Nothing is improved when we replace worldviews with wordworlds. To paraphrase Bernadette from the Jerk, “It’s not [the meanings] I’ll miss. It’s the stuff!” Our problem is not metaphysics. It is metaphysical reductionism. And specifically metaphysical reductionisms that allow us to be individually solipsistic with our eyes, or collectively solipsistic with our ears. If we … Continue reading Wordworlds

The servant of practice

The wisest thing Yogi Berra never said was “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.” Those who have pushed theory to its limits, and subjected all values to critical interrogation will tell you also that in theory there is no better or worse, beautiful or ugly, good … Continue reading The servant of practice

Eichmann and cliches

Following is a selection of comments Hannah Arendt made about cliches, culled from Eichmann in Jerusalem. The highlights are mine: The German text of the taped police examination, conducted from May 29, 1960, to January 17, 1961, each page corrected and approved by Eichmann, constitutes a veritable gold mine for a psychologist –provided he is … Continue reading Eichmann and cliches


Wherever I read “the unconscious” and its implications of thoughts concealed beneath the surface of the mind, I intercept it and substitute ‘the unsayble”, implying that it is perfectly conscious, but just not yet intuitively disciplined and equipped with language. To people for whom thinking is a word manipulation affair, the unconscious is beyond the … Continue reading Inner-leftism

Polycentric design praxis

Here is where I am right now: I want to integrate polycentric design practice (design for multiple interacting participants in a defined social system) with my philosophical project, which reconceives philosophy as a genre of design — a genre of polycentric design. This integration of practice and theory yields a polycentric design praxis. This polycentric … Continue reading Polycentric design praxis

Second verse, same as the first

We apprehend that something is, but we may not comprehend what it is. “Apprehending that” establishes something’s existence. “Comprehending what” establishes its conceptual relations within our understanding. Sometimes (often, in fact) we apprehend something, but we cannot immediately comprehend it. We either ignore it as irrelevant, gloss over it, or are forced to figure out … Continue reading Second verse, same as the first

Re-cranking the writing machine

(I’m trying to get back to publishing my ideas, even when they are far from perfect. For some reason I’ve been inclined to leave most of what I write private, but I’m going to make myself start putting things out there again. ) My immersion in the philosophical work of Jan Zwicky has given me … Continue reading Re-cranking the writing machine

From Zwicky’s Lyric Philosophy

A series of passages from Zwicky’s Lyric Philosophy isolates the central problem I have had with Rorty, and with other thinkers I have admired, who live such an academically-conditioned existence that they have lost contact with the tacit world, and inhabit instead what I have called “wordworld“. Such people are so verbal they have lost … Continue reading From Zwicky’s Lyric Philosophy

Rorty’s wonderful omissions

One of the great pleasures of reading Richard Rorty is experiencing his precise neglect of nonhuman actors. The man lived in a wordworld of free-floating humans whose sole purpose was conversation. It helps make what I learned from Bruno Latour extra tangible, that what we converse about is rooted as much in our tacit interactions … Continue reading Rorty’s wonderful omissions