What is Thought? A Post-Socratic Diapath

[Dialogos –> Diapathos; Dialogue –> Diapath]

The Lazy Dog: I must get organized. My thoughts keep swirling around one central question: “What is Thought?” It’s like a funnel, sucking my mental energy into a vortex. I have no control. Yet I never make any progress. I am stuck at that one location, that one point, as if a young child waiting to go forth into the world (first day of school, perhaps) and is afraid to do so. How can I think these thoughts about thought? I am not qualified. I have no credentials. I haven’t read the entire oeuvre of Western philosophy and all commentary on each major thinker. Who will listen to what I have to say? I will waste my time. I am wasting my time, for I can’t think of anything else.

The Quick Brown Fox: You spin and spin but you haven’t gone through. Dive in. You are swept up in the swept, the spinning. You are not traveling with it. Come with me through the vortex, to a new dimension of thought, to whatever is beyond the here of now.

The Lazy Dog: No, no. I must get organized. There is no time for wandering in multidimensional phase spaces. (Not to mention there’s a deadline.) This requires a particular kind of thinking, to think about thought in a systematic way. It requires analysis, a breaking down into this and that, and then a spreading out, an anatomizing of thought, an atomizing of thought. Ah yes, that will be my most erudite title: “An Atomy of Thought.” A resurrection of an ancient genre, a return to a classical age. Fox, I have no time for your non-sense. I have real work to do. My intention is to develop this genre within a contemporary context, accounting for all current thought in psychology, cognitive science, conceptual integration theory, the electrate apparatus.

[the QBF branches off of the Lazy Dog’s dialogue: he has multiple responses as it unfolds… below is a link from “non-sense.”]

The Quick Brown Fox: Oh but Dog, there is a logic to nonsense. A higher logic some would say :the logic of chaos, a theory of complexity, a recognition that all is in flux, nothing is stable, there are only flows, flows of matter (which are flows of energy, for the Einstein showed that each is a manifestation of the other, wed by speeds and slownesses), bloodflows to the parts of the mindbrain bridged by a concept, the flow of our conversation from me to you, from smooth to striated, from rhizome to tree :fractal half-dimensional web of unfolding potential :spider dropping from the leaf and falling free, web trailing from behind :banyan branch dropping down, seeking for an earth :

The Quick Brown Fox: [the following branches off from deadline]. How can there be a deadline? There are only lifelines. There is only life. Even the rocks are alive :have you ever seen a lava flow? have you ever seen a mud slide? Dog, you’re too lazy to even open your eyes and pay attention to what is happening around you! You only attend to that which you can control, that which will fit your little simplistic equations. You’re scared of nonlinear equations, or, rather, you have no way of conceiving of them :this is the limitation of your view of the concept, residue of literate thought. You must go beyond the concept to capture these new modes of thinking. Here’s a (partial?) list:

–the recept
–the decept
–the incept
–the except

So the questions you should be trying to answer are these: How to be, not conceptual, but receptual? How to be deceptual? Inceptual? Exceptual? How to create recepts, decepts, incepts, excepts? If you want to think with Deleuze, you have to think beyond Deleuze. He spoke of philosophy as the creation of concepts. You must speak of philosophy as the creation of recepts/decepts/incepts/ excepts.

The Lazy Dog: Your talk is all jumbled. How is anybody supposed to follow you? It’s all really a bit much. You’re interrupting me once again. Now, to get down to it. Let’s see. Okay. First of all an explication of terms: I will use “mindbrain” to indicate the origin or source of thoughts in order to acknowledge the current recognition of the problems that a Cartesian split (of mind from brain) poses for a current philosophy of mind. This term will be a way of acknowledging the embodied nature of thought, how it emerges from our “wetware,” from a brain and its experience of being in a body immersed in a three-space (three spatial dimensions). This recognition is in line with all of the current thinking about : David Dennett, Antonio Damasio, Josephy LeDoux. These thinkers point to the central role that emotion plays in reason, and therefore to misconceptions regarding the ….

The Quick Brown Fox: Umm, Dog?

The Lazy Dog: Yes, Fox? Yes?

The Quick Brown Fox: Preeeee-cisely.


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