanded by the wealthy and well-positioned purveyors of “the human brotherhood” and “the open society”.

This examination reveals that the Catholic elites, operating on the society tier, recapitulate the exploitation practiced by the financial elites in the organization tier.

0093 Students of political theology take note.

The alchemist says, “As above, so below.”

0094 Does the societal alchemic transmutation of the body of Christ2V into the human brotherhood2H and the kingdom of God2V into the open society2H have a parallel below, where well-funded organizations transmute our bodies as primal matter2V into products for sale2H and the labor of caring for human health2V into product-driven social arrangements2H?

0095 Intersections can be mysterious.

Intersections can also be cruel.

0096 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the Church, America and the World is the subtitle for A Voice in The Wilderness,published by Angelico Press in 2021.  The presentation under examination appears on pages 251-274.  The speech is worth reading.

0097 How To Define the Word “Religion” is a masterwork by Razie Mah concerning political theology, one of the most disconcerting intellectual challenges of our current Lebenswelt.  This e-work is available at smashwords and other electronic book vendors.

0098 Plus, there is more.

Other electronic articles for sale may be found in the Intimations of Political Philosophy Series.

0099 In addition, recent blogs include the following.

Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance”, raziemah blog, June 2022

Looking at Thomas Michaud’s Article (2021) “Anatomy of the Progressive Revolution”, raziemah blog, May 2022

Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts”, raziemah blog, July 2021

Comments on Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection”, raziemah blog, Jan 2021

Comments on Yoram Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism”, raziemah blog, September 2020

Theology of the Deep State, raziemah blog, May 2020