On Seeming and the Motive of My Writing

On Seeming and the Motive of My Writing

Posted on:Dec 17 2015
Captured by:Paul C
Method:Previous Writings

What is the motive of my writing? I fear that the wrong motive will distort the outcomes. What, then, should be the motive of my writing? Can I impact the thinking of others? If so, why is this important? I can fall on the Kantian version of the universal ethic, or I can follow Mill to some sort of utilitarian end. But in both cases I am imposing a rational framework on my activity. When this happens, the framework becomes another layer of motive.

I seek simplicity but the reason is intuitive. Simplicity seems best; the notion “seems” is important. “Seeming” is a powerful concept that deserves far more reflection. So often what passes for reasoning is just “seeming.” This is not to say that “seeming” is a lesser operation. For many reasons, it may be a greater operation. I can posit many instances where “seeming” is dangerous, but I find myself in many situations where “seeming” is all that I really have.

It seems right to do “X,” but without an authoritative standard (perhaps a Christian weltanschauung), I have a hard time justifying “X.” Kant falls back to the categorical imperative. But his “practical reason” is grounded by “seeming.” There is perhaps a tension in my soul arising from the tenuousness of “seeming.” The paradox is this: It seems like I should have a better reason, but I don’t.


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