"The object of the superior man is truth"
"If it is in our power to act nobly, it is also in our power to do
I started my
Philosophical Dictionary in 2004, not so much to write yet another one
like the rest, but as the only means I had to render my own philosophical ideas and
understanding of philosophical terms in an accessible and brief and coherent way.
Indeed, before going on, here are five items that do a good
job in explaining philosophy, philosophers, and philosophical terminology:
I'll also make some helpful comments on each of these, since
they all contain a lot of text:
Stanford Encyclopedia: This was probably intended by its editor
Edward Zalta as a follow-up of editor Paul Edward's 1960ies paper volumes (4 or 8,
depending on the edition) called "Encyclopedia of Philosophy", which I owe
since decades and have read most of (unlike many academically employed
"philosophers" I could name).
In any case: Both encyclopedias are American but with many
academic specialists from many countries as contributors; as a rule the
contributors are specialists in the field they write about; and currently
most entries seem well done - which I add because five and more years ago
there was far too much postmodernism in its pages for my refined logical and
analytical tastes, but that has since considerably lessened, though there are
still pomoish entries.
If you want the current informed academic wisdom on a
philosophical topic, this is probably the first place to turn to - with the
qualification that many of its lemmas are mostly for specialists by
specialists, so it usually helps if you know some philosophy and some about
Internet Encyclopedia: This was fairly small some
ten years ago, when I read a good part of it, and liked the
Stanford Encyclopedia better, and since then it has considerably
expanded, also with more editors and contributors, and I have not read
much of the new stuff.
As far as I can tell, the
Internet Encyclopedia generally does a fair to
good job, and seems more directed at the general intelligent reader than the
Roger Bishop Jones: This is an extensive site by Roger Bishop Jones, who
was a specialist in automatic theorem-proving, and who has a taste and a
logic, analytical philosophy and related things, and explains things very
It differs from the previous two in being
based explicitly on a philosophical point of view, namely R.B. Jones's
conception of analytic philosophy, and in being the work of one man, rather
than a whole congregation of specialists, each writing in their own way
about their own subject, but that it is the work of one man has many
advantages, and few setbacks having the previous two encyclopedias also
available on line.
I like this a lot, but then I also have a
taste for logic and analytical philosophy.
Philosophers, by Glyn Hughes: This summarizes important books from some
50 philosophers. I liked the summaries I read, and I usually had read the
I do not think this is a good way to seriously read philosophy, but
it is a good way to find out quickly what this or that philosophical author
or book is about, while in the summaries you get many of the good and
quotable bits from the works summarized. Indeed, the quotations in this
Nederlog were lifted form Hughes' opening page.
Philosophy: This links to the Philosophy page in the Wikipedia, where
there is quite a lot about philosophy and philosophers, and also about
related matters, such as logic and mathematics.
I suppose that meanwhile I have read a fair
amount of the philosophical entries, and they tend to be useful, though for
my taste they often are too postmodernistic, while it also is a setback that
you don't know who wrote or edited the entry. But there generally are links
to matters outside the Wikipedia, which is quite helpful.
If you want to be seriously informed about
some philosophical subject, it is probably wise to search the
Stanford Encyclopedia and the
Internet Encyclopedia and the Wikipedia on the
term(s) for the subject, and then use the results of those searches if you
want to know more.
In any case ... in the present internet
circumstances people who want to know about philosophy, philosophers, or
philosophical terminology, are well off (and much better than I was
before the internet, having to buy or borrow the books I wanted to read).
Philosophical Dictionary, while being there to
summarize my own understanding of philosophy and philosophical and logical
terminology, is mostly objective, though I do take the liberty to mix in my
own opinions and values (and I do not lie about that, nor do I play games of
verbal irony: I generally try to be clear about what I really think).
Feeling somewhat better lately than before,
I picked up on writing lemmas for it, and started now putting in most of the
philosophical names with dates that I want to include. And in fact this is about
the first time I turned to books and the internet for my
Philosophical Dictionary, since I do not know all dates for philosophers
That is, so far the entries in the
Philosophical Dictionary have been written from the top of my head,
without books or notes, basically for three reasons:
(1) Being ill, I can simply not afford normally to find the books
from my library, while I had slow internet till July 2009, that much limited
my search capacities on it: I do it from the top of my head, or not at all.
(2) In view of (1) and because I have done great amounts of reading,
I thought it from the beginning advisable to first write a
Philosophical Dictionary with fairly brief lemmas, that formulated my
main takes on my subjects, and leave the rest till better or more healthy
times, also as I know fairly to very well what (I believe) I know and why I
do, and also know fairly to very well what (I believe) I don't know.
