I got a massive jolt of happiness reading the passage below. Bolds are mine.
Probably the chief gain from phenomenology is to have united extreme subjectivism and extreme objectivism in its notion of the world or of rationality. Rationality is precisely proportioned to the experiences in which it is disclosed. To say that there exists rationality is to say that perspectives blend, perceptions confirm each other, a meaning emerges. But it should not be set in a realm apart, transposed into absolute Spirit, or into a world in the realist sense. The phenomenological world is not pure being, but the sense which is revealed where the paths of my various experiences intersect, and also where my own and other people’s intersect and engage each other like gears. It is thus inseparable from subjectivity and intersubjectivity, which find their unity when I either take up my past experiences in those of the present, or other people’s in my own. For the first time the philosopher’s thinking is sufficiently conscious not to anticipate itself and endow its own results with reified form in the world. The philosopher tries to conceive the world, others and himself and their interrelations. But the meditating Ego, the ‘impartial spectator’ do not rediscover an already given rationality, they ‘establish themselves’, and establish it, by an act of initiative which has no guarantee in being, its justification resting entirely on the effective power which it confers on us of taking our own history upon ourselves.
The phenomenological world is not the bringing to explicit expression of a pre-existing being, but the laying down of being. Philosophy is not the reflection of a pre-existing truth, but, like art, the act of bringing truth into being. One may well ask how this creation is possible, and if it does not recapture in things a pre-existing Reason. The answer is that the only pre-existent Logos is the world itself, and that the philosophy which brings it into visible existence does not begin by being possible; it is actual or real like the world of which it is a part, and no explanatory hypothesis is clearer than the act whereby we take up this unfinished world in an effort to complete and conceive it. Rationality is not a problem. There is behind it no unknown quantity which has to be determined by deduction, or, beginning with it, demonstrated inductively. We witness every minute the miracle of related experience, and yet nobody knows better than we do how this miracle is worked, for we are ourselves this network of relationships. The world and reason are not problematical. We may say, if we wish, that they are mysterious, but their mystery defines them: there can be no question of dispelling it by some ‘solution’, it is on the hither side of all solutions. True philosophy consists in relearning to look at the world, and in this sense a historical account can give meaning to the world quite as ‘deeply’ as a philosophical treatise. We take our fate in our hands, we become responsible for our history through reflection, but equally by a decision on which we stake our life, and in both cases what is involved is a violent act which is validated by being performed.
I especially enjoyed this: “the only pre-existent Logos is the world itself, and that the philosophy which brings it into visible existence does not begin by being possible; it is actual or real like the world of which it is a part, and no explanatory hypothesis is clearer than the act whereby we take up this unfinished world in an effort to complete and conceive it.”
This brought to mind a quote from Robert F. Kennedy, which is supposed to be inspiring, but which I find alarming:
“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”
Anyone who has worked in the design field as long as I have will recognize this attitude. It is the attitude of dudes who still haven’t quite internalized the non-deducibility of reality from one’s brilliant ideas and current understanding of truth. It is the omniscience of the inexperienced who still believe that if they cannot see how something is wrong, that can be taken as evidence that it is right. Or if they can’t understand the reason why someone thinks or acts in some particular way, that means the thought or action is unreasonable.
And naive logic monsters of this kind, if their deductions want you to logically prove to them to their satisfaction that their thinking is wrong — which, of course, is not possible. To them, this proves that you have no point and that they are right. And they believe that your irritation with their insularity is a symptom that, on some level, you kind of know they are right, but just can’t bring yourself to admit it. Perhaps you lack the courage or imagination of a Kennedy.
…anyway, I wanted to be sure I got the RFK quote right, and looking for the original, I found this page, which provided me my second jolt of happiness:
AUTHOR: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)
QUOTATION: You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah, act I, Selected Plays with Prefaces, vol. 2, p. 7 (1949). The serpent says these words to Eve.
President John F. Kennedy quoted these words in his address to the Irish Parliament, Dublin, June 28, 1963. — Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 537.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy used a similar quotation as a theme of his 1968 campaign for the presidential nomination: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” Senator Edward M. Kennedy quoted these words of Robert Kennedy’s in his eulogy for his brother in 1968. — The New York Times, June 9, 1968, p. 56.