My Lexicon

Charles Sanders Peirce writes of clarity the following: “to know what we think, to be masters of our own meaning, will make a solid foundation for a great and weighty thought.” He writes also that “for an individual…there can be no question that a few clear ideas are worth more than many confused ones” (From The Philosophical Writings of Peirce; How to Make Our Ideas Clear, p. 25).

Ayn Rand, in many of her philosophical essays likes to write “I shall define my terms.” Say what one will about her over-all philosophy at large and its ironic misapplications of her own understanding of logic and objectivity, she wrote well, and had a beautiful appreciation for the notion that one should know precisely what another is saying, free of obfuscation.

Having been inspired by Peirce, Professor of philosophy, political science, and history, Dr. Leonard Winogora (who encouraged me to explore Peirce in the first place), Ayn Rand, and Michel de Montaigne I like to think of myself as someone who believes in a “holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts.” In pursuit of adhering to this principle, I’ve decided to begin this lexicon so that I might be more transparent and clear on the record, and organized both in my thinking, and why I think as I do, in a conceptual sense.

As a work in progress, certainly your notes and feedback are welcome.

COMPASSION

Vocabulary.com defines “compassion” this way: “the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it. I believe that compassion implies neither a generic egoism or altruism. Rather, I believe a compassionate point of view requires the possession of both self compassion and compassion towards others. Furthermore, I believe it is reasonable to deduce that living in a compassionate world means a necessarily healthier global community which is in one’s self interest. In this sense of thinking one might think of me as a sort of ethical compassionate egoist.

THE BLOWBACK OF PURE LAISSEZ-FAIRE LIBERTARIANISM/CAPITALISM

As implied by the political philosophy of social democracy, this is the idea that just like Democracy: 1) it is impractical and even dangerous to many people in a pure form via exploitation, excessive hoarding, de-facto slavery, excessive pricing, deceptive contracts; 2) like Winston Churchill said, it’s deeply imperfect but as a general philosophical system is the best among the choices and thus requires policies, laws, and a system that regulates it to be a bit more practical– it is the rationale for a “safety-net Libertarianism” so to speak.

LOGIC

I believe Ayn Rand’s definition of “logic” is the clearest and most useful of any I have come across. She writes that logic is “the art of non-contradictory identification. ” She bases this on the writings of Aristotle on the laws of non-contradiction and identity.

HOLISTIC PRAGMATIC CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS

This is the phrasing I use to describe my overall philosophy of life, which is a sort of hybrid of ideas within Objectivist and Pragmatist schools of thought– that is to say, I believe staunchly that we can and should strive for the utmost objectivity and logical analysis but I also understand how obviously we are imperfect both psychologically and inherently, even neurologically, we cannot conform or verify that our brains perceive reality just as it is. But as David Hume wrote: “For here is the chief and most confounding objection to excessive scepticism, that no durable good can ever result from it…” (from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, p.144)

SUFFICIENT FREEDOM:

The idea of thinking about freedom in degrees, and referencing, specifically, in addition, the idea that there are two distinctly consequential degrees of freedom, one within which it would be reasonable to assume is necessary for a person to thrive– that is to say, a massive degree of freedom which includes basic civil liberties of religion, speech, et cetera, private property/ basic capitalism/economic freedom but not to such an extent that excessive hoarding, exploitation, worker abuse are included.