Tuesday, June 28, 2005

In theory

Where to start?

It's the perennial question that kicks off so many bodies of work. And it's an especially salient question for a body of work that concerns the fundamental nature of reality.

It's easy to get into a stir over the question of where to start. Before long you find yourself in a never ending spiral towards infinite regress or self reference. Either way, it doesn't get you far.

One can justifiably state that ontology, the study of what exists, to be the alpha question - but on the other hand, it's equally justifiable to pose the question of whether we can know anything exists. Here epistemology tries its hand at becoming the launch pad of enquiry. But then you have the question of whether our knowledge is related to any kind of objective external world, or whether we can only make claims based on our raw experience. And hence, phenomenology peeks its cheeky head in through the door, interrupting the discussion.

And so it goes.

Each of these lines of thought seek to make themselves the alpha question - although it's not without a certain amount of irony that in this discussion, they are actually relegated to beta status.

They are all seeking to answer the question of 'where to begin', and in doing so, we've already begun.

Which leads me to my next question: where next?


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