(3) It must be and remain a personal work, in which I am free to express
myself, rather than a competitor of the
Stanford Encyclopedia or the
Internet Encyclopedia, which I anyway am not
qualified to write, being one ill person, and also do not want to write,
because I do not even want to pretend I am objective, impartial, or in the
know of all relevant research, firstly because I generally am not, and
secondly because others also rarely are, except perhaps when writing on one
or a few subjects.
As it happens, I am fairly satisfied with the
Philosophical Dictionary, also because I am quite aware of what went
into it, and what it took to write and make it, and it presently exists 7
years, having been started in April 2004.
The present plan, as evidenced also by my entries of
philosophers' names and dates, and so far, in most cases, little else, is to
finish a first version of the dictionary "in a short while" (this is bound to be an
illusion if I get worse again, but one can hope: thence the scare-quotes),
and then use that, if I can, for a longer version with more research in
books and on the internet, if not in general, then for those subjects and
persons that interest me or that I know a lot about.
Finally, a brief elucidation of today's quotations:
"The object of the superior man is truth"
"If it is in our
power to act nobly, it is also in our power to do
As it happens, I have always believed both, while
for the most part, apart from posturing, bullshit,
phony terminology, delusions and bad grammar driven by careerism, amounts to
the utter dogmatic denial of both, since for postmodernists there is no
there are no superior men
(except if pomo), and all
morals are absolutely
For more see my
Yahooism & democracy
and Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism,
as it seems to be my fate in life to be a philosophical Cassandra: I have
tried to speak the truth about
the decline of civilization, about
the ruining of the universities,
about being ill with ME, about
the Amsterdam municipal and mayoral
corruption as regards illegal drugs, and indeed
about the right way of doing
philosophy and being human, but seem to be regarded by
the dysfunctional human beings between which I must
try to survive as if I am the one who is dysfunctional, not
because they have any proof, knowledge, or insight, but because they are
majority, and are being led by
the worst individuals
one can find in the nation. (*)
(*) To repeat: I have been
gassed by drugsdealers and drugscorrupt bureaucrats in Amsterdam because
I did not and could not and would not
conform to the
existing practice of "tolerating" - helping, defending, sharing profits -
mafia drugsdealers who terrorized me, and people in my environment, who all like really
Dutchmen pretended nothing was wrong and everyone was fine and equal, and
mayors and drugsdealers and Amsterdam coppers and district attorneys anyway
are even more equal than the rest of the Dutch.
Nobody cared: It was not their pain;
it were not their ruined human rights;
and while Dutchmen generally like to dabble in everything and shoot off
their mouth about any subject, they are very politely pleasant and nice to
any drugsdealer and any mayor. And "we all have the force to support the
miseries of others" (Rochefoucauld)
To arrive at what I wanted to say: In my moral
metrics, that happen to coincide with the spirit and text but not the
practice of existing Dutch laws, mayors, district attorneys, policemen and
help the maffia, or who do not help an invalid, are worse than
maffiosi, especially if they defend their
sick practices by an appeal to the highest moral ideas, as the criminals
who have been ministers, leading bureaucrats, judges, prime ministers,
mayors, aldermen, council members and parliamentarians
all have done
since 40 years.
And mind you: 90 of a 100 Dutchmen believe or will believe
that it is my fault that I insist on the maintenance of the existing
Dutch laws in my case: I am being impolite to my betters,
such as the Uebermenschen (human degenerates)
Van Thijn and
Cohen, the first a former
mayor of Amsterdam and minister; the latter a former mayor of Amsterdam and
presently the leader of the opposition in parliament.
Again, mind you: In the past 30 years I have not met one
Dutchman who blames these Amsterdam mayors, or the ministers or
parliamentarians, for protecting the mafia, for "tolerating" illegal drugs,
and all in spite of the fact that all must know that doing so,
these same mayors Van Thijn and
have helped tens of thousands or
more Europeans to get hooked on cocaine or heroine, over the past 30
years, by their protecting of the local
Amsterdam drugsmafia, in the name of Amsterdam or Dutch tolerance.
It is because of the existence of individuals like
Van Thijn and
Cohen that I believe there
are born human beasts: There you have two of them, torturing others for
pleasure, to indulge their sense of power and sadism; and protecting
drugsmafiosi in the name of human ideals my parents and grandparents
defended, when this was extra-ordinarily dangerous.
P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to
be made later